Predicting kindergarten children's academic achievement from the Kindergarten Screening Inventory

Lena Lopardo Padovano, Pace University

Abstract

Kindergarten is one of the most important school years. It is a time when a child's motivation for learning is typically high and when important educational foundations are established. Recently, federal and state laws have been enacted mandating the educational screening of children entering school. For example, early identification and intervention of young children with special needs was clearly established as a national priority with the passage of Public Law 94-142. As a result, reliable and valid kindergarten screening is essential. A review of the literature reveals the availability of a number of screening instruments, however, there is often conflicting evidence concerning their use for screening purposes and, moreover, their predictive validity. ^ The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the ability of the Kindergarten Screening Inventory (KSI) to predict school achievement at the end of kindergarten and first grade. Two hundred and two pre-kindergarten children ranging in age from 48 to 71 months were screened using the KSI in the spring prior to school entrance between the years 1988 to 1997. For purposes of data analysis the sample was grouped by the year the KSI was administered. The KSI's psychometric properties were examined, revealing adequate overall reliability. Individual subtest reliabilities, however, ranged from poor to moderate. Two and three factor solutions were extracted and found to support construct validity. Results of correlational analysis indicate that the KSI is predictive of school achievement as measured by both the child's report card grades, as well as his/her reading, language, and mathematics performance on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS). The strongest correlations are found within the first grade reported CTBS scores. The language subtest of the KSI was the strongest indicator of later achievement. ^ Early screening, which has predictive features, could assist psychologists and educators in many ways. For example, a preventive approach to educational intervention rather than a remedial approach may be developed. More specifically, there may be curriculum implications, parent consultation options, and program development. These findings could also serve to guide school psychologists and educators so that they are better able to help children succeed in school. This study also has implications in developing preventive approaches to benefit students who are likely to experience learning difficulties in school. Lessening young children's potential frustration and failure may enhance academic performance, reduce potential misbehavior, and build self-esteem. ^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Lena Lopardo Padovano, "Predicting kindergarten children's academic achievement from the Kindergarten Screening Inventory" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3025067.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3025067

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