The Relationship between Kindergarten and First-Grade DIBELS Next and TRC Scores and Third-Grade TCAP ELA Scores at a Selected School District in Upper East Tennessee
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The purpose of the research study was to examine the relationship and predictive validity of kindergarten and first-grade students’ scores on Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Next (DIBELS Next) and Text Reading and Comprehension (TRC) to third-grade students’ Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) English Language Arts (ELA) scores. Participants included 343 students from eight elementary schools in an Upper East Tennessee school district who were administered the DIBELS Next and TRC in kindergarten in 2014-2015 and first-grade in 2015-2016 and third-grade TCAP ELA in 2017-2018. Eight research questions and eight null hypotheses were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple linear regression. When the variables were measured independently of each other, results showed a significant relationship between kindergarten DIBELS Next composite scores (r=.494, p=.001), kindergarten TRC level of proficiency (r=.468, p=.001), first-grade DIBELS composite scores (Beta=.617, p=.001), first-grade DIBELS Next Oral Reading Fluency fluency scores (Beta=.5551, p=.001), and first-grade TRC level of proficiency (r=.580, p=.001) to third-grade TCAP ELA. However, there was not a significant relationship between first-grade DIBELS Next Oral Reading Fluency accuracy scores (Beta=-.041, p=.544) and first-grade DIBELS Next Oral Reading Fluency retell scores (Beta=.070, p=.187) on third-grade TCAP ELA. When variables were measured together, findings indicated that both first-grade DIBELS Next composite scores (Beta=.266, p=.001) and first-grade TRC level of proficiency (Beta=.268, p=.001) are equally strong predictors of third-grade TCAP ELA followed by kindergarten DIBELS Next composite scores (Beta=1.67, p=.004). Kindergarten TRC level of proficiency (Beta=.037, p=.547) was not a significant predictor of future performance on third-grade TCAP ELA.