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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the expectancies of a set of screening measures (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, Peotone Language Scale, and the Motor Activity Scale) which have been used to identify prekindergarten children as either 11 ready 11 or 11 at-risk 11 to begin kindergarten. These screening measures were selected on the basis of their ability to measure readiness skills which were considered related to success in kindergarten (i.e., language, vocabulary, visual-motor perception, auditory and visual memory, and fine and gross motor skills). Subjects included 113 white middle class children from four parochial schools in a large-midwestern city. The study was somewhat limited in its generalizability due to the small homogeneous sample of students; neither minority groups nor a significant range of socioeconomic groups were represented. Also, the sample did not include public school students. Randomization was not possible since it was necessary to use intact school classes. Data from the four screening tests were gathered in the Spring of 1980 and the two criterion measures (Gates Mac-Ginitie and Behavior Rating Profile - Teacher Rating Scale) were administered three years later. The Pearson product-moment correlations and multiple regression analysis were used to determine the relationship between the screening tests and the criterion variables. In addition predictionperformance matrices were compiled to assist in analyzing the 11 hit-rate 11 for false positives, false negatives, valid positives, and valid negatives among the second graders. In addition a separate analysis of the first graders 1 (i.e., those who were delayed entrance into kindergarten or who repeated one year) reading achievement and behavioral functioning was completed. Results showed that while there were statistically significant correlations (p < .05) between each of the predictor variables and reading achievement, they tended to be small (r = .24 to .34). There were no significant correlations between the predictor variables and behavioral functioning. The overall 11 hit-rate 11 was 86% for reading achievement and 88% for behavioral functioning with a high percentage of false positives (62.5%) and false negatives (70% and 75%). The first grade reading scores placed 38% of the children below the 50 percentile rank on the Gates while only one of the 13 was rated as having a behavior problem. In summary, the study concluded that this particular set of screening instruments does not have sufficient predictive validity to warrant its continuation in a prekindergarten screening program. Multiple correlation (R = .48) showed approximately 23% of the variance in reading achievement was accounted for by four independent variables which leaves 77% of the variance unexplained. It is recommended that a search be made to include more highly predictive measures and that follow-up evaluations be continued to assure the correct identification of children before they enter kindergarten.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

Barry J. Wilson

Second Advisor

Gaile S. Cannella


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