Buros-Nebraska Series on Measurement and Testing


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Curriculum-Based Measurement, edited by Jack J. Kramer (Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, 1993).


Copyright © 1993 by Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. Digital Edition Copyright © 2012 Buros Center for Testing. This book may be downloaded, saved, and printed by an individual for their own use. No part of this book may be re-published, re-posted, or redistributed without written permission of the holder of copyright.


The topic of this chapter places me somewhere between Camac the Magnificent and a crystal ball gazer! On the one hand, I am being asked to look into the future and discuss the potential implications of curriculum-based assessment (CBA) for psychoeducational practice. Although my graduate students believe I may have superhuman powers and can be all places at the same time, fortune telling was never one of my talents. On the other hand, like Camac, I obviously believe that CBA is an answer, but I'm not sure what the questions are going to be. In this paper I assume that all questions asked have the same answer: "Use CBA."

When a district decides to adopt CBA as a measurement procedure, impacts are anticipated on the service delivery method, accountability procedures, and role functions within that district. The way in which CBA is adopted, the particular model of CBA employed, and the acceptance of CBA in the district will all play a part in the degree to which each of these aspects of the district are affected.

Implementing CBA district wide obviously will have implications that may alter the entire system. Equal impact may be noted when CBA is implemented on an individual basis. A single teacher may choose to use CBA within his or her classroom. A single psychologist may choose

to use CBA as a means to enhance service delivery. A single resource room teacher may choose to implement CBA for a particular class. Further, the ways in which CBA are used may not be individualized. A single teacher may choose to provide progress monitoring on long-term goals. A resource room teacher may choose to implement progress monitoring for long-term goals and write IEP objectives using CBA. A psychologist may choose CBA as a mechanism for conducting initial evaluations and recommending intervention strategies.

Use of CBA by individuals has implications that are somewhat different than when CBA is used in an entire system. For example, when an individual uses CBA to make eligibility decisions, one obviously cannot use CBA alone but must find a way to integrate CBA and traditional assessments. Additionally, using CBA to identify targets for intervention can be valuable only if the delivery system supports intervention planning rather than educational diagnostic decision making.

Recognizing that there are some differences between using CBA with an individual versus large-scale application, I will confine my comments to the implications of CBA when employed on a large-scale, district wide basis.