Best practices for RTI often recommend using nationally norm-referenced scores to determine which students in a school or district are recommended for intervention services. To help with that, Classworks includes norm-referenced percentile scores for all grades and subjects of the Universal Screener for Fall, Winter and Spring.

In this article we'll discuss:

Norm-Referenced Scoring in Classworks Universal Screener and Progress Monitoring

So what is a norm-referenced score? A norm-referenced score compares an individual’s performance with the performance of others within a relevant norm group (e.g., other second-grade students around the nation).

One commonly reported norm-referenced score includes percentile ranks. Percentile ranks are useful when assessing students’ performance relative to their peers. The Classworks Universal Screener includes norm-referenced percentile scores for all grades and subjects; and since the Classworks Universal Screener and Progress Monitoring Probes are on the same scale, these percentiles can also be used as part of progress monitoring!

You can find the Universal Screener and Progress Monitoring Norm-referenced percentiles for both Reading and Mathematics for Fall, Winter, and Spring by clicking here.

How are percentile ranks used?

Percentile ranks provide an easily decodable system of identifying test takers’ standings relative to others taking that test.

The school can then identify those students at or below the nationally normed 25th percentile as being potentially at risk and do additional testing and provide additional support, as needed, for this group of students.

For example, a district that uses the Classworks Universal Screener to identify fourth-grade students who are at risk for having problems in mathematics will consider all students who scored at or below a 330 on the Fall administration of the screener for intervention services.

Classworks recommendations for Data Driven Decision Making

Classworks recommends using the following percentiles for potential tier placement.

  • Tier One - Above 25%
  • Tier Two - Between 10% and 25%
  • Tier Three - 10% and below

However, District staff must keep in mind that when using cut scores based on national, aggregated norms, these scores will not always align with the resulting percentages for their district.

As a result, a cut score at the 25th percentile may identify more or less than 25 percent of your students, depending on the skill level of the class, grade, or school. In this situation, districts might consider choosing a cut score that reflects the performance abilities of students enrolled in their district.

Additional Questions

Why is it important to look outside my own scores?
Looking beyond your own scores gives districts an additional perspective about expectations for student scores outside of their own district.

How do these percentiles relate to Tier 1?
Ideally 80% of the students in your district are in tier one.

If less than 80% of students are scoring above the 25% percentile then the recommendation, beyond providing interventions for students, is to evaluate the quality of the tier one curriculum in the classroom and possibly look at professional development for teachers.

Where do I find the percentile ranks in Classworks?
Our Universal Screener Results: RtI Recommendations Report provides this information. This report will show the student's percentile rank, the recommended Progress Monitoring level, along with the urgency of their intervention.

Click here for instructions on how to generate that report.


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