The Algebra Readiness Progress Monitoring System is a formative assessment administered to students in Grades 6-8 for the purpose of providing data that a teacher can use to monitor students' development of algebra readiness knowledge and skills.


Imagination Station



Principal Investigator

Dr. Leanne Ketterlin Geller


A strong foundation in algebra readiness skills is essential for success in algebra. These skills include discriminating between different representations of number (e.g., fractions, decimals, and percentages), utilizing number properties (e.g., commutative, associative, and distributive properties) and proportional reasoning (e.g., parts of wholes and percents of wholes). As such, when teachers are supporting students with these concepts they need access to timely data to determine if students are making adequate progress.

Researchers developed 20 parallel forms for each of three subtests (Proportional Reasoning,Quantity Discrimination, and Number Properties) at each grade level (Grades 6-8). These three subtests were determined in previous research by Ketterlin-Geller, Gifford, and Shivraj (2015). The system is designed for a students to be administered all three subtests for their grade level frequently. The three subtests together take 6 minutes to administer. The twenty parallel forms allow for a teacher to give the assessment weekly. If a teacher is expecting progress to be made frequently based on the focus of instruction and/or intervention.


RME researchers classified the algebra readiness knowledge and skills to be assessed by grade level (Grades 6-8) utilizing the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL), and Common Core State Standards (CCSS-M). Using this information as a blueprint, the researchers ensured that the proposed distribution is representative of the data a teacher could utilize effectively in decision-making about students' adequate progress on instructional goals for algebra readiness.

The blueprint served as a tool for item development. Item development occurred in three phases: exemplar items development and pilot testing, followed by parallel item development. Thirty-five exemplar items were developed for each of the 3 subtests and 3 grade levels. This process begins with an item template, which supports the parallel item development in phase 2. Mathematics education experts review and revise the items prior to pilot testing. Pilot testing narrows the number of items that continue to the parallel item development phase, resulting in thirty items per subtest per grade level.

Phase 2 consists of re-engaging the exemplar item designers to write the parallel items using the constraints on the item template. After development, researchers reviewed all items to ensure the items meet the pre-determined criteria. If not, the designer revises the item.


The ARPM system is a tool that can be administered to support instructional decision-making in middle school preparation for algebra readiness. The system is designed for a student to receive administration of all three subtests for their grade level frequently. The 3 subtests together take 6 minutes to administer. The twenty parallel forms allow for a teacher to give the assessment weekly, depending on frequency of expected progress based on instruction and/or intervention. The system is available within the suite of Istation tools to support teachers.


American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education. (2014). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Geary, D. C., Boykin, A. W., Embretson, S., Reyna, V., Siegler, R., Berch, D. B., & Graban, J. (2008). Chapter 4: Report of the task group on learning processes. Retrieved from http:// www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/report/learning- processes.pdf

Kelley, B., Hosp, J. L., & Howell, K. W. (2008). Curriculum-based evaluation and math: An overview. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 33, 250-256.

Ketterlin-Geller, L. R., Gifford, D. B., & Perry, L. (2015). Measuring middle school students’ algebra readiness: Examining validity evidence for three experimental measures. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 41(1), 28-40.