Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bracken Basic Concepts Scale

Bruce Bracken, author of a number of psychoeducational assessment instruments, provided a nice description of one of his instruments (The Bracken Basic Concept Scale) on the NASP listserv today (12-13-06).

I recall being an early fan of the BBCS in my later years as a practicing school psychologist. I thought the BBCS was a much more comprehensive and technically sound measures than the then "top dog" measure of children's basic concepts (The Boehm). In addition, as Bruce mentions in his post, it had the additional feature of being linked to an intervention program.

Bruce was responding to a NASP thread regarding the "utility of cognitive testing." I've decided to reproduce his post below. It is followed by the list of references I have in my private IAP electronic reference database.

Bruce Bracken wrote, on the NASP listserv on 12-13-06 (NOTE - blogmaster snipped one phrase):
  • An author's view - - part of the problem in considering the value of assessment is the dichotomizing of positions as right/wrong, good/bad, valid/invalid, and so on to promote a singular way of thinking. Assessment doesn't have to be dichotomized in such a manner. Before CBM, CBA, or RTI was bandied about, the Bracken Basic Concept Scale (1984) was published as a test designed to assess approximately 300 functional, teachable, relevant language concepts in a norm-referenced or criterion-referenced manner. In 1986 the Bracken Concept Development Program was published, which promoted the application of a test-teach-test model and a direct curriculum/assessment linkage (forerunner to CBM/CBA). The BBCS has been twice revised since the original edition and its multi-level functional assessment/intervention approach is equally relevant with an RTI model. BBCS content has been compared to the early childhood educational standards in all 50 states, and it exceeds the standards in every state (you may download the standards comparisons by copying and pasting the following URL: There are highly reliable, highly valid, educationally relevant, developmentally appropriate, functional norm-referenced tests available to school psychologists, but some critics choose the weakest examples to make their points rather than acknowledge meaningful advances being made in psychoeducational assessment.

Bracken, B. A., Kuehn-Howell, K., & Crain, R. M. (1993). Prediction of Caucasian and African-American preschool children's fluid and crystallized intelligence: Contributions of maternal characteristics and home environment. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 22 (4), 455-464.

Laughlin, T. (1995). The school readiness composite of the Bracken Basic Concept Scale as an intellectual screening instrument. Journal of Psychoducational Assessment, 13, 294-302.

Braden, J. P., Gottling, S. H., & Naglieri, J. A. (1993). Confirmatory factor analysis of the planning, attention, simultaneous, successive (PASS) cognitive processing model for a kindergarten sample. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 11, 259-269.

Mclntosh, D. E., Wayland, S. J., Gridley, B., & Barnes, L. L. B. (1995). The relationship between the Bracken Basic Concept Scale and the Differential Ability Scales with a preschool sample. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 13, 39-48.

McIntosh, D. E., Brown, M. L., & Ross, S. L. (1995). Relationship between the Bracken Basic Concept Scale and the Differential Ability Scales with an at-risk sample of preschoolers. Psychological Reports, 75, 219-224.

Bracken, B. A., & Howell, K. K. (1991). Ipsative subtest pattern stability of the Bracken Concept Scale and the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children in a preschool sample. School Psychology Review, 20(2), 315-330.

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