Diagnostic Accuracy of Multivariate Universal Screening Procedures for Reading in Upper Elementary Grades

David A. Klingbeil, Peter Marlow Nelson, Ethan R. Van Norman, Chris Birr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


We examined the diagnostic accuracy and efficiency of three approaches to universal screening for reading difficulties using retrospective data from 1,307 students in Grades 3 through 5. School staff collected screening data using the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a curriculum-based measure (CBM), and running records (RR). The criterion measure was a high-stakes state accountability test aligned with the Common Core State Standards. We examined the diagnostic accuracy of the tests in isolation, as multivariate batteries, and via a simulated gated-screening approach. CBM and RR data resulted in unacceptable diagnostic accuracy across all three grades. In the fourth grade, the MAP alone resulted in the best balance of sensitivity and specificity. Among third- and fifth-grade students, the multivariate combination of MAP and CBM demonstrated the best balance between diagnostic accuracy and efficiency. Gated-screening increased specificity but lowered sensitivity. Results highlight the need for population-specific considerations in universal screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-320
Number of pages13
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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