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YWCCSSC targets and cut scores

We set our targets for R-CBM at the national 50th percentile rank. Based on our local studies, we know that 94% of students who hit this mark will be able to read well enough to pass the MONT-CAS CRT at the end of the year. Students scoring at or above this mark are considered to be at "low risk" for reading failure. The great majority are proficient readers.

We set our cut scores at the national 10th percentile rank. Students scoring this low are at "high risk" for having deficient skills. Overwhelmingly, they do not achieve a passing score on the MONT-CAS CRT, with 84% failing. The cut-score calls close attention to a small subgroup who is likely to be really struggling to learn to read.

The advantage of setting the cut score at this level is that it yields a manageably-sized group of students who have real needs. Setting the score this low minimizes the chances that we will devote resources to students who do not need the help. Also, it is very easy to find the cut-score published in the AIMSweb norms tables. The disadvantage of setting the cut scores this low is that we classify quite a few students as "emerging" when they actually have more significant needs.

Between the target and the cut-score, we find that about half of the group scoring at this level pass the MONT-CAS CRT and about one third fail. This defines our group that is at "some risk," or to put it another way, as having emerging skills. The advantage of viewing this group as having emerging skills is that it encourages us to track students in this group carefully. Because there are so many students in this group, though, we have to work thoughtfully at this level. It is noteworthy that in absolute numbers, more students in this group fail the MONT-CAS CRT than in the high risk group. (To put this concretely, out of 19 students in the high risk group, 16 actually fail the CRT (84%); but out of 80 students in the some risk group, 29 fail the CRT (36%).

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