How should Ms. Begay assess her students’ reading levels and progress?

Page 1: The Benefits of Using Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) in Reading

Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) is a type of progress monitoring used to assess student performance throughout an entire year’s curriculum. A set of standardized procedures, CBM fosters enhanced instructional planning.

If you are unfamiliar with progress monitoring or curriculum-based measurement, view the following module:


Lynn Fuchs
Lynn Fuchs, PhD
Nicholas Hobbs Chair of Special
Education and Human Development
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Listen as Dr. Lynn Fuchs describes how teachers can communicate with others through the use of CBM graphs (time: 0:59).

View Transcript

More than 30 years of research have proven the benefits of monitoring progress in reading using CBM.

  • Student performance on CBM probes (or measures) is strongly correlated with national standardized tests. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to review the test results and determine whether their teaching methods are effective, teachers can track their students’ growth throughout the year and make the appropriate instructional changes as needed.
  • The research shows that students who score high on CBM probes are better at decoding, identifying sight words, and comprehending than are those with lower scores. The CBM process can give educators an indication of which students are at risk for reading failure and in need of extra support and services.
  • Using CBM data on key reading skills, teachers can create a database to demonstrate the reading growth for each student throughout the academic year. This database can also be used for accountability purposes, including Individual Education Programs (IEPs).
  • CBM graphs help educators to communicate reading progress to students, parents, and other professionals.

Steps of the CBM Process

  1. Determining the appropriate type and level of CBM materials
  2. Administering and scoring
  3. Graphing
  4. Setting goals
  5. Making instructional decisions
  6. Communicating progress

Print Friendly, PDF & Email