Current Funded Projects

A Comprehensive Measure of Reading Fluency: Uniting and Scaling Accuracy, Rate, and Prosody

CORE + Prosody

Oral reading fluency is an essential part of reading proficiency (National Reading Panel, 2000), and is perhaps the most prevalent reading assessment used in classrooms across the U.S.; however, these traditional assessments measure only accuracy and rate, and entirely neglect prosody. Prosody is reading with appropriate expression and phrasing, and is one way a reader demonstrates they understand the meaning of the text. Research has shown prosody to be an important indicator of comprehension, beyond accuracy and rate alone, particularly among developing readers (Benjamin & Schwanenflugel, 2010; Miller & Schwanenflugel, 2006; Valencia et al., 2010; Benjamin et al., 2013).

CORE + Prosody is a comprehensive measure of reading fluency that unites accuracy, rate, and prosody of students’ oral reading. The purpose of CORE + Prosody is to develop and validate an automated scoring system to measure, unite, and scale the accuracy, rate, and prosody in oral reading fluency to be used as a screening and progress monitoring measure for students in Grades 2 through 4.

CORE + Prosody is a four-year project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education.

CORE + Prosody builds upon Computerized Oral Reading Evaluation (CORE), a project funded by IES that uses shorter passages, automatic speech recognition to score oral reading fluency accuracy and rate, and a latent variable psychometric model to scale, equate, and link scores across Grades 2 through 4 to improve reading outcomes for students across reading proficiency levels.

A related project funded by IES and led by Principal Investigator Akihito Kamata, Developing Computational Tools for Model-Based Oral Reading Fluency Assessments, expands upon the estimation model developed by the CORE project to include the development of a sentence-level model that takes into account between-sentence dependency, and incomplete reading.

Oregon Extended Assessment (ORExt)

Date: 2023-2024

Behavioral Research & Teaching plans to observe a sample of Oregon’s Qualified Assessors (QAs) who administer the paper/pencil version of the Oregon Extended Assessment (ORExt) to determine reliability of administration and scoring. We will not include the tablet administration or the Oregon Observational Rating Assessment (ORora). The study will be conducted in two manners:

  1. QTs in each district will observe an assigned sample of their respective QAs using the observation protocol.
  2. Expert reviewers from ODE and/or Behavioral Research & Teaching (BRT) will observe district-level QTs/QAs who give the assessment in more than one school/district.

Virginia Alternate Assessment

Date: 2023-2026

Behavioral Research & Teaching is working with the Virginia Department of Education to complete the following in Winter-Spring 2024:

1. Technical Documentation of the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program: 2022-23 – a full technical reporting of VAAP achievements over the 2022-23 school year

2. Development, construction, and delivery of 2024-25 VAAP test forms in Reading, Mathematics, and Science

3. VAAP Playbook – formal documentations of roles and responsibilities for VAAP development and validation across organizations

4. VAAP Style Guide – formal documentations of guiding principals and logistics for the development of VAAP test forms and items

5. Math Virginia Essentialized Standards of Learning (VESOL) – review and update of Math VESOL for linkage to the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL)