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Determining Eligibility for Special Education in an RTI System

Determining Eligibility for Special Education in an RTI System

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Determining Eligibility for Special Education in an RTI System

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  1. Determining Eligibility for Special Education in an RTI System Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed., NCSPIndiana University of PA Indiana, PA Caitlin S. Flinn, M.Ed., NCSP Exeter Township School District Reading, PA

  2. Acknowledgements This presentation is based on a training module developed in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) as part of the RTI Pilot Project. Amy Smith, Ed Shapiro, and other PaTTAN consultants contributed to the development of these materials. Thanks to Andrew McCrea for contributing to the development of the Rate of Improvement slides.

  3. Learning Objectives Participants will: • Identify assessment procedures for RTI that are embedded in a three-tier model of service delivery • Graph and calculate rate of improvement data • Articulate how RTI is used in the procedure to determine eligibility for special education • Conceptualize new report writing language for composing evaluation reports in an RTI model

  4. Today’s Perspective Assume knowledge of RTI and the three-tier model. Determining eligibility for special education using RTI presupposes that the RTI infrastructure has been built. This session is about using RTI as an alternative to ability-achievement discrepancy, not in addition to it. The perspective will be based on law/regulations and best practices.

  5. Most relevant for those ready to use RTI. Some aspects of today’s presentation are relevant to the SLD requirements, even if you’re not using RTI. Application of some procedures and principles can begin now as effective practices.

  6. Response to Intervention Standards aligned core instruction Universal screening Interventions of increasing intensity Research-based practices Progress monitoring Data analysis teaming Parental engagement

  7. 1. • Failure to meet age- or grade-level State standards in one of eight areas: • oral expression • listening comprehension • written expression • basic reading skill • reading fluency skill • reading comprehension • mathematics calculation • mathematics problem solving 2. Discrepancy: Pattern of strengths & weaknesses, relative to intellectual ability as defined by a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement, or relative to age or grade. OR RTI: Lack of progress in response to scientifically based instruction • 3. • Rule out: • Vision, hearing, or motor problems • mental retardation • emotional disturbance • cultural and/or environmental issues • limited English proficiency • 4. • Rule out lack of instruction by documenting: • Appropriate instruction by qualified personnel • Repeated assessments Inclusionary Exclusionary Specific Learning Disability Observation

  8. Criterion #1:Does the child achieve adequately for the child’s age or meet State-approved grade level standards? The group may determine the child has an SLD if the child: Does not achieve adequately for the child’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the child’s age or State-approved grade-level standards: • (i) Oral expression • (ii) Listening comprehension • (iii) Written expression • (iv) Basic reading skill • (v) Reading fluency skills • (vi) Reading comprehension • (vii) Mathematics calculation • (viii) Mathematics problem solving Inclusionary Criteria § 300.309(a)

  9. 1. • Failure to meet age- or grade-level State standards in one of eight areas: • oral expression • listening comprehension • written expression • basic reading skill • reading fluency skill • reading comprehension • mathematics calculation • mathematics problem solving 2. Discrepancy: Pattern of strengths & weaknesses, relative to intellectual ability as defined by a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement, or relative to age or grade. OR RTI: Lack of progress in response to scientifically based instruction • 3. • Rule out: • Vision, hearing, or motor problems • mental retardation • emotional disturbance • cultural and/or environmental issues • limited English proficiency • 4. • Rule out lack of instruction by documenting: • Appropriate instruction by qualified personnel • Repeated assessments Inclusionary Exclusionary Specific Learning Disability Observation

  10. Sources of Data to Document Lack of Achievement Existing Data • Performance on benchmark assessments • Terminal performance on progress monitoring measures • Performance on statewide and district-wide assessments New Data to Collect (if necessary) • Norm-referenced tests of academic achievement • Curriculum-based evaluation (cf. Howell et al.)

  11. Lack of achievement is in relation to age or grade-level standards. The student’s assessed achievement on all measures should be significantly behind age- or grade-peers. Measures should be reflective of state standards. Achievement here is related to age or grade, not intellectual level.

  12. Normative Comparisons • Normative group is important decision • National normative data sets for CBM • AIMSweb • Hasbrouck & Tindal • DIBELS

  13. Who sets the parameters for being ‘deficient’ • How deficient must a student be in order to demonstrate inadequate performance/achievement? • It is the responsibility of individual school districts to establish or define appropriate assessment parameters.

  14. How deficient should a student be to qualify? An opinion… Contemporary research has indicated that a score of the 30th percentile on nationally normed benchmark tests or individual tests of academic achievement is equivalent to a proficient score on most statewide tests. Therefore, to demonstrate inadequate achievement relative to this standard, a student should be significantly below this level ( e.g., 10th percentile) to meet the SLD qualification under this component.

  15. 2.0X calculation Divide norm group mean by student’s score Result expressed as a ratio of deficiency Example: 100 wpm / 50 wpm = 2.0X

  16. DIBELS benchmarks (with ROI in parentheses based on 18 weeks between benchmarks, 36 total weeks):

  17. Consider John, a third grader. We’ll compare his scores (denominators) with the scores of the norm group (numerators), using the 3rd grade norms for ORF and the 1st grade norms for NWF. ORF: 110 wpm = 2.0X 55 wpm NWF: 50 nwpm = 2.5X 20 nwpm

  18. May we use norm-referenced tests of academic achievement in determining the extent of the deficiency? May we? Yes! There is nothing legally that prevents a team from doing so. Should we? It depends on how secure you are with other data regarding the student’s deficiency in relation to standards. If you have a preponderance of other data, you may choose not to use other norm-referenced measures. If you don’t, or if there are other questions that can be answered with norm-referenced measures, use them.

  19. Example of report language: Documentation of Deficiency in Level of Performance John has displayed documented deficiencies in reading skills since kindergarten. He has been at the below basic level on district-wide and statewide tests. His most recent universal screening using DIBELS (January) indicated an oral reading fluency score of 55 words per minute. Compared to typical peers for John's age and grade level (110 wpm), John's deficiency ratio is 2.0X. The Nonsense Word Fluency subtest of DIBELS was also administered. John attained a score of 20 nonsense words per minute on the subtest. Compared to the terminal score achieved by first-graders (50 nwpm), John has a deficiency ratio of 2.5X. Progress monitoring of John's oral reading fluency has indicated that John continues to have difficulty reading in spite of intensive intervention. His terminal score during the last week of March was 53 words per minute. For oral reading fluency John also attained a 20% accuracy rate on the 4Sight test which is considerably below the 80% mark that is typically attained by students in his grade.

  20. Implications to consider • The student’s IQ level is not considered the criterion against which the student’s academic performance is compared. • Students with intelligence levels in the ‘slow learner” range may not be excluded from having SLD if they display significantly inadequate academic achievement and if they meet the other criteria (e.g., RTI). • Conversely, students with high levels of intelligence must display inadequacies in relation to their age or the state standards for their grade in order to meet this criterion.

  21. Criterion #2: Does the child demonstrate a pattern of strengths and weaknesses or a lack of progress in response to scientifically based instruction? • (i) The child does not make sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified ... when using a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention; • or • (ii) The child exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved gradelevel standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the group to be relevant to the identification of a specific learning disability, using appropriate assessments, consistent with §§ 300.304 and 300.305

  22. 1. • Failure to meet age- or grade-level State standards in one of eight areas: • oral expression • listening comprehension • written expression • basic reading skill • reading fluency skill • reading comprehension • mathematics calculation • mathematics problem solving 2. Discrepancy: Pattern of strengths & weaknesses, relative to intellectual ability as defined by a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement, or relative to age or grade. OR RTI: Lack of progress in response to scientifically based instruction • 3. • Rule out: • Vision, hearing, or motor problems • mental retardation • emotional disturbance • cultural and/or environmental issues • limited English proficiency • 4. • Rule out lack of instruction by documenting: • Appropriate instruction by qualified personnel • Repeated assessments Inclusionary Exclusionary Specific Learning Disability Observation

  23. Overview of RoI • Define rate of improvement (RoI) • Review importance of RoI within context of RtI • Establish a need for consistency when graphing and calculating rate of improvement (RoI) • Model how to graph and calculate RoI in Excel

  24. With Progress Monitoring Data… • How do we know if a student is learning? • Look at the data points • Where are they on the graph? • Are the data points getting closer to the goal or benchmark? • Is there a way to measure growth? • Make an aimline toward goal • Look to see where data points are compared to aimline • Calculate rate of improvement

  25. RoI Definition Rate of Improvement can be described algebraically as the slope of a line Slope is defined as: the vertical change over the horizontal change on a Cartesian plane. (x-axis and y-axis graph) Also called: Rise over run Formula: m = (y2 - y1) / (x2 - x1) Describes the steepness of a line (Gall & Gall, 2007)

  26. RoI Definition Finding a student’s RoI is determining the student’s learning Creating a line that fits the data points, a trendline To find that line, we use: Linear regression Ordinary Least Squares

  27. Progress Monitoring Frequent measurement of knowledge to inform our understanding of the impact of instruction/intervention. Measures of basic skills (CBM) have demonstrated reliability & validity (see table at www.rti4success.org).

  28. Classroom Instruction (Content Expectations) Measure Impact (Test) Proficient! Non Proficient Use Diagnostic Test to Differentiate Content Need? Basic Skill Need? Intervention Progress Monitor Intervention Progress Monitor With CBM If CBM is Appropriate Measure Rate of Improvement McCrea, 2010

  29. So… Rate of Improvement (RoI) is how we understand student growth (learning). RoI is reliable and valid (psychometrically speaking) for use with CBM data. RoI is best used when we have CBM data, most often when dealing with basic skills in reading/writing/math. RoI can be applied to other data (like behavior) with confidence too! RoI is not yet tested on typical Tier I formative classroom data.

  30. RoI is usually applied to… Tier One students in the early grades at risk for academic failure (low green kids) Tier Two & Three Intervention Groups Special Education Students (and IEP goals) Students with Behavior Plans

  31. RoI Foundations Deno, 1985 Curriculum-based measurement General outcome measures Technically adequate Short Standardized Repeatable Sensitive to change

  32. RoI Foundations Fuchs & Fuchs, 1998 Hallmark components of Response to Intervention Ongoing formative assessment Identifying non-responding students Treatment fidelity of instruction Dual discrepancy model One standard deviation from typically performing peers in level and rate

  33. RoI Foundations Ardoin & Christ, 2008 Slope for benchmarks (3x per year) More growth from fall to winter than winter to spring Might be helpful to use RoI for fall to winter And a separate RoI for winter to spring

  34. RoI Foundations Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlett, Walz, & Germann, 1993 Typical weekly growth rates in oral reading fluency and digits correct Needed growth to remediate skills Students who had 1.5 to 2.0 times the slope of typically performing peers were able to close the achievement gap in a reasonable amount of time

  35. RoI Foundations Deno, Fuchs, Marston, & Shin, 2001 Slope of frequently non-responsive children approximated slope of children already identified as having a specific learning disability

  36. How many data points? • 10 data points are a minimum requirement for a reliable trendline (Gall & Gall, 2007) • Is that reasonable and realistic? • How does that affect the frequency of administering progress monitoring probes? • How does that affect our ability to make instructional decisions for students?

  37. How can we show RoI? Speeches that included visuals, especially in color, improved recall of information (Vogel, Dickson, & Lehman, 1990) “Seeing is believing.” Useful for communicating large amounts of information quickly “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Transcends language barriers (Karwowski, 2006) Responsibility for accurate graphical representations of data (Flinn, 2008)

  38. Skills for Which We Compute RoI Reading Oral Reading Fluency Word Use Fluency Reading Comprehension MAZE/DAZE Retell, Word Use Early Literacy Skills Initial Sound Letter Naming Letter Sound Phoneme Segmentation Nonsense Word Spelling Written Expression TWW, CWS, WSC Math Math Computation Math Concepts Math Facts Early Numeracy Oral Counting Missing Number Number Identification Quantity Discrimination Behavior

  39. Guidelines? Visual inspection of slope Multiple interpretations Instructional services Need for explicit guidelines

  40. Ongoing Research RoI for instructional decisions is not a perfect process Research is currently addressing sources of error: Christ, 2006: standard error of measurement for slope Ardoin & Christ, 2009: passage difficulty and variability Jenkin, Graff, & Miglioretti, 2009: frequency of progress monitoring

  41. Future Considerations Questions yet to be empirically answered What parameters of RoI indicate a lack of RtI? How does standard error of measurement play into using RoI for instructional decision making? How does RoI vary between standard protocol interventions? How does this apply to non-English speaking populations?

  42. Multiple Methods for Calculating Growth Visual Inspection Approaches “Eye Ball” Approach Split Middle Approach Quantitative Approaches Tukey Method Last point minus First point Approach Split Middle “plus” Linear Regression Approach

  43. The Visual Inspection Approaches

  44. Eye Ball Approach

  45. Split Middle Approach Drawing “through the two points obtained from the median data values and the median days when the data are divided into two sections” (Shinn, Good, & Stein, 1989)

  46. Split Middle X(83) X(63) X (9)

  47. The Quantitative Approaches

  48. Tukey Method Divide scores into 3 equal groups Divide groups with vertical lines In 1st and 3rd groups, find median data point and median week and mark with an “X” Draw line between two “Xs” (Fuchs, et. al., 2005. Summer Institute Student progress monitoring for math. http://www.studentprogress.org/library/training.asp)

  49. Tukey Method X(74) X(62)

  50. Calculating Slope: Tukey Method • 3rd median point minus the 1st median point • Divided by the number of data points minus one • (74-62)/(11-1) = slope • 12/10=1.2