SNAP vs. FSA: Competency-Based Numeracy Assessments Count

My colleagues Dr. Gerald Fussell and Dr. Chris Kennedy through their blogs have written extensively on their experience of working through our Doctor of Education program offered through the University of Kansas. I share their linked work in this post, and simply add that the program was excellent. The professors, my classmates, and content adapted to the British Columbian context made for engaging, relevant, thoughtful discussions and assignments. I successfully defended my dissertation on June 2nd and am motivated to continue to research and write on educational pedagogy and assessment.

My research and dissertation focused on numeracy assessment.  Specifically, I studied the relationships between SNAP (Student Numeracy Assessment & Practice), FSA Numeracy (Foundational Skills Assessment), FSA reading achievement, report card achievement, and student self-perceptions of mathematics efficacy. The title of my research is SNAP vs. FSA: Competency-Based Numeracy Assessments Count. A significant finding from my research is the identification of a strong connection between reading proficiency and FSA numeracy achievement – juxtaposed by the absence of a significant reading achievement connection to SNAP.

I have included the abstract from my dissertation below. If you are interested in a full copy of my research, it is available on ProQuest HERE.


This study examined the predictive qualities of a competency-based mathematics assessment relating to a traditional mathematics assessment. The competency-based assessment is a school district developed assessment called the Student Numeracy Assessment & Practice (SNAP). The traditional mathematics assessment is the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA), developed and provincially mandated by the British Columbia Ministry of Education. The study’s methodology examines the correlations between student achievement on SNAP and the FSA. The study controls for social economic status (SES), ethnicity, special education designation, and gender in the context of middle school learning in Chilliwack, British Columbia and answers the question: Does student achievement on the grade 6 SNAP predict achievement on the grade 7 numeracy FSA? Additional research questions consider the impact of independent variables (reading achievement, report card mathematics achievement, and mathematical student self-efficacy) on both the FSA and SNAP assessments.

This study’s methodological approach involved the correlation of student cohort achievement data limited to the 2018/19 cohort of year six (grade 6) students in the Chilliwack School District. The study followed this cohort’s achievement through completing the grade 7 FSA in the fall of 2019. There are 786 students represented in the sample size. 

The study showed a strong correlation r = .60 between SNAP and FSA. Additional findings included similar correlations between both assessments and classroom-based letter grades. Final findings included a strong correlation between FSA numeracy achievement and FSA reading achievement. Remarkably, this correlation was not evident between SNAP and FSA reading, indicating a striking difference between the two assessments. Identifying a competency-based numeracy assessment that does not have significant correlation to reading achievement is the most significant outcome of this study. 

Keywords: FSA, SNAP, ANIE, Numeracy Assessment, For, As and Of Learning, competency-based mathematics, reading

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