Progress monitoring—a scientifically based practice of assessing student academic performance on a regular basis—is an essential component of an RTI framework. Progress monitoring can be used to follow the performance of an entire classroom of students or to follow the performance of individual students. Progress monitoring serves the following purposes:
- To determine whether or not students are benefitting from the curriculum and instruction they are receiving and to help develop more effective programs for those who are not.
- To estimate rates of student improvement.
- To help identify appropriate levels of intervention.
According to the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (2005), to be useful in an RTI framework, progress monitoring should
- Assess the specific skills embodied in state and local academic standards.
- Assess marker variables that have been demonstrated to lead to the ultimate instructional target.
- Be sensitive to small increments of growth over time.
- Be administered efficiently over short periods.
- Be administered repeatedly (using multiple forms).
- Result in data that can be summarized in teacher friendly data displays.
- Be comparable across students.
- Be applicable for monitoring an individual student's progress over time.
- Be relevant to the development of instructional strategies and use of appropriate curriculum that addresses the area of need.