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The psychometric quality of the Preschool Child Observation Record: Does it pass the test for use in Head Start?

The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychometric quality of the second-most widely-used assessment in Head Start--the Preschool Child Observation Record (COR-2). Despite its widespread use, there are no published studies on the psychometric quality of the COR-2. This research conducted a comprehensive investigation into the validity of the COR-2 using data from all children in an urban Mid-Atlantic school district's Head Start program. Confirmatory factor analysis did not confirm the fit of the developer-defined six categories to the data. Although exploratory analyses revealed a four-factor solution, subsequent analyses did not support its internal structure. The four factors were highly correlated and when transformed to an orthogonalized higher-order model these factors accounted for little variance compared to the second-order factor. In addition, IRT modeling was used to determine whether there was empirical support for the 5-point response scale of each item representing an appropriately sequenced and comparably-spaced set of skill points. Results revealed that nearly half of the COR-2 items had reversed or poorly-spaced thresholds indicating problems with these items' functioning. Validity evidence based on the content and response process derived from printed materials and interviews identified where the COR-2 is in its development and point to opportunities for future research. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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