College and Career Readiness Assessment: Validation of the Key Cognitive Strategies Framework

Allison R. Lombardi
David T. Conley
Mary A. Seburn
Andrew M. Downs, University of Portland

Assessment for Effective Intervention, 2012, Volume 38, Issue 3, 163–171.

© 2012 Hammill Institute on Disabilities

Linked version is the final published version.


In this study, the authors examined the psychometric properties of the key cognitive strategies (KCS) within the CollegeCareerReady™ School Diagnostic, a self-report measure of critical thinking skills intended for high school students. Using a cross-validation approach, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted with a randomly selected portion of the sample (n = 516) and resulted in five reliable factors: (a) problem formulation, (b) research, (c) interpretation, (d) communication, and (e) precision/accuracy. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted with the remaining sample (n = 808). Goodness-of-fit indices indicated acceptable model fit. The five-factor solution is consistent with earlier validity studies of the KCS framework. Implications for use by high school personnel in evaluation of instructional programs and as a value-added assessment are discussed.