RTI in 2005 Understanding/Diagnosing Reading Disabilities within a RTI Model Marilyn Korth, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School District Tricia Hamlin, Southern Cayuga Central School District Amanda Miller, Saint Catherine’s Center for Children Karrie Clark, Carthage School District & James McDougal, PsyD State University of New York at Oswego firstname.lastname@example.org
LD Within an RTI Model AGENDA • Brief history of Special Education: how it has influenced our practice • Critiques of traditional assessment practices • Contemporary Approaches- Early Literacy to Literacy
1975, PL 94-142 • Provided educational rights and goals for children previously underserved or excluded • Solidified the dominant place of Special Education in School Psychology • Discrepancy based model influenced assessment practices
Characteristics of the “Traditional Assessment Practices” • Medical model, deficit oriented, child centered • One at a time focus • “Wait to fail” • “Refer-test- place” • Heavy on diagnosis light on cure • “Correlation approach”
Surveys of our SPs role • 50-55% of time in traditional assessment • 20% direct intervention • 17% in consultation (problem solving) • 6% systems level consultation • 2% PE and R Fagan & Wise, 2000, Reschly, 2000,
Inconsistencies in Identification 1988 27 % of identified children in Utah were ED, the ED rate in CA was 2.5 % of identified children Forness & Kavale, 1990 Huge Increases in Identification From 1976 to 2002 the classification of children with specific learning disabilities increased 300% President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education July 1, 2002 Related to Traditional Assessment?
Reading Failure 80% of of those with SLD (40% of all Sp Ed students) are there because they haven’t learned how to read Cultural Bias African American students are twice as likely as whites to be labeled MR and 50% more likely to be designated as emotionally disturbed (A New Era 2002) Related to the Traditional Model?
6 million children currently in special education Federal funding is 8.5 billion dollars Placement in special education programs most often result in little gain or negative outcomes (A New Era 2002) Related to the Traditional Model?
The Link to LD Assessment:Past and Future • Discrepancy based procedures • Problems with these models • A new approach
The Ghost of LD PAST Definitional Concerns What is LD? What isn’t LD? Discrepancy based models Wait to fail The Promise of LD Future A New Era Preventative approach Validated Models Response to Intervention LD Assessment: Past & Future
NY Learning Disability Definition 1997 A student with a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, neurological impairment, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not include students who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. A student who exhibits a discrepancy of 50 percent or more between expected achievement and actual achievement determined on an individual basis shall be deemed to have a learning disability
IDEA's Definition of Learning Disability ". . . a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia." However, learning disabilities do not include, "…learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage."
Severe Discrepancy Determination by Formula Kate obtains an IQ score of 90 and an achievement score of 74. Is this 16-point difference large enough to be considered a ‘significant difference’ between ability and achievement? Data: Ability Score ………………………………………………... 90 Reliability of Ability Score ……………………………. … 0.91 Achievement Score ……………………………………….. 74 Achievement Reliability ………………………………….. 0.91 Correlation Between Ability and Achievement Scores .. 0.47
Methods for Determining Severe Discrepancy • Deviation from Grade Level • Standard Deviation from the Mean • Standard Score Comparison • Regression Formula In our example of Kate she would be LD with the first 3 methods but not with the 4th.
Reliability concerns • Determination of LD Diagnosis is based in part on: • State determinations of severe discrepancy • method of calculating severe discrepancy • Different methods of calculating a discrepancy will result in different students being classified
Validity • Learning disability is result of unexpected low achievement. • Also implies that children with unexpected low achievement (LD) are distinct from expected low achievement (i.e., low achievement and low intelligence).
Validity • Validity of construct relies on its uniqueness and utility • Validity of a discrepancy based model assumes that ability-achievement discrepant children are qualitatively distinct from regular “low achievers”. • Also assumes that identifying LD will lead to useful interventions specific to that group.
Assessing Validity of LD • Fletcher et al. (2001) describe means of validating LD diagnosis • Prognosis • Response to intervention • Distinct cognitive profiles
Cognitive Domains • Meta-Analysis • Hoskyn & Swanson (2000) • Stuebing et al. (2002)
Stuebing et al. • Substantial overlap between IQ-discrepant & IQ-consistent poor readers • Differences between groups on several cognitive domains were negligible or small • Research indicates little need for using IQ tests in assessing LDs
Prognosis • Do LD students and ordinary low-achievers differ in development of reading ability? • O’Mally et al. (2002) found little evidence of differences between groups. • Several longitudinal studies found little or no differences in reading development between groups.
Response to Intervention • Research generally finds that discrepancy based LD vs. low-achievers do not respond differently to interventions. • Vellutino, Scanlon, Lyon (2000) reported that IQ-achievement discrepancy did not predict differences between groups on responses to intervention or which group would be more easily remediated.
Assessing Validity of LD:Summary • Research indicates little or no differences between discrepancy based LD students and ordinary low achievers based on: • Cognitive Profiles • Prognosis • Response to intervention
Validity • Current definitions and diagnosis of LD students lacks uniqueness (distinct group of learners) and utility (clear differences in treatment and prognosis).
No support for discrepancy based models of LD-prognosis, uniqueness, RTI, cog profiles The reliability and validity of traditional classification practices is poor (Ysseldyke, Algozzine, & Thurlow, 2000; Reschly, & Ysseldyke, 2002) Traditional Assessment Practices Critiqued
Traditional Assessment Practices Critiqued- continued • “Assignment of differential treatment based on student ability, aptitude, or categorical condition has not produced promising results” (pg. 6) Reschley & Ysseldyke, 2002, Best Practices in School Psychology
NYS proposed Amendments to Part 200 May 17, 2005 • New definition of LD • More structured eligibility determination section • Some guidance on assessment/diagnosis
NYS Learning Disability Definition proposed amendments 5/17/2005 A student with a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, neurological impairment, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not include students who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. A student who exhibits a discrepancy of 50 percent or more between expected achievement and actual achievement determined on an individual basis shall be deemed to have a learning disability [**language to be repealed**]
NYS Learning Disability Definition proposed amendments 5/17/2005 (C) Eligibility Determinations (2) A student shall not be determined eligible for special education if the determinant factor is: • Lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency (including oral reading skills) and reading comprehension strategies (*new language proposed) ( Proposed Amendment to the Commissioner, pp. 22 of 67)
NYS Learning Disability Definition proposed amendments 5/17/2005 (C) Eligibility Determinations (6) Learning disabilities. In determining whether a student has a learning disability as defined in Section 200.1(zz)(6) of this Part the school district: • May use a process that determines if the student responds to scientific, researched based intervention as part of the evaluation procedures pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section; and ( Proposed Amendment to the Commissioner, pp. 22 of 67)
NYS Learning Disability Definition proposed amendments 5/17/2005 (C) Eligibility Determinations (ii) is not required to consider whether a student has a significant discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation or mathematical reasoning ( Proposed Amendment to the Commissioner, pp. 23 of 67)
Discussion Time- you make the call! • Potential problems and barriers to implementing the new regulations • Potential benefits related to the new regulations
RTI Assessment Model: NASP Recommendations Identification and Eligibility Determination for Students with Specific Learning Disabilities April 25, 2003
NASP Recommendations • Maintain current LD definition but change eligibility criteria • Eliminate ability-achievement discrepancy • Introduce multi-tier model with dual criteria- significantly low underachievement, insufficient response to intervention (RTI)
Criteria 1. Significantly Low Achievement • States or School Districts may set criteria for “significantly low achievement” • As in current law exclusionary criteria would still apply- not primarily the result of visual, hearing…..
Criteria 2. Insufficient Response to Intervention • Despite at least 2 empirically based interventions over a period of at least 6 weeks • Interventions administered in general education • Lack of response not due to low effort, cultural differences, LEP, or nonattendance
Characteristics of the Multi-Tier Assessment Model Tier 1. High quality instructional and behavioral supports for all students in general education
Tier 1. Components include.. • Research based instruction & behavior supports • Ongoing CBM of basic skills, instructional level matched to students skills • Remedial instruction and group interventions within general education
Characteristics of the Multi-Tier Model Tier 2. Targeted intensive prevention or remediation services for struggling students
Tier 2. Components include.. • Research based/intense services targeted to the student’s individual needs • Time limited services • Linked to a problem solving process including general & Sp Ed teachers and support services personnel • Initiated though formal referral, parental notification and consent
Tier 2. Problem solving includes. • Precise charting of progress- general education interventions • Formal documentation of progress toward targeted goals • A verified level of intervention fidelity • Comparison to local norms- if available
Characteristics of the Multi-Tier Model Tier 3. Comprehensive evaluation by a multi-disciplinary team to determine eligibility for special education and related services
Tier 3. Components include.. • Low achievement and insufficient response criteria met • Referral to a Multidisciplinary Team • MDT conducts a comprehensive evaluation
Characteristics of Evolving RTI Assessment Models • Prevention focused • Focused on the “ecology” not the child • Consultative based • Scientifically supported • Data-based (short term empiricism)
Elements of an Evolved School Psychology-continued • Emphasis on intervention rather than diagnosis • Focused on the success of all students not just those referred for Special Education
With Emphasis on Prevention at Each Level • Universal • Reduce new cases of academic failure/problem behavior • Targeted • Reduce current cases of academic failure/ problem behavior • Intensive • Reduce complications, intensity, severity of current cases
Implications for Intervention • Assessment techniques should lend themselves to intervention • Assessments that measure important subskills, are repeatable and directly related to instruction
The Consultation Process • Problem Identification • Problem Analysis • Plan Implementation • Plan Evaluation