Essays academic service


A study on the comprehension of the preparation of school advocates in school availability

These changes in ESEA and IDEA legislation clearly provide opportunities for students to participate in quality core instruction in reading and mathematics designed to ensure that poor achievement is not a result of inappropriate or inadequate instruction. Thus, recent legislation has provided an alternative to reliance on a model based primarily on a severe discrepancy between achievement and ability in the learning disabilities identification and eligibility process.

Other legislative changes have influenced the assessment and evaluation process. These include provision for funding early intervening services as well as recognition of the importance of assistive technology, universal design for learning, and postsecondary transition to educational success for many students with disabilities, including learning disabilities.

IDEA also has led to other changes in educational practices. The emphasis on use of state standards for educational planning and participation in accountability systems for all students has led to increased use of inclusive practices.

  • Linking Evaluation With Instruction and Transition Data from the assessment and evaluation should guide both instruction and transition as appropriate;
  • Researchers and school district personnel should collaborate to establish and expand the longitudinal data bases to inform the field about optimal assessment protocols that are linked to student progress and outcomes.

In addition, goals for IEPs also are standards-based, and monitoring the progress toward these goals is often based on classroom formative and summative assessments. Several areas of research have influenced comprehensive assessment and evaluation components and processes. These focused on use of the discrepancy model, skills critical to reading success in the early grades, and development of a team-based problem-solving approach to assist students who are struggling academically.

More recent research has emerged in many areas, including, but not limited to, implementation of response-based problem-solving models in literacy, complexities of reading, noncognitive influences, brain function, genetics, and accountability measures. These advances in research show promise for further enhancing effective comprehensive assessment and evaluation of students with learning disabilities, as well as impacting future assessment and instruction processes.

Because research did not support the rigid application of the commonly used discrepancy formula as the sole criterion for determination of specific learning disabilities Fletcher et al. In the late 1990s, clinical research on critical beginning reading skills such as phonemic awareness, phonics, and explicit instruction e.

The call for a response-based problem-solving process has raised new questions about the role of RTI in a comprehensive assessment and evaluation process.

  • Data from an RTI process should be part of the analysis, synthesis, and recommendations used for evaluation, identification, eligibility, and program planning;
  • Integrate the standardized and informal data collected;
  • Important questions of the occurrence of other special learning needs along with learning disabilities also can be more clearly delineated with such assessment procedures;
  • Professional Development Ongoing education should occur for all professionals who are expected to participate in team decision making so they may consistently demonstrate the ability to partner with other professionals, families, and students in all phases of the assessment, evaluation, and program planning processes;
  • By comparing two assessment methods of reading comprehension of texts with receptive vocabulary in Elementary School children with typical development, this study provides an unprecedented contribution both to professionals inserted in the educational context and those who work in clinics in the area of reading and writing.

A growing body of research concerns specific aspects of the process, including frequency of monitoring; intervention fidelity and intensity; effects in scaled-up models; longitudinal results; cost effectiveness; and maintenance of change over time.

In mathematics, the specific language, cognitive processes, and academic skills, which may or may not be impaired in students with learning disabilities, are not as well developed as those in reading and writing Fletcher et al.

However, research is emerging on how mathematical computation and problem solving can be effectively integrated into an RTI or problem-solving process. Emerging reading research is providing new understanding about how specific complex reading components interact with language Fletcher et al. For example, the fluency component of reading is often narrowly defined as automatic, and therefore, rapid word recognition, but " there is a growing consensus that accuracy, automaticity, and [pitch, or] prosody all.

In a recent related study, Wanzek, Roberts, and Linan-Thompson 2010 compared oral reading fluency performance in primary grade students with third grade reading comprehension measured on both state and nationally normed tests.

However, students were more likely to show proficiency on state-normed than on nationally-normed tests, suggesting that students passing a state test may still be at risk for problems in reading achievement.

In contrast, literacy research has evolved beyond reading and writing to include how oral and written language interacts with cognitive processes within classroom, family, and community contexts.

A Decade of Change in Legislation, Research, and Education

The focus also has expanded to address literacy across the age-span from early and emerging literacy, to adolescent, adult, workforce, and lifelong literacy. Although assessment instruments are now translated into Spanish, Chinese, and other languages, particular care must be taken when assessing ELL students whose native language is not English. Recent research has begun to address the importance of understanding the interactive factors of language and literacy development in bilingual students Petrovic, 2010.

In addition to confirming the complexity of learning and literacy processes, research suggests the need for a variety of assessment instruments, tools, and procedures to determine if, when, and how such variables affect learning in students with learning disabilities, as well as ensuring that instructional approaches are selected that enhance noncognitive variables in students. New advances in medical research in areas such as brain function and genetics are also contributing to the understanding and identification of learning disabilities.

IDEA also has stimulated cutting-edge research on applying new statistical models to document changes in student proficiency more clearly than the model mandated by ESEA for determining accountability and adequate yearly progress AYP. There is particular interest in growth models that incorporate changes in achievement of individual students into statewide accountability data for calculation of AYP Goldschmidt et al.

Department of Education, 2008. The chosen pilot programs can vary in method and characteristics, but must meet nine specific required design characteristics. Careful examination of data from large scale pilot projects is intended to guide states with basic questions such as "How much growth is enough?

Growth in the number of students receiving special education services and who are identified as having disabilities remained relatively stable for a number of years 60 million in 1995 and 65 million in 2004.

Department of Education, 2009. Concomitantly, the number of students from "minority backgrounds" identified with intellectual disabilities, behavior disorders, and to a lesser degree, learning disabilities, has been found to be disproportionately represented in special programs Gamm, 2007.

The issue of disproportionality has led to increased attention to RTI and other approaches intended to reduce over identification. Given the increasing diversity of the population in the United States, educators and related service providers are becoming familiar with nonbiased assessment techniques, assessment tools that are available in different languages, and protocols for selecting assessment tools that include norms that are sensitive to cultural and linguistic differences.

Professionals also are becoming more aware of the need to be able to interpret assessment results for parents and families, as well as other professionals on the team. Professional development opportunities are available that include more training in multicultural issues and nonbiased assessments for school personnel. Increasing recruitment of professionals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds is another means of improving services for an increasingly diverse student population.

Guiding Principles for Comprehensive Assessment and Evaluation

Other educational practice trends have implications for appropriate comprehensive assessment and evaluation practices. These include the following: Increased access to and participation in the general education curriculum requires that assessment personnel and related service providers are familiar with academic achievement standards and a study on the comprehension of the preparation of school advocates in school availability. Increased emphasis on the use of instructionally linked assessments, such as the progress-monitoring data component of RTI and formative and summative classroom and school assessments, in addition to individualized standardized assessment measurement tools, means that team members must understand the nature, purpose, potential, and limitations of such data for instruction.

Increased understanding of how students learn and demonstrate their knowledge and skills has resulted in the development of evidence-based instructional strategies, techniques, and curricula, which may either prevent the need for eligibility determination or enhance instructional access following such determination. Increased attention to individual differences in learning has improved our understanding of how to individualize help for low achieving students.

Following the earlier work of many educators, recent practitioners e. Systematic standardized observations of emergent and struggling readers are used to map literacy growth. Areas such as oral language, concepts about print, phonemic awareness, vocabulary knowledge, reading text, reliance on semantic or syntactic clues in oral reading, and use of strategies in written expression are assessed and often also linked to or embedded in instruction e.

Thus, educators are more aware that group assessments are not sufficient to guide instruction, but must be supplemented by assessments that illuminate individual differences, including authentic learning materials observed in natural conditions. The age at which each student receiving special education services must have an individual transition plan ITP has changed from age 14 to age 16 years IDEA 2004.

Because states may retain the earlier required age for an ITP, or move to the later age, the timing of re-evaluations for students varies from state to state. The possibility of delaying ITP decisions until age 16 brings concerns about the usefulness of the assessment and evaluation processes. Delay in linking assessment to timely decisions about courses, curriculum, services, and postsecondary options also raises questions about the shorter planning time to support a successful transition from high school for each student.

The shift to the development of a summary of performance SOP for reporting student academic achievement and functional performance instead of the previously mandated re-evaluation means that school personnel need to be aware of their state's SOP requirements.

IDEA now mandates that the SOP include recommendations to assist the student in meeting individual postsecondary goals. Because the SOP must meet the needs of all students with disabilities, the format states adopt requires a breadth of academic and functional information that can reflect individual performance and recommendations for students with mild, moderate, and severe learning disabilities.

A provision of IDEA 2004 that discourages the use of a severe discrepancy between achievement and ability as a criterion for identification of students with learning disabilities has led to less reliance on a single data source. As a result, a broader range of measurement tools and data is used to inform assessment, evaluation, and eligibility processes. Important questions of the occurrence of other special learning needs along with learning disabilities also can be more clearly delineated with such assessment procedures.

Increased access to technological advances serves to simplify, streamline, and standardize data collection for assessment and data interpretation for evaluation. In some places, teachers are using technological devices to record and store progress-monitoring data. Computer software provides online achievement testing, automated interpretations of standardized test data, and banks of goals that can be incorporated into IEPs, individualized family service plans IFSPsand ITPs.

  1. Important questions of the occurrence of other special learning needs along with learning disabilities also can be more clearly delineated with such assessment procedures.
  2. Whenever RTI processes are considered for implementation in various states and localities, in academic and behavioral areas beyond reading, and at levels beyond the primary grades, it is also important to note that an effective RTI process can provide valuable, but not sufficient data for the comprehensive assessment and evaluation required to identify learning disabilities. Families and Advocates School district personnel should expand meaningful ways in which families and other advocates can be involved in the comprehensive assessment and evaluation of learning disabilities for their children.
  3. Learning disabilities vary in their manifestations depending on task demands and may include difficulties in language i. Increased attention to individual differences in learning has improved our understanding of how to individualize help for low achieving students.
  4. Computer software provides online achievement testing, automated interpretations of standardized test data, and banks of goals that can be incorporated into IEPs, individualized family service plans IFSPs , and ITPs.

Some teachers are using software to generate or select instructional objectives and activities that are correlated with state standards. However, teachers still need to individualize objectives based on a combination of evaluation reports, state-specific general education curriculum objectives, and the particular needs and interests of the student. In addition, use of principles of universal design for learning and accommodations using assistive technology are changing the landscape of both assessment instruments and instructional material options.

As noted by Phillips and Wong 2010"Having a set of common standards lays the groundwork for developing assessments aligned with those college-ready standards and for developing teaching tools that are aligned with both the standards and the assessments" p.

Guiding Principles for Comprehensive Assessment and Evaluation The NJCLD views adherence to the following guiding principles as vital to a comprehensive assessment and evaluation for students with learning disabilities: Assessment and evaluation are guided by a consistent understanding of learning disabilities that recognizes intra-individual differences, wide variation in severity, and the need for specialized instruction and accommodations to inform instruction.

No single data source is sufficient for identifying students with learning disabilities; this includes the data from any one quantitative formula such as a discrepancy between standardized ability and achievement scores. Professionals with expertise in learning disabilities are necessary to conduct a comprehensive assessment and evaluation system for students suspected of having learning disabilities.

These professionals from various disciplines make up a multidisciplinary team along with the family, and the student as appropriate. To make identification and eligibility decisions, the team must possess the range of competencies necessary for evaluation and identification.

Multidisciplinary teams that include the child's parents are expected to consider all aspects of a student's learning and behavior that assist or interfere with school performance.

Comprehensive Assessment and Evaluation of Students With Learning Disabilities

Following eligibility determination, the development of goals based on identified needs will lead to selection of appropriate services. Development of specialized instruction should be a collaborative process that ensures meaningful participation of families under the guidance and direction of a person designated as a team chair, case manager, service coordinator, or similar position.

Such a person should ensure that germane content from the evaluation is shared with and considered by all relevant parties for implementation. Comprehensive assessment measures, procedures, and practices are necessary to enable multidisciplinary teams to differentiate learning disabilities from underachievement and other types of learning and behavior problems. Underachievement is common among students with learning disabilities, but it is not synonymous with learning disabilities.

Multidisciplinary teams need the information, opportunity, and time to consider and integrate assessment findings in order to engage in a team evaluation that informs identification, eligibility, services, and instruction.

Multidisciplinary teams work to ensure that administrators and families recognize the benefit of an accurate diagnosis to inform instruction. Historically, NJCLD 2001a noted that, at times, families or teams may choose to select an eligibility category for purposes of special education identification that seems preferable to another eligibility category that may seem to be less desirable e.

  • Historically, NJCLD 2001a noted that, at times, families or teams may choose to select an eligibility category for purposes of special education identification that seems preferable to another eligibility category that may seem to be less desirable e;
  • Other educational practice trends have implications for appropriate comprehensive assessment and evaluation practices;
  • Administrative, teaching, and related service providers should be made aware of the potential impact of cultural and linguistic diversity on the selection, administration, and interpretation of assessment measures, as well as on identification, eligibility, and instructional processes.

Response to Intervention The shift from use of a discrepancy model to an RTI model is still in progress across the country. How RTI is used when determining whether a student has learning disabilities and in what ways to alter interventions when student responses are inadequate remain emerging areas of practice.

A key feature of an RTI process is the use of continuous progress monitoring in general education classrooms to provide frequent, brief, direct assessment of individual students NJCLD, 2005.

Typically, such intervention is in the area of reading and mathematics or behavior and includes criteria to indicate whether the student is making sufficient progress. Performance on such assessment tasks is intended to a study on the comprehension of the preparation of school advocates in school availability when academic or behavioral instruction should be provided in a smaller group, with greater intensity, using a different method, or if additional comprehensive assessment is indicated.

Although RTI data can provide useful information about specific early reading skills, it cannot be used as the sole basis for determining whether a student has learning disabilities. As indicated in the analysis of comments and changes that accompanied the IDEA 2004 regulations, an RTI process does not replace the need for a comprehensive evaluation.

A public agency must use a variety of data gathering tools and strategies even if an RTI process is used. The results of an RTI process may be one component of the information reviewed as part of the [required] evaluation procedures Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities and Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities; Final Rule, 2006, pp.

Whenever RTI processes are considered for implementation in various states and localities, in academic and behavioral areas beyond reading, and at levels beyond the primary grades, it is also important to note that an effective RTI process can provide valuable, but not sufficient data for the comprehensive assessment and evaluation required to identify learning disabilities.

Data from an RTI process should be part of the analysis, synthesis, and recommendations used for evaluation, identification, eligibility, and program planning. Instruments and Procedures for Comprehensive Assessment and Evaluation To obtain a comprehensive set of quantitative and qualitative data, accurate and useful information about an individual student's status and needs must be derived from a variety of assessment instruments and procedures including RTI data, if available.

A comprehensive assessment and evaluation should Use a valid and the most current version of any standardized assessment. Use multiple measures, including both standardized and nonstandardized assessments, and other data sources, such as case history and interviews with parents, educators, related professionals, and the student if appropriate ; evaluations and information provided by parents; direct observations that yield informal e.

Adhere to the accepted and recommended procedures for administration, scoring, and reporting of standardized measures. Express results that maximize comparability across measures i. Age or grade equivalents are not appropriate to report.