Striving for College and Career Readiness for All Students with Disabilities

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Striving for College and Career Readiness for All Students with Disabilities. Martha Thurlow March 17, 2014. Topics for Today. Background New Assessments S marter Balanced Approach for Students with Disabilities What Needs to Happen to Instruction and Educator Training? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Monitoring Accommodations for Instruction and AssessmentStriving for College and Career Readiness for All Students with DisabilitiesMartha ThurlowMarch 17, 20141BackgroundNew AssessmentsSmarter Balanced Approach for Students with DisabilitiesWhat Needs to Happen to Instruction and Educator Training?What Needs to Happen to Policy?2Topics for TodayThere are several topics to cover in thinking about how to ensure that all students with disabilities have the opportunity to strive to be college and career ready by the time that they leave school. I will start with a bit of background, with a short piece of history (to remind us of where we have been), and some highlights about the population of students receiving special education services. Following this, I will highlight the new assessments that are under development across the nation, specifically focusing in on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the consortium to which California belongs and the one in which most students with disabilities in California will be participating.Assessment, of course, is just a window to what is happening instructionally for students. So, I will talk a bit about what might need to happen in instruction and educator training to ensure that students with disabilities do reach college and career readiness, and show their improved performance on assessments. I will also make a few suggestions about what might need to happen to policy to support college and career readiness for students with disabilities.2Background3I have been working on various aspects of the education of students who receive special education services for more than 4 decades now. I think that it does help to put things in a long range perspective and remember where we have come from.3Just 2 Decades Ago 4Most states did not include students with disabilities in their assessment systemsStudents with disabilities (all disabilities) were held to different expectations we worked hard to make sure that they felt good about themselves, but we did not necessarily attend to their academic needsLittle thought was given to accommodations that students might need in instruction to access the curriculum, much less how to use universal design principles for instruction and assessmentIt was not all that long ago when things were pretty different from what they are now.When I started to look at the inclusion of students with disabilities in assessment systems, things were very different.It was just about 25 years ago that most states did not include their students with disabilities in their assessment systems. And, all too often, students with disabilities all kinds of disabilities were held to different expectations from the expectations held for their peers. All too often, parents and educators were more focused on making sure that students felt good about themselves. We changed the courses that they had to take, and often required them to learn less than other students. All too often, critical knowledge and skills for the future grades were skipped in previous grades, causing students to fall farther and farther behind their peers. Accommodations, other than for sensory and physical disabilities, were not thought about a lot. I can remember when first talking about accommodations for assessments, and had noted that they should be consistent with what the student was using in the classroomteachers were raising their hands or coming up to me afterward to ask about accommodations for instruction what were they? How did they know what they should provide? There was no talk about universal design principles and their application to either instruction or assessment.45History Changes in the Population of Students with DisabilitiesCalifornia10.6%I think that it also helps in our discussion to put a bit of perspective on the students about whom we are talking. Students who receive special education services have grown in number and percentage of the student population over the years.This chart, which shows national data, goes back to 1990. It shows the fairly steady growth in the percentage of students with IEPs in the nation. The national average in 2011 was about 13%.The chart also shows Californias percentage of 10.6%, which is from fall 2012.56CA Categories of Disability (2012) Note: Multiple disability (0.9%), visual impairment (0.6%), traumatic brain injury (0.2%) and deaf-blindness (0.0%) are not shown because they account for less than 1%.From CA Dept of Ed Data QuestCategories of disability give some indication of the characteristics and needs of students receiving special education services. This chart shows the primary categories of students with disabilities receiving special education services in California.Similar to the U.S., specific learning disabilities are most frequent; the national average for the U.S. is 40%.Speech language impairments are next, accounting for just under 25% of students with disabilities in California. These students account for about 19% of students with disabilities in the U.S.The next category Autism, at about 12% is more prevalent in California than in the U.S., where the percentage is about 7%.Other health impairments is the next most frequent category, after speech/language impairments, in the U.S., but it ranks after Autism in California (where the percentage is about 9%).This differences may reflect differences in diagnosis procedures or differences in parental pressures. Regardless, it is helpful, I think, to have a sense of the distribution of categories when thinking about instruction and assessment.67History Placement of Students with DisabilitiesCalifornia*55.3%21.4%23.3%*California data from data.govAn important indicator of what is happening for students with disabilities who receive special education services is the amount of time spent in general classes. The percentage data for California shown here are based only on those students who spend SOME time in the general classroom. Students in residential placements or who are home schooled, are not included.As indicated in this chart, there has been a steady national increase in the percentage of students with disabilities spending 80% or more of their time in general classrooms, accompanied by steady decreases in students who spend less than 40% or between 40% and 79%. I do not have similar trend data for students in California, but in 2012, California looked pretty much like the nation just a little bit lower percentage spending 80% or more time in the general classroom, and a slightly greater percentage spending less than 40% time in the general classroom.782010-2011 Participation in Reading Assessments (Gr 8)CaliforniaThis graph, based on APR data, shows the rates of participaton in general/regular assessments, alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS), alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) (for those states that have them), and alternate assessments based on grade-level achievement standards (AA-GLAS) (for the one state that reported data on that type of assessment). California is on the right side of this graph. In 2010-11 (the most recent data I had), in California only 43.60% of students with disabilities with IEPs participated in the general assessment; 8.99% participate in the AA-AAS, and 44.6% participate in the AA-MAS. Only two states have a smaller percentage of students with disabilities in the general assessment (Ohio and Oklahoma). 8992010-2011 Participation in Math Assessments (Gr 8)CaliforniaIn this graph, based on APR data, California looks a bit different when we look at mathematics assessments. Here, California has about 75% of its students with disabilities in the general assessment, about 9% in the AA-AAS, and about 10% in the AA-MAS. One might ask what is going on does this reflect differences in the nature of disabilities, or differences in instructional focus?This is the last data chart that I will present, but I think that looking at the data for California much more data than I have highlighted here is a critical part of beginning to determine what needs to be addressed in policy and practice. The National Center on Learning Disabilities is good at looking at these types of data for students with LD. The kinds of information that NCLD highlights provide a nice roadmap for the kinds of questions that could be asked of data about California students who receive special education services.It is worth noting that the data available nationally right now are not very good. is gone, replaced by The data are difficult to pull. So, using your own data is really important here.910New AssessmentsMany states, like California, are facing new assessments. My hope here is to highlight some of what is going on in the consortia that has implications for students with disabilities.1011Six Assessment ConsortiaRace-to-the-Top Regular Assessment ConsortiaPartnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced)**GSEG Alternate Assessment ConsortiaDynamic Learning Maps (DLM)National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC)*ELP Assessment ConsortiumASSETS: Assessment Services Supporting ELs through Technology SystemsELPA21: English Language Proficiency for the 21st Century** California belongs to this consortium* California is in Tier II of this consortiumThe Race to the Top Assessment Consortia are on most peoples minds, but there are actually six federally-funded consortia two for the general assessment (these are the Race to the Top ones), two for an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (these are funded through the Office of Special Education Programs OSEP) General Supervision Enhancement Grants - GSEG), and two English language proficiency (ELP) assessment consortia (these are funded through Enhanced Assessment Grant funds). At this time, California is a very active member of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. It is a Tier II states for the NCSC alternate assessment consortium.If you are interested in what other consortia are doing, the ETS K-12 Center publishes a summary every year (see for the most recent one)1112Smarter Balanced Must Include All Students with Disabilities Except Those Who Participate in the AA-AAS (California Alternate Performance Assessment - CAPA)No Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS) the California Modified Assessment (CMA)Because of U.S. Department of Education Flexibility Waiver requirements and because of a regulation that is being rescinded, there will no longer be alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards. In California, this means that the California Modified Assessment can no longer be used as an accountability assessment starting 2014-15.The result is that all students with disabilities in California will participate in either the general assessment or the alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA), or if California adopts the NCSC assessment, then the NCSC alternate assessment.Because the definition of students with significant cognitive disabilities is pretty concisely defined, this means that all students who do not qualify as having a significant cognitive disability will be in the general assessment the Smarter Balanced assessment.NCEO held a conference in February to support states in developing a transition plan for the move away from the AA-MAS. The presentations from this conference were videotaped, and are available, along with the ppts, on the NCEO website ( Each state in attendance, including California, started to develop its own action plan for the change in assessments.1213AA-AAS Consortia Participation: Three Basic CriteriaThe student has a significant cognitive disability.Review of student records indicate a disability or multiple disabilities that significantly impact intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior essential for someone to live independently and to function safely in daily life.The student is learning content linked to (derived from) the Common Core State StandardsGoals and instruction listed in the IEP for this student are linked to the enrolled grade-level CCSS and address knowledge and skills that are appropriate and challenging for this student.The two alternate assessment consortia have pretty much agreed on the participation criteria for students to participate in the alternate assessment. The first criterion defines that a significant cognitive disability is based on a review of student records, and that those records indicate that the student has a disability or multiple disabilities that significantly impact intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior essential for someone to live independently and to function safely in daily life.The second criterion reinforces the notion that students are to be learning content that is linked to the Common Core State Standards. Specifically, this criterion indicates that the goals for instruction listed in the IEP for the student are linked to the enrolled grade-level CCSS and address knowledge and skills that are appropriate and challenging for this student.1314AA-AAS Consortia Participation: Three Basic CriteriaThe student requires extensive direct individualized instruction and substantial supports to achieve measurable gains in the grade and age-appropriate curriculum.The student (a) requires extensive, repeated, individualized instruction and support that is not of a temporary or transient nature, and (b) uses substantially adapted materials and individualized methods of accessing information in alternative ways to acquire, maintain, generalize, demonstrate and transfer skills across multiple settings.The third criterion for participation in the alternate assessment clarifies the individualized nature of the students disabilities and the need for direct individualized instruction and substantial supports for the student to achieve measurable gains in the grade and age-appropriate curriculum.Specifically, this criterion notes (a) that the student requires extensive, repeated, individualized instruction and support that is not of a temporary or transient nature; and (b) that the student uses substantially adapted materials and individualized methods of accessing information in alternative ways to acquire, maintain, generalize, demonstrate and transfer skills across multiple settings.I noted that the two consortia have pretty much agreed on the participation criteria. To clarify, all of the NCSC states and all but one of the DLM states have agreed to the position that these criteria are pervasive across content areas a student must be considered to have a significant cognitive disability in both content areas to participate in the AA-AAS.1415Smarter Balanced Approach for Students with Disabilities Because California belongs to Smarter Balanced, it is important to know how this assessment system is addressing the needs of students with disabilities.I will attempt to do this briefly, and then direct you all to many resources that have been developed for Smarter Balanced states, including California.1516Use of Individual Student Accessible Assessment Profile (ISAAP), or similar local process, as the avenue to ensure individualized accessibilityNew terminology about accessibility and accommodations universal tools, designated supports, and accommodationsSmarter Balanced Approach to Accessibility and AccommodationsSmarter Balanced developed a set of Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines to provide an overview of its approach to accessibility and accommodations for students with disabilities as well as those who are English Language Learners (ELLs), including those who are ELLs with disabilities.This document notes that Smarter Balanced will use an approach that ensures individualized accessibility. This is done through what it has called an Individual Student Accessible Assessment Profile (ISAAP) or a similar local process.Smarter Balanced also uses new terminology to describe the array of approaches to accessibility and accommodations the terms are:Universal Tools these are available to all students without any documentationDesignated Supports these are available to all students, provided that an adult had indicated the need for the individual studentAccommodations these are available only to students with IEPs or 504 plans1617This graphic shows the three levels of accessibility that Smarter Balanced is using. Besides the three levels, in this graphic you see that Smarter Balanced has also distinguished between Embedded and Non-embedded forms of each type of accessibility feature. This is because the assessment is technology based. Still, it is recognized that for some students, features external to the computer may be needed.One thing to note, I believe, is that Smarter Balanced made a concerted effort to move as much as possible out of the accommodations category, so that the assessment is generally more accessible to all students. The reason that it did not identify accommodations for ELLs is because all of those things that might have previously been called accommodations are now considered to be either Universal Tools (e.g., English Glossary) or Designated Supports (e.g., Translated Test Directions, Translations-Glossary, Translations-Stacked).Next, I will highlight each of these categories and the features that appear in each.1718Universal Tools(For All Students)Embedded: Breaks, Calculator, Digital Notepad, English Dictionary, English Glossary, Expandable Passages, Global Notes, Highlighter, Keyboard Navigation, Mark for Review, Math Tools, Spell Check, Strikethrough, Writing Tools, ZoomNon-Embedded: Breaks, English Dictionary, Scratch Paper, ThesaurusRecall that Universal Tools are available to all students, not just those with a disability or those who are learning English.This slide shows both those Universal Tools that are embedded within the technology platform and those that are not embedded.1819Designated Supports(For All Students with Documentation)Embedded: Color Contrast, Masking, Text-to-Speech, Translated Test Directions, Translations (Glossary), Translations (Stacked), Turn Off Any Universal ToolsNon-Embedded: Bilingual Dictionary, Color Contrast, Color Overlay, Magnification, Read Aloud, Scribe, Separate Setting, Translations (Glossary)Recall that Designated Supports are available to all students, as long as an adult has indicated the need for one or more of them.This slide shows both those designated supports that are embedded within the technology platform and those that are not embedded.1920Accommodations(For Students with Disabilities)Embedded: American Sign Language, Braille, Closed Captioning, Text-to-SpeechNon-Embedded: Abacus, Alternate Response Options, Calculator, Multiplication Table, Print on Demand, Read Aloud, Scribe, Speech-to-TextRecall that Accommodations are available only to students with disabilities those with either an IEP or a 504 plan. This slide shows both those accommodations that are embedded within the technology platform and those that are not embedded.2021Supports for Implementation . . . Practice and Pilot Tests (with accessibility features)Sample Items and Performance TasksFrequently Asked Questions (for Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines)Webinars on Accessibility and AccommodationsImplementation Guide for Usability, Accessibility, and AccommodationsSmarter Balanced has worked to provide lots of supports for the implementation of its usability, accessibility, and accommodations guidelines. This slide lists some of them. Smarter Balanced has also posted a crosswalk of instructional and assessment practices, and guidelines for scribes and test readers.From Smarter Balanced Practice and Pilot Tests Webpage: Accessible for All StudentsThe Smarter Balanced Assessment System will provide accurate measures of achievement and growth for students with disabilities and English language learners. A variety of accessibility tools and accommodations are being developed to ensure that the assessments meet the needs of all students. The Practice Tests include an initial set of accessibility features that will be available to all students in the final assessment system, such as highlighting text, zooming in and out, marking items for review, notepad, and scratch paper. Several accommodations are available in the Practice Tests for selected grades and subjects.English Language Arts/literacy Mathematics: Text to Speech (items only) Grades 3-8, 11; Braille Grades 3-8, 11; Customized pop-up Spanish glossary (mathematics only) Grades 3-8, 11By fall 2013, the Practice Tests will feature videos of human signers using American Sign Language (for ELA/literacy listening items and mathematics only) for all grades. Additional accessibility and accommodation features are planned for the Field Test in 2014 and operational test in 2015.From Smarter Balanced Sample Items and Performance Tasks Webpage: Accessibility and AccommodationsSmarter Balanced assessments will provide valid, fair, and reliable measures of achievement and growth for English language learners and students with disabilities. Working with member states, educators, and experts in the field, the Consortium is developing a variety of accessibility tools and accommodations options to allow virtually all students to demonstrate what they know and can do.The sample items do not display the full array of accessibility and accommodations features that will be included in the operational assessment systemincluding tools to address visual, auditory, and physical access barriers, as well as the unique needs of English language learners. Over the next several monthsguided by the ConsortiumsAccessibilityand Accommodations Work Groupandadvisory committeesfor English language learners and students with disabilitiesSmarter Balanced will finalize the accessibility tools and accommodations options available through the test interface.For more information: Visit thesupport for under-represented studentswebpage; DownloadtheAccessibility and Accommodations Factsheet2122What Needs to Happen to Instruction and Educator Training?Clearly there is a lot that is changing as California moves into new assessment systems (as well as new standards). Much of what is happening puts additional burdens on instruction and training of educators. In identifying some needs in these areas, I have relied heavily on the work of others.2223Some Basics..Standards-based IEPsAccommodations during instruction (and assessment)Grade-level instruction and strategies for scaffolding to itSome of the first things that I think of are ensuring that policies are consistent withA focus on standards-based IEPs even though the requirement for standards-based IEPs came from the 2007 regulation that allowed for the use of AA-MAS, educators have found them to be extremely valuable when done correctly. The requirement for these goes away with the rescinding of the regulation, although OSEP may develop a memorandum encouraging their use. Some states have added the requirement to their policies.An emphasis on good accommodations decision making and practicesSupports for grade-level instruction and strategies for scaffolding to it.I will say a bit more about each of these.2324Standards-Based IEPsWhere is the student with respect to standards for enrolled grade?Which standards warrant attention?What goals are needed to designate the necessary learning the specially designed instruction that will lead the students program toward achievement of standards?Source: Project Forum at NASDSE, 2010Ahearn, E. M. (2010). Standards-based IEP: Implementation update. Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Project Forum. I pulled information from a document developed at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. In relation to Standards-based IEP, it asks the questions noted hereFirst, assess where the student is in relation to the standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled.Next, identify the standards that warrant attention for the students not every standard is relevant for every students IEPFinally, the last point is about targeting the goals that are needed in the IEP to designate the specially designed instruction that the student needs to move the student toward the achievement of the targeted standards.2425General CurriculumStandardsTransition SkillsAccess SkillsStandards-based, not Standards-bound.The IEP is the boundary, not the standardsSource: Jim Shriner, U of IllinoisStandards-Based IEPsShriner, J. G., Carty, S. J., Rose, C. A., Shogren, K. A., Kim, M., & Trach, J. S. (2013). Effects of using a web-based Individualized Education Program decision-making tutorial. Journal of Special Education, 47, 175-185.Jim Shriner has a project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences IES that is looking at standards-based IEPs training teachers to develop them, and then assessing the effects of student progress and achievement.This slide is one of his. It emphasizes that standards-based IEPs are to be BASED on standards, and not standards-bound, meaning that the IEP does not simply include a list of all the standards for the students grade. In addition the IEP is not limited to things that are found in the standards for the grade. In other words, there are likely goals that need to be include that reflect various access skills (such as study strategies, or perhaps decoding skills even though the standards for the students grade are not about decoding) and various transition skills (to ensure that the student is moving toward a successful exit from school). 2526What standards? (CCSS +)Not all standards are equalMatch to needs/deficit areasMatch to Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)Standards-Based IEPsSource: Jim Shriner, U of IllinoisSo, according to Dr. Shriner, it is important to remember these points:Identify the important standards which standards need to be reflected on the IEP goals may relate to the Common Core State Standards, but to other things as well.Remember that not all standards are equal. Some can be considered priority standards for a given student. It is critical to be able to identify those standards that are critical to address so that the student does not end up missing critical skills for the next grade or grades after the next grade.There needs to be careful matching of needs and deficit areas to the standards that are reflected in IEP goals. If a student has already mastered skills related to a standard, that standard should not be reflected in the IEP.Finally, the identification of Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance remains very important goals need to be matched to where the student is presently. Dr. Shriner noted that problems with these statements and their connection to goals in the IEP have been a major source of complaints.2627PLAAFP Structure/ElementsSource: Jim Shriner, U of IllinoisEtscheidt, S. & Curran, C. M. (2010). Peer-reviewed research and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs): An examination of intent and impact. Exceptionality, 18, 138-150.Dr. Shriner pulled this information to emphasize his focus on the PLAAFP. He indicated in a recent presentation that most concerns about IEPs reflected the lack of reflection of these important elements of the PLAAFP statements things like:Based on there is a need to include a summary of the assessment data and the observational information upon which a students needs/identified deficit areas are based. His example states: Based on the district progress monitoring tests in reading comprehension, review of the students state assessment results, and feedback from content area teachers, the student, and her parents.Identification of the students difficulty there is a need to identify the academic or behavioral skills that the student is not currently demonstrating or that need significant improvement. His example states: the student has difficulty with recognizing the organization and sequencing of facts and concepts in a testA statement that indicates how the students difficulty hinders the students ability to do something. His example states which hinders the students ability to comprehend multiple forms of text in content area materials and assignments (particularly science and social studies)..And finally, how this relates to needed instruction skills that will be addressed with specially designed instruction through special education services. His example states This makes teaching of strategies for identifying the organization and categorization of text and other reading comprehension strategies an instructional priority.2728Accommodations (During Instruction)Accommodations mediate the impact of students characteristics to:Support learning of the contentReduce construct irrelevant varianceAssumes an accurate alignment between students needs and access barriers that need to be mediated [Good decision-making is essential]Source: Leanne Ketterlin-Geller, Southern Methodist UniversityAccommodations are an important aspect of ensuring access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities. I have pulled information from Leanne Ketterlin-Geller here. The points that she makes get to the knotty issue of decision making. This is an area where we still struggle. There are still too many examples of IEP teams selecting all possible accommodations for a student, regardless of the students special characteristics and needs.Dr. Ketterlin-Geller specifically focuses on the role of accommodations these are changes that mediate the impact of a students characteristics and needs in a way that support the students learning of the content and that reduce the construct irrelevant variance that surround specific content to be learned. During instruction, there must be an accurate alignment between the students needs and the access barriers that need to be mediated. This is what good decision making is about. And, it isnt easy apparently because there is so much evidence that it does not seem to be happening for many students.2829Accommodations (During Instruction)Check out resources for decision makers, such as:Because of the many challenges, there has been a focus on developing resources to help teachers and other decision makers. I have highlighted two here that we have worked on at NCEO.The example on the left is a training module developed in collaboration with the state of Alabama, but general in content so that it works in any state. It takes the trainee through five topics (a) Thinking about student characteristics, (b) Linking student needs to accommodations decisions, (c) Instructional accommodations, (d) Assessment accommodations, and (e) Monitoring and evaluation. The training modules include several excellent video clips, as well as forms and tools for the trainee. Link: second example, on the right, is another training module developed through an Enhanced Assessment Grant. It focuses on English language learners who have disabilities. It takes the trainee through five topics (a) the essentials (background information), (b) the students, (c) participation decision making, (d) accommodations decision making, and (e) results of decision making. Link: (During Assessment)Plan for transition from CA accommodation policies to Smarter Balanced usability, accessibility, and accommodations policiesToo often, there seems to be much more concern about accommodations during assessment than about accommodations during instruction. The emphasis really needs to be reversed.But, given the big shifts that are coming with the Smarter Balanced assessments, it will be very important to help educators figure out the shifts in policies from what you have had in California to what will be with Smarter Balanced.The Implementation Guide that I showed earlier has some tools that can help with this process. One of them is in the next slide.3031Smarter Balanced TerminologyStates Previous Terminology[example entries]Differences to NoteUniversal Tools access features of the assessment; these are available to all students based on student preference and selection[e.g., Best Practices (provide state definition)]Designated Supports features that are available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator (or team of educators with parent/guardian and student)[e.g., Accommodations (provide state definition)]Accommodations changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during the assessment for students who need them and for whom there is documentation on an IEP or 504 accommodations plan[e.g., Accommodations (provide state definition)][no similar term in Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines][e.g., Modifications (provide state definition)]Crosswalk Format to Compare New Terminology to Old TerminologyThis tool was designed to help states think through the shifts that are taking place between the old accommodations policies and the new accommodations policies of Smarter Balanced. Basically, it sets up a cross walk of the old and the new. It is well worth the while to go through this exercise and provide it to educators and IEP teams.3132Grade-Level Instruction and Strategies for Scaffolding to ItLook to technical assistance resources, such as:IRIS Center: iris.peabody.vanderbilt.eduNational Center for Intensive Intervention: www.intensiveintervention.orgCenter on Instruction: area of focus for practice has to be how to provide grade-level instruction when students appear not to be doing grade-level work. This is a continuing challenge. How do you scaffold to grade-level content when the student does not seem to have grade-level skills?I am not an expert in this, but I do know that it is critical. There are several centers that are now providing guidance related to this instructional issue. There likely are other centers and resources as well that are focused on this continuing issue.Because of the seeming impossibility of getting many students with disabilities to be able to work on grade-level materials, NCEO funded researchers at the University of Dayton to find existence proofs of the possibility of moving the numbers of students with disabilities by taking a district approach to instruction. We did this, in part, because of a study that had been conducted by the University of Massachusetts in which the researchers had identified districts where students with disabilities were showing greater than expected improvements in their performance on state tests. They found several things in common among those districts. That was back in 2004. We wanted to see whether we could find similar existence proofs across the nation in small and large, poor and not so poor districts in the context of todays education systems. I will highlight that work in just a moment.3233Educator TrainingAddress low expectations!Focus on what adults can do, and less on what students do not do.Break down silosFirst, I want to highlight some of what came out of that work, which is continuing to this day. According to Aimee Howley, professor emeritus from Ohio University, the problem of low expectations for some students is alive and well. She emphasizes the need to address those low expectations, to focus on what adults can do rather than on what the students are not doing, and to break down the silos that continue to exist.3334Famous 1960s Rosenthal & Jacobson studyMore recent contributionsSelf-Fulfilling Prophecy is Alive and WellSource: Aimee Howley , Ohio UniversitySorhagen (2013): First-grade teachers expectations are significant predictors of the achievement of high school students. Expectations not explicitly influenced by exogenous characteristics.Kalifa (2011): Some teachers bargain with students to lower expectations in exchange for compliant behavior.Harris (2012): Deficit beliefs tend to lower teachers expectations for the performance of some of their students.Here is just some of the recent literature that she cites about continued low expectations. The examples she cites show that:First grade teachers expectations are significant predictors of the achievement of high school students, and that these expectations are not explicitly influences by external characteristics of the students.She noted that Kalifa found that teachers bargain with students to get compliance they lower expectations for those students.Harris found, in turn, that beliefs about deficits tended to lower the expectations of teachers for student performance.References:Harris, D.M. (2012). Varying teacher expectations and standards: Curriculum differentiation in the age of standards-based reform. Education and Urban Society, 44(2), 128150.Khalifa, M.A., (2011). Teacher expectations and principal behavior: Responding to teacher acquiescence. Urban Review, 43, 702727.Sorhagen, N.S. (2013). Early teacher expectations disproportionately affect poor childrens high school performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105 (2), 465477.3435Focused on what adults do intentionally and collectively to include and assist all students in learning at higher levelsHighlighted 10 districts in 9 states across the US (existence proofs)Looked at the role of higher ed, SEA, regional providers, parentsFocus on Effective Districtswww.movingyournumbers.orgThis document is the first that was produced by the work of Moving Your Numbers again, it was an effort to find existence proofs districts where they were moving the performance numbers of all students, including students with disabilities. The effort found that these districts focused on what the adults do intentionally and together to include and assist all students so that they learn at higher levels. I have highlighted the website here, and have noted that in addition to looking at what the districts were doing to move those numbers, it also looked at the role of higher education, state departments of education, regional providers, and parents. I brought one set of these materials with me. If you want more, just let me know.3536This slide shows the location of states and districts that have been highlighted. You will note that one is here in California it is the Val Verde district.3637Use data wellFocus your goalsSelect and implement shared instructional practicesImplement deeplyMonitor and provide feedback and supportInquire and learnThree Big Things:FOCUSSTRENGTHEN INSTRUCTIONCOLLABORATIVE INQUIRYMcNulty, 2014Essential Areas of PracticeSource: Deb Telfer, University of Dayton (Ohio)Without going into detail, I will give a sense of what was found across districts, whether they were large or small, poor or not so poor, diverse or not. The findings reflect three big ideas that have been highlighted by Brian McNulty Focus, Strengthen Instruction, and Collaborative Inquiry.In the Moving Your Numbers districts, six practices area were found to be essential:Using data well everything was data basedFocusing goals there was not a hodgepodge of the latest and great; rather the goals were narrow and focusedSelect and implement shared instructional practices leaders worked will educators collaboratively to determine which instructional practices would be used, in a consistent and shared manner.Implement deeply similar to #3 rather than a thin coat of everything possible, the shared instructional practices were implemented deeply and consistently and by everyoneMonitor and provide feedback and support in the Moving Your Numbers districts there was continual monitoring of how things were working, providing feedback to each other, and support for each other.Finally, in all of the districts there existed an approach that involved inquiry and learning the educators and leaders became a learning community and used their learning approach to improve their practices continuously.3738The Higher Education ChallengeDisciplinary specialties produce silos.General educators are not well prepared to provide interventions.Special educators and general educators are not typically taught how to co-teach effectively.Few programs offer dual licensure (general and special education).Finally, the project addressed the higher education challenge. Dr. Howley speaks so well about this challenge.She notes the many challenges that exist and that seem to be extremely difficult to address, including Disciplinary specialties produce silosGeneral educators not being well prepared to provide specific interventions that may be neededSpecial educators and general educators are not taught how to co-teach effectively.Few programs offer dual licensure3839What Needs to Happen to Policy?I have identified some implications for policy, but clearly, my view is more national, and less Californian. It may be that some of these suggestions are not appropriate for California at this time. Others you may already have well under way. And, clearly, there may be many that I have totally missed. 3940Support Educator Preparation for New Standards and AssessmentsRequire adequate preparation in content for all teachersRequire adequate preparation in specially designed instruction for special educatorsRequire adequate preparation of all school personnel in Multi-Tiered Systems of SupportPolicies need to support educator preparation for the new standards and assessments. What does this mean? Possibly, it meansContent instruction is more important than ever. There need to be requirements for adequate preparation in the content for all teachers.Providing specially designed instruction that meets the needs of students with disabilities will be more important than ever. This means that there must be adequate preparation of special educators in specially designed instruction.Multi-tiered systems of support are essential; require that all school personnel be trained in these systems of support. The SWIFT Center (School-Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation) at the University of Kansas has some excellent materials available on this topic. See www.swiftschools.org4041Review Policies That Might be Inconsistent with College and Career ReadinessGraduation policies?Promotion policies?Credit requirements?Others?There may be policies that currently exist that are inconsistent with College and Career Readiness. For example,Graduation policies that do not hold students with disabilities to the same standards and outcomes as other students.Promotion policies that are different for students with disabilities than they are for other studentsCredit requirements that are different for students with disabilities than they are for other students.Others for example, teacher evaluation differences.These should be carefully examined for their implications for unintended consequences or inconsistencies with the goal of college and career readiness for students with disabilities.41


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