Children attending rural schools start kindergarten with lower mathematics achievement than their peers in urban schools and the gap increases during the later academic years. A valid theory and research-based measure is needed to identify the weakness of kindergarteners attending rural schools, so early interventions in mathematics can be designed. The purposes of this study are to: (1) validate a Research-Based Early Math Assessment (REMA) among 249 first-time kindergarteners attending rural schools using the Rasch model (Rasch, 1980); and (2) use the Rasch estimated ability scores to investigate differences in rural kindergarteners’ performance on the REMA across several subgroups (gender, ethnicity, poverty, guardian's education, preschool attendance, and age). Findings showed that the REMA items fit within the mathematics competence of kindergarteners attending rural schools. Further, findings indicated that ethnicity, poverty, guardian's education, preschool attendance, and age are factors affecting rural kindergarteners’ ability to perform on the REMA.
- Rasch analysis
- Research-based early math assessment
- Rural schools
ASJC Scopus subject areas