Practice Perspective on Referral Issues Lisa Aaroe Peoria Unified School District and Arizona State University
Reaction to Article #1 • Appropriate Eligibility Determinations for ELL Suspected of Having Reading-related LD
Memories of Cautions • *ELL 1.42-2.43 times more likely to be placed in sped • *Educators struggle with accurately identifying • *State fluctuations in representation
Questions I Had/Nice to Knows • What is “pure” ld? • What were the qualifications of the bilingual special ed. teachers? • The majority of students entered in pre-k or k (52%) • Rating form used by expert panel • Reasons why students were deemed as ineligible by the expert panel
Frightening Findings • The panel and MDT did not concur in 9 of 21 cases • MDT’s didn’t consider exclusionary factors • Prereferral interventions not documented in some cases • General ed. Abandoned and was successful!
Yes! • Centralized record keeping • Early intervention with adapting general ed. Curriculum • Document, document, document
Implications and future work • Design a documentation system to track interventions for ELL • Flow chart with attached recommendations, forms, etc. • Pre-service and school in-services on language development, prereferral practices, special factors to consider for ELL, exclusionary factors
Reaction to Article #2 • The Special Education Referral and Decision-Making Process for English Language Learners
Memories of Caution • Differentiating between normal language acquisition vs. ld is challenging • Low English=Low Intelligence • Over-emphasis on IQ scores for ELL • School personnel give little attention to classroom ecology • Decisions made ahead of time based on factors other than test data
Questions I Had/Nice to Knows • Why don’t school psychologist have to take more courses on ELL if they are the most influential? • Why isn’t more training provided to pre-service and Master’s level students?
Frightening Findings • District confusion regarding policies and procedures • A lot of confusion about ld vs. ELA • High reliance on parental input with regard to language proficiency
YIKES • “It is easier to identify students with ld when they are in a bilingual program because you can tell if they are having difficulties in Spanish and English. You can determine if the child’s difficulty is due to confusion learning a new language or something broader in both languages.”
Double Yikes! • “At level 3, you start forgetting the native language…” • “I only observe kids with behavior problems before testing them” • Bilingual assessor never present at meetings • Parents’ questions ignored or rudeness was apparent
Implications and Future Work • Poll teachers’ knowledge about the prereferral process and special considerations for ELL • More recommendations for observation considerations for ELL • How can advocacy training best be provided to parents of ELL?