PREDICTING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT FROM A KINDERGARTEN SCREENING BATTERY
BOEHM, SUZAN KATHERINE ABELES
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The purpose of the study was to determine the ability of a multifaceted screening battery to predict reading and mathematics achievement in grades 1-4, to determine whether achievement in reading and mathematics follow continuous or discontinuous patterns, and whether strengths and weaknesses on the subtests of the screening tests were predictive of subsequent academic difficulty.;A screening battery was administered to 64 suburban elementary school students whose academic achievement was then monitored from grades 1-4. The variables used were the Vane Kindergarten Test, a speech and language inventory, a gross motor test, the Gates MacGinitie Reading Readiness Test, sex and age. Correlations of these variables with reading and mathematics achievement scores, Otis Lennon IQ, teacher ratings Pupil Personnel referrals, remedial or learning disability help through grade 4 and the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test and the Stanford Binet Vocabulary subtest administered in Grade 4.;The results confirmed the hypothesis that a multifaceted screening battery was moderately correlated with academic achievement and was a better predictor than any of its components. However, the correlations found were not high enough to predict future academic performance of individual children on the basis of the battery alone. Although correlations of reading and mathematics achievement tests from year to year yielded low moderate correlations, an analysis of individual scores indicated that the normal development of both reading and mathematics skills was characterized by variability.;An analysis of strengths and weaknesses on the VKT vocabulary and visual motor subtests in relation to academic functioning indicated that these subtests alone were inappropriate for the prediction of success in reading and mathematics.;In general the results showed that statistical analysis yielded moderate correlations between the screening battery and academic achievement. However, the results indicated that the normal variability in the developmental course of academic achievement makes prediction of later functioning more difficult. In addition, the screening battery did not isolate the underlying processes necessary for academic functioning sufficiently to warrant the use of the battery or its component for the identification of specific difficulties for early intervention.