Development and validation of the academic competence evaluation scales

James Clyde DiPerna, Stephen N. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to clarify the construct of academic competence and develop a valid teacher rating instrument to assess this construct. A 95-item pilot scale, the Academic Competence Evaluation Scales (ACES), was developed to assess the theoretical components (i.e., academic skills, study skills, academic motivation, interpersonal skills, and academic self-concept) hypothesized to contribute to the construct of academic competence. The ACES was administered to 56 teachers who rated 300 students in Grades 1 through 6. To explore convergent and discriminant validity, 13 teachers completed ratings of social skills, problem behaviors, and academic competence (as measured by the Social Skills Rating System; SSRS) for 60 students. In addition, 32 students completed the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), a popular measure of academic achievement. Teacher feedback, item Importance ratings, item-ITBS correlations, and the results of an exploratory factor analysis were used to eliminate 35 items from the pilot scale. The resulting 60-item version of the ACES consists of five related scales: Academic Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Academic Motivation, Participation, and Study Skills. Internal consistency (median α = .95) and test-retest stability (median r = .83) were high for the ACES, and correlational analyses indicated that scores from the ACES are valid indicators of student academic competence. Implications for using the ACES are discussed, and suggestions are offered for research necessary to advance the development of the ACES as a reliable and valid clinical tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-225
Number of pages19
JournalSchool Effectiveness and School Improvement
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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