The utility of kindergarten teacher ratings for predicting low academic achievement in first grade

James T. Teisl, Michèle M.M. Mazzocco, Gwen F. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess the predictive value of kindergarten teachers' ratings of pupils for later first-grade academic achievement. Kindergarten students were rated by their teachers on a variety of variables, including math and reading performance, teacher concerns, and amount of learning relative to peers. These variables were then analyzed with respect to outcome measures for math and reading ability administered in the first grade. The teachers' ratings of academic performance were significantly correlated with scores on the outcome measures. Analyses were also carried out to determine sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the different teacher ratings. The results indicated high overall accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value for the ratings. Positive predictive value tended to be lower. A recommendation to follow from these results is that teacher ratings of this sort be used to determine which children should receive cognitive screening measures to further enhance identification of children at risk for learning disability. However, this recommendation is limited by the lack of empirically supported screening measures for math disability versus well-supported screening tools for reading disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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