Do you do the formal testing for evaluations?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by waterfall, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,082
    Likes Received:
    935

    Sep 12, 2013

    Like the woodcock johnson, wiat, etc.? In my first district the school psych did all of the testing. At my new school, apparently the testing is my responsibility. I do actually have time set aside to do it (I have one day a week completely set aside for meetings, IEPs, testing, etc. while my para works with my kids in class), but the problem is I don't know anything about it! When I told my psych she kept saying, "but you know about it from your assessment class in school right, you just haven't done it before?" I took an assessment class in college, but it was more things like DRA, DIBELS, interpreting progress monitoring data, etc. The sped director also asked me what I majored in because she was surprised I didn't learn in school. I'm doing my masters in sped right now, and they said "oh you'll be learning it then!" but I've looked at my list of classes and I don't see any specific assessment class. My mentor is going to teach me and they were very nice about it/said it wasn't my fault I hadn't learned. So is it weird that I didn't learn this in school? Also, if you do the testing, is it really that hard to understand? They kind of made it sound like it was, especially if people are apparently taking an entire college class on it...
     
  2.  
  3. kevo2005

    kevo2005 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 12, 2013

    Ehh... I don't even think you can administer those. I know in Texas you couldn't.

    However, if you can they aren't hard to administer just follow the manual. Most of them are scripted.

    My concern is interpreting and reporting the scores. If you need help and are required to do such, let me know!

    In a nutshell, scores 85-115 are the normal limits. Below 85 are considered normative weaknesses. I typically don't report age or grade equivalents, only for informal data. I do report percentile and confidence intervals.

    Hopefully you have scoring software. If not, the technical manual should have conversion tables for raw score to standard score based upon the child's age.

    Google psychometric score table converter for an easy reference for standard score and percentiles. Stanford has one that I really like.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,934
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Sep 12, 2013

    I did take a class in school that was specifically geared towards sped assessments. However, even with that class, I would not feel at all comfortable administering the tests without more PD or modeling on it. Apparently the sped teachers in my district were once responsible for it, but they realized that there was no time for them to do that AND teach AND do all the paperwork. So, we now have a testing team that does it. We still have to do social/emotional testing, but someone else does cognitive, academic, and speech/language. We also have to present the reports for all of the tests to the team.

    Good luck!
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,082
    Likes Received:
    935

    Sep 12, 2013

    Interesting...I saw the WIAT being given once (my first district tried to go down the path of having us doing the testing, but for some reason abandoned that) and thought it seemed really straight forward. My mentor is going to come give the test for the first two kids while I watch, then I have to do some DVD thing, and then she is going to give one with me, and then watch me do one on my own. The director said this is how it's done in school and we are just setting up our own "mini school." I don't think time is going to be an issue because I have an entire day set aside for testing/meetings/paperwork every single week, and at the most I'd have maybe 3 hours of meetings on those days.
     
  6. kevo2005

    kevo2005 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 12, 2013

    Ugh! Avoid the WAIT for elementary kids, it is too hard and in my experience is not a true representation of academic achievement. i think kids score lower on it. KTEA-II is good the Woodcock Johnson Achievement is good (overly relied upon, in my opinion).

    If you're testing for SLD - go with woodcock Johnson cognitive or DAS-II. They both test all cognitive abilities according to CHC theory. You need two DIFFERENT narrow abilities to get a broad ability. Some times you'll have a discrepancy (ex: 72 , 109) in those cases you may need a third subtlest.

    If you're doing IQ testing just because you are assessing all areas you could use WISC-IV. It lacks a couple g's but it is the go to for FSIQ. However woodcock and KABC give a GIA (General Intellectual Ability) which is the equivalent of IQ.

    Consider the students age and language ability when testing. You may need a non verbal or low verbal test. Consider the WPPSI (new one just came out!!!) or WNV.

    Sorry I'm rambling. I love assessment!!
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,082
    Likes Received:
    935

    Sep 12, 2013

    I don't think I get to pick the assessment. They're training me in the woodcock johnson. The psych will still do IQ testing and behavior rating scales.
     
  8. kevo2005

    kevo2005 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 12, 2013

    Oh ok!

    I thought you were doing all the testing, sorry misread.

    Woodcock Johnson is easy and it's scripted. It isn't my favorite but its good.
     
  9. deefreddy

    deefreddy Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 12, 2013

    I do

    The WJIII Test of Achievement is usually my responsibility, and is the WIAT. The WJIII Test of COGNITIVE Ability is the realm of the psychologist, and should ONLY be interpreted by a trained psychologist.

    FYI, I only use these tests at the triennial, and only with students who are considered mild/mod or LD. For my Mod/sev students, I use the Brigance.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Sep 13, 2013

    I did the WIAT-II (which was the assessment we had in our building), Key-Math, and the PPVT. Based on the results of those assessments, we decided, as a school team, whether or not to recommend a student for a psycho-educational assessment with the psychologist working with our school.
     
  11. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 13, 2013

    In my former district I was responsible for testing. We used woodcock Johnson achievement and cognitive assessments. I was trained in school for the achievement test and through the district for the cognitive portion. We used software and on the cognitive worked with the school psychologist for interpretation. In the district I work now, I do no testing at all. I barely have time for interventions.
     
  12. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 17, 2013

    In my district we are responsible for administering the academic evaluation and the psych does the psychological. We use the Woodcock-Johnson and I had to be taught how to administer it by our lead teacher. It's really not hard and if you've taken any educational assessment classes in college you should be fine. It's pretty scripted and it tells you exactly how many questions you need for your basal and ceiling. We have a software program that scores it for us and generates a report.
     
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,769
    Likes Received:
    233

    Sep 17, 2013

    I continue to be surprised to hear how many teachers are responsible for doing standardized achievement testing. I suppose it makes sense on some level as teachers are responsible for achievement, but it really would blind a school psychologist in terms of forming an opinion on a child's academic achievement. Not that standardized achievement tests yield that much helpful info, but if a school psychologist is going to give a formal, professional opinion about a child's school performance and has had NO experience with the child academically - even for a 45 minute WJ - I think that's extremely problematic.

    That doesn't even get into the issue with teachers being trained to administer standardized assessments. I agree with the folks that have said that they aren't all that hard to give with training, but I would say it's at least a semester class in college. It's not something that someone could simply give by reading the manual. Well, it could be, but there are a variety of mistakes that could be made, not to mention the manual specifically requires formal training in standardized assessment, otherwise such administration is unethical.

    Basically, my perspective is that school psychologists should administer the assessments because of guaranteed training/background/experience and to be helpful in gaining that perspective with the child. However, if a district is going to require a teacher to administer such an assessment, they should make sure the teacher has had the training in college (via transcript) and if not require that class to be taken at a local university/online before being qualified to administer.
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,307
    Likes Received:
    887

    Sep 17, 2013

    I worked at two schools as a special educator, and both schools required me to do my own achievement testing. I did the WJIII and KTEA-II... the WJIII was extremely easy to administer and score, the KTEA-II could be a pain in the butt to administer and score. You're lucky that they build time in your schedule for it. I always had to take time out of my planning time or not see kids for a day.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Sep 17, 2013

    EdEd, I concur with you wholeheartedly.

    I've been administered the WJ-III multiple times, so I have an idea of how it goes, and even if I were given the manual or a tutorial on it that wasn't extensive and in-depth, I would not feel comfortable performing it
     
  16. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,769
    Likes Received:
    233

    Sep 18, 2013

    As I've said before, I'm waiting for you to take an administrative position somewhere - you'd get that district into shape in no time!
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,272
    Likes Received:
    2,170

    Sep 18, 2013

    Our special education teachers were trained to give the educational assessments associated with an evaluation since they were the "experts" in education. The school psychologist was to administer IQ and behavioral scales of various types. OT gave anything OT related and SLP gave speech/language related testing. It too coordination.

    The limitation was that what the child received was based more on what the assessors were familiar with instead of what would be best for the child. So, if a child was really struggling with putting writing together and the assessor wasn't familiar with any writing assessment, just the very limited portion of other educational tests, the child wasn't given an assessment that would truly show the difficulties.

    AN ASIDE: I don't believe that WJ Achievement or KETA are truly representative of what students must do in the classroom, especially as the age increases and I think they do a poor job at showing what will happen when a student puts the skills together. There is a big difference between being able to isolate a low level skill and actually apply it and recognize it when it is part of a larger task. It think this is especially the case of students that have received some hit or miss remediation.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Sep 18, 2013

    This is our practice. Any of the professionals can make recommendations that further assessment be conducted. For example, the SLP can recommend a psycho-educational assessment. The Special Education teachers conduct the academic assessment because that is our area of expertise and we are also able to make links to the student's achievement in the classroom.
     
  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,135
    Likes Received:
    1,551

    Sep 18, 2013

    Most of my students do not have the pre-requisite skills for the tests mentioned by the other posters so we do a modified "test". We answer certain questions relating to skills (academic, communication, etc) and then someone in another department writes up the results for us to include in their IEP. I used to administer the Brigance, PEP and WIAT in my last school but nobody trained us properly. We had to figure it out on our own and while I think I did it correctly I really have no idea.
     
  20. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,769
    Likes Received:
    233

    Sep 18, 2013

    Totally agree. I've never given or reviewed an achievement test and learned something new about a child that couldn't be provided by a thorough CBA or instructional experience with the child.
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Sep 18, 2013

    I've taken 2 years worth of classes and paid lots of money to be able to do the job that I do which includes conducting cognitive and achievement testing. It clearly states on publishers sites that only qualifed professionals (that have certain credentials) are allowed to administer these types of tests.

    TeacherNY~I know the Brigance can be given by a teacher because I've given those to students at the request of the diagnostician.

    a2z~that is our approach too. The diagnosticians give the cog/ach tests, SLPs give theirs, OT/PT give theirs, and the LSSP gives psychological.
     
  22. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 18, 2013

    The special education teachers in my district administer the Woodcock Johnson test when doing triennial testing or when determining special education classifications. The school psychologist does classroom observations, file reviews, and/or related testing.
     
  23. CanukTeach

    CanukTeach Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 2, 2013

    We use the KTEA. It is straight forward and I feel very comfortable administering it. We have to have out spec Ed specialist to do it. I am doing my Masters in Spec Ed and have courses in assessment. If we recommend a psy-Ed, the psychologist does more in depth academic testing. I like administering it because doing many of them each year means that in addition to the results I get a sense of things like how a student paces themselves, etc. it is not definitive information but it is useful for giving teachers a bit more observational data.
     
  24. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    96

    Oct 2, 2013

    OMG! No! I think you have to be a psychologist to do those in my county/state. I would NOT have the time to do this.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 419 (members: 1, guests: 402, robots: 16)
test