Style Selector
Layout Style
Boxed Background Patterns
Boxed Background Images
Color Scheme

Student Progress Monitoring

MTSS Progress Monitoring Assessments

Progress Monitoring (PM) is the ongoing process of evaluating student performance to assess the efficacy of the instruction provided. It ensures that each assessment, though different in form, maintains consistent difficulty to measure growth over time accurately.   An upward trend in student's scores is a positive indicator of progress. Implementing PM is crucial for several reasons:

  • Student Motivation: Regular feedback to students on their progress can encourage and drive engagement.


  • Skill Matching: A mismatch of which skills need to be instructed first may give you a false impression that the student is not progressing. Regular PM can help identify and correct this quickly.


  • Assessment Outcomes: The assessment outcomes must be measurable and easy to interpret.

MTSS Process

What are the Essentials of an Effective PM Assessment?

Progress Monitoring (PM) assessments are the heartbeat of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), designed to track student progress. The foundational requirements for an effective PM tool, as outlined by researchers, include:

  • Relevance to Instruction: The PM assessment should directly reflect what is being taught. For example, if phonemic awareness is taught by identifying initial sounds, then the PM should evaluate phonemic awareness using a similar method, not by assessing unrelated skills like rhyming. A mismatch may lead you to the false impression that the student is not making progressing.


  • Quantifiable Results: The outcomes of the assessment must be measurable and easy to interpret. For instance, if John correctly reads 22 words one week and 24 the next, this clear numerical increase provides straightforward data for teachers, parents, and students to comprehend.

  • Goal-Setting: It's important to have defined goals, both for the end of the year and for the rate of progress. These benchmarks allow for the evaluation of student advancement in comparison to set expectations. 


  • Technically Sound:   Assessments must be reliable and valid.  A special requirement for PM assessments is that increases in the score should be a direct reflection of an increase in learning the skill being instructed.

The iSTEEP Approach to Progress Monitoring

iSTEEP offers a comprehensive range of Progress Monitoring (PM) assessments designed to seamlessly align with your instructional content. Our approach includes:

  • Extensive Assessment Options: A vast selection of PM assessments ensures you can find the perfect match for your teaching focus, facilitating accurate monitoring of student progress.
  • Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM):  We utilize CBM, recognized as the gold standard in MTSS progress monitoring, to provide reliable and valid assessments of student performance. CBM is essential for the effective implementation of the Science of Reading, particularly for precise measurement of the "Big 5" reading skills.
  • Multiple Equivalent Forms: For each skill area, we offer multiple equivalent forms, enabling consistent and fair assessment of student progress over time.
  • Intuitive Analysis and Reporting: Our system automatically analyzes each PM data point, offering clear, actionable recommendations and highlighting any necessary instructional adjustments on our user-friendly PM dashboard.

With iSTEEP, you get insights and guidance to support your educational objectives and student success goals.

Reading and Math

Early Literacy

CVC Sounds

Deleting Initial Sounds
Initial Sound Fluency
Letter Naming
Letter Sounds
Letter Sounds and Blends
Nonsense Word Fluency - CLS
Nonsense Word Fluency - WWR
Onset Rime
Sight Words
Vowel Teams and Diphthongs


Oral Reading Fluency
Reading Maze
Advanced Vocabulary
Advanced Inferencing

Early Numeracy

Number Naming
Compare Numbers to 100
Count to 30


Sums to 10
Sub to 10
Sums to 20
Sub to 20
Sums to 100, no regrouping
Sub to 100, no regrouping
Sums to 100, w/regrouping
Sub to 100, w/regrouping
Multiplication to 100
Division Facts to 100
Multiplication and Division Facts to 100
Multiply 2 x 2 Digits
Division Multidigit
Add/Subtract Fractions with Like Denominators
Add/Subtract Fractions with Unlike Denominators
Multiply/Divide Fractions
Decimal Operations
Signed Integers
Foundational Math Concepts
Math Reasoning and Applications


Immediate Reporting and Feedback to

Evaluate How Students Are Doing!

Easy to Interpret Reporting

Progress monitoring graphs are easy to interpret to determine where students are versus the goals that have been set for them!  Know which students are doing well and which students need attention,

Progress intervals are flexible and can be completed weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Why are CBM Assessments Preferred over
Computer Adaptive Assessment?




The goal in using progress monitoring is to give brief assessments frequently in order to see if the student is making progress.  The original tenets of progress monitoring included four basic principles which still hold true in comparing CBM to computer adaptive assessment (CAA).


Progress monitoring is the heart of MTSS.  While several tools exist, Curriculum-Based Measures (CBMs) stand out for their alignment with the core principles of progress monitoring.  By delving into these foundational principles, we see why CBMs hold an edge over CAAs within the MTSS framework.


This improvement is completely transparent, with no AI or statistics, just pure, clear, unadulterated student improvement.

Brief: CBM assessments are brief with most requiring only 1-minute.  Adaptive assessments can take up to an hour, limiting assessment frequency and potentially delaying intervention adjustments.

Repeatable: CBM assessments can be repeated daily, weekly, or whenever needed.  This is important so you can quickly detect when students are progressing and make changes if needed.  Most CAA's are limited to 3 uses per year, hindering tracking of progress and adaptation of interventions.

Equivalent in Difficulty: CBMs have multiple equivalent forms, ensuring students get the same difficulty level each time.  CAA's content typically change from one testing occasion to another.  No student gets the same assessment twice and no two students get the same assessment twice.  The quoting of progress scores is done with "statistics" and maybe AI based on what "average" students do.  With CBM, if a student gets a score of 10 this week and a score of 12 next week, there is a 2 point improvement.  

Aligned to What is Being Taught: CBMs focus on single, specific skills directly linked to current instruction.  CAAs often assess a mix of skills within a single assessment, making it difficult to know if there is progress on the skill being taught.

In summary, CBMs:

Match Your Instruction:

Assess exactly what you're teaching, no distractions.





Track Progress Directly:

See clear improvement or identify areas for targeted support.




Motivate Students:

Celebrate their progress in specific skills, boosting confidence and engagement.





Effective progress monitoring is about guiding, not guessing.  CBMs provide the laser focus you need to ensure your instruction hits the mark and every student reaches their full potential.