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ERIC Number: ED545225
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Using Evidence-Based Decision Trees Instead of Formulas to Identify At-Risk Readers. REL 2014-036
Koon, Sharon; Petscher, Yaacov; Foorman, Barbara R.
Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast
This study examines whether the classification and regression tree (CART) model improves the early identification of students at risk for reading comprehension difficulties compared with the more difficult to interpret logistic regression model. CART is a type of predictive modeling that relies on nonparametric techniques. It presents results in an easy-to-interpret "tree" format, enabling parents, teachers, principals, and school district leaders to better understand how a student is predicted to be at risk. Using data from a sample of Florida public school students in grades 1 and 2 in 2012/13, the study found that the CART model predicted poor performance on the reading comprehension subtest of the Stanford Achievement Test as accurately as logistic regression while using fewer or the same number of variables. This research is motivated by state education leaders' interest in maintaining high classification accuracy while simultaneously improving practitioner understanding of the rules used to identify students as at-risk or not at-risk readers. An appendix provides detailed information on the study's data sources and methodology.
Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast. Available from: Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University, 2010 Levy Avenue Suite 100, Tallahassee, FL 32310. Tel: 850-644-9352; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 1; Grade 2
Audience: Parents; Teachers; Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast (ED); National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Stanford Achievement Tests
IES Funded: Yes
IES Cited: ED565632