FThe math tests on easyCBM® were developed to assess students’ mastery of the knowledge and skills outlined in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Focal Point Standards. They were designed to focus more on students’ conceptual understanding than basic computational skills. These math items were under development for two years. They were written by teachers with both general education and special education teachers and have been piloted across the country with students from a variety of backgrounds. They have undergone review by researchers at the University of Oregon and have been checked carefully for typographical errors. Based on data from the 2009/2010 school year, the first year in which the math tests used, we revised the benchmark assessments. As a result, the 2010/2011 version of the math benchmark assessments is slightly shorter than the original version.
Like all measures on easyCBM®, alternate forms of each math test were designed to be of equivalent difficulty, so teachers can progress monitor students from the initial screening assessments, through their progress monitoring tests every month throughout the year, comparing progress to subsequent screening assessments (winter and spring).
During the screening test window, students take sub-tests covering all three focal point standards from their grade level. In between the benchmark testing windows, teachers can select a single focal point standard to use for monitoring progress or can draw from across the different focal points at that grade level. The math tests from a given focal point should be used no more than once every 3 weeks for monitoring progress. If teachers want to monitor progress weekly, they need to cycle through the different focal points, so each one gets tested every 3 weeks.
Items on the math progress monitoring tests increase in difficulty from Item 1 through Item 16, with one exception. On every test, Item #5 is actually the most difficult item (based on our pilot studies of the items). Item #16 is actually the fifth-easiest item. We made the Item 5/Item 16 substitution on each form to provide teachers with additional information. If students get Item 6, 7, and 8 correct but misses Item 16, it is likely that they simply stopped trying by the end of the test, because the last item should be easier than the items that come before it.
For students in Kindergarten and First Grade, the math items that have words in the question itself come with a ‘read aloud’ option. Students can click on a speaker icon and have the math item read aloud to them. For this reason, it is important that Kindergarten and First Grade students have headphones available in the computer lab when testing.-Teachers' Manual Easy CBM, 2012 http://www.easycbm.com/static/files/pdfs/info/easyCBM_Teachers_Manual.pdf