School Psychology Review

Quantifying Context in Assessment: Capturing the Effect of Base Rates on Teacher Referral and a Problem-Solving Model of Identification

Amanda M. VanDerHeyden, Joseph C. Witt

pp. 161-183

General Issue

NASP Members: Log in to download this article

Abstract. The purpose of this article was to examine the effect of base rate occurrence of race, sex, and student achievement on the accuracy of a problem-solving model of assessment and teacher referral. All students in first and second grade (n= 182) at a participating school were exposed to four screening measures. Students who performed poorly on at least one of the screening measures participated in a more thorough assessment process including individual curriculum-based assessment with individual intervention. The predictive accuracy (e.g., sensitivity,specificity) of the problem-solving model and teacher referral was examined using the more thorough assessment process as the standard for comparison. The degree to which the problem-solving model and teacher referral correctly identified male and female children, children of minority and non-minority ethnicity, and children in high-achieving and low-achieving classrooms was specified. Further,the efficiency of the problem-solving model and teacher referral was examined by comparing identification relative to base rate occurrence of problems in the screened population.