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Masters of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certification

Progress Monitoring - Topic 14

What is it?

Progress monitoring is scientifically based practice used to assess both academic performance of students and the effectiveness of instruction (see National Center on Student Progress Monitoring, link below). Teachers implement progress monitoring by evaluating a student’s current level of performance, establishing meaningful goals for the student to reach over time, and assessing advancement toward these goals on a frequent (e.g., weekly, monthly) basis. Student performance is used to determine when instructional changes may be needed to ensure the student meets the established goal in a timely manner. Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) is the most common assessment used to monitor student progress.

Why is it important?

Research has demonstrated that monitoring student progress is associated with greater student outcomes. Teachers who use data to evaluate student performance on a frequent basis are able to adjust instruction to meet student needs more efficiently and effectively than teachers who rely on end-of-year summative assessments. Progress monitoring is a critical feature of Response-to-intervention (RTI) and general and special education teachers should be familiar with how to implement and interpret progress monitoring data.


Fuchs, L.S., Deno, S.L., & Mirkin, P.K. (1984). The effects of frequent curriculum-based measurement

and evaluation on pedagogy, student achievement, and student awareness of learning.

American Educational Research Journal, 21(2), 449-460.

Reed, D.K., Wexler, J., & Vaughn, S. (2012). RTI for reading at the secondary level: Recommended

literacy practices and remaining questions. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Web Links

National Center on Response to Intervention - Progress Monitoring Resources

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring

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