The Predictive Validity of the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills GOLD’s Literacy Domain: Why assessment matters for Washington’s earliest readers
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This study evaluated the predictive validity of Washington State’s recently implemented kindergarten entry assessment, WaKIDS GOLD (adapted from Teaching Strategies GOLD®), specifically examining the Literacy domain. The primary question of interest was whether teacher-assigned scores from the WaKIDS Literacy domain (assessing phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, print concepts, reading comprehension, and writing scores) were predictive of later student literacy achievement, as measured by direct, standardized measures of literacy at the end of first grade. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) revealed that the WaKIDS Literacy domain was a unique, positive predictor of first grade literacy achievement, despite the concurrent significant effects of first grade teacher and student income. This convergent validity evidence was further supported with hierarchical linear regressions revealing that the individual skill scores within the WaKIDS Literacy domain predicted corresponding literacy skills in first grade when added to the model together, after controlling for student demographics. When on their own, however, individual skill scores did not demonstrate as much predictive power, with only alphabet knowledge emerging as a unique predictor of first grade literacy skills. An additional HLM unexpectedly revealed that WaKIDS Literacy was a unique predictor of first grade math skill, which did not support discriminant validity, although this could be explained by language demands of the math assessment. Effects of the teacher variable are addressed in terms of instructional implications, and broader implications for the State as well as future validity studies of kindergarten entry assessments are also discussed.
- Education - Seattle