Technical Adequacy of Assessments

Technical Adequacy of the Progress Monitoring Passages

The following information provides evidence for the validity of the progress monitoring passages in Read Naturally Progress Monitor, based on the correlation between the monitoring passages and the benchmark passages in Read Naturally’s  Reading Fluency Benchmark Assessor and Benchmark Assessor Live.

pointer Learn more about Reading Fluency Progress Monitor (Read Naturally's progress monitoring tool)


Over the course of three school years (2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005), Read Naturally field tested dozens of reading passages at each grade level for the purpose of continuous progress monitoring. We sent passages to classrooms throughout the country and piloted with a diversity of students. We tested students on these passages as well as on grade level benchmark passages from the Reading Fluency Benchmark Assessor and compared students' words correct per minute (WCPM) on the monitoring passages with their WCPM on the benchmark passages. Some monitoring passages were too hard for a particular grade level and some were too easy. We modified these passages and/or tested them in a different grade. Ultimately, each passage met the benchmark passage in difficulty or we discarded it. We calibrated a total of 30 passages per grade level. The table below summarizes the results of these analyses.

Correlation and Difficulty Data

The following table lists correlation data about the progress monitoring passages compared to each other and to the grade level benchmarks. The correlation between the benchmark and monitoring passages is a measure of validity. Correlations range from -1.0 to +1.0. High correlations (.8 or higher) between the monitoring passage and the benchmark passage means that the two passages are measuring the same skill (reading fluency) with a high degree of consistency. Monitoring passages with high correlations to the benchmark and to other monitoring passages have high reliability and validity.

The table also lists data on the difficulty of the monitoring passages compared to the benchmarks. A difficulty of -2.1, for example, would indicate that the median WCPM of all students tested on the monitoring passage was 2.1 words less than their median WCPM on the benchmark passage. If the median WCPM for students on the benchmark was 50.5 and the median WCPM for students on the monitoring passage was 48.4, the difficulty on that passage would be 48.4 minus 50.5, which is -2.1.

Grade (30 passages per grade) Median Correlation with Benchmark Benchmark Correlation Range Median Correlation with Other Passages Other Passage Correlation Range Median Difficulty (words correct per minute difference Range of Difficulty
1 .96 .91 to .99 .96 .92 to .99 -2.0 -6.0 to 4.0
2 .95 .90 to .99 .96 .92 to .99 -1.5 -5.9 to 4.1
3 .94 .89 to .99 .94 .90 to .99 -0.5 -5.5 to 3.8
4 .94 .92 to .98 .94 .90 to .97 1.3 -4.9 to 5.3
5 .93 .81 to .98 .93 .79 to .96 0.3 -5.1 to 5.3
6 .94 .89 to .97 .95 .85 to .97 -0.7 -5.6 to 6.0
7 .94 .87 to .97 .95 .88 to .97 -1.2 -5.7 to 5.8
8 .95 .88 to .98 .95 .91 to .97 -0.7 -5.5 to 5.2

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