Who administers assessment tests?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tiki7719, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    I am working on my M. Sp Ed. and am currently enrolled in a class where we are being taught to administer tests such as KTEA, DIBELS, PIAT-R, Key Math, etc.

    When I speak with some of my friends who are special ed teachers (various grade levels), they are either unfamiliar with these tests (exception of DIBELS) or they have never been in the position to administer.

    Have any teachers here administered these exams, or are does this fall on the responsibility of school counselors/test administrators?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    As a SPED teacher, I have always administered the tests. I know of guidance counselors, and district specialists who also give the tests.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    As a SPED teacher, I administered KTEA and WJ-III. I think it depends on the district. Some districts have the psych do all the assessments, others have the Special Ed team handle achievement testing while the psychology handles the ability testing. I've never heard of guidance counselors administering them around me.
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    The only test I'm involved with organizing is DIBELS. That gets administered by the testing team (Resource Specialist, Reading Clinicians, & SPED team).

    The other tests that were mentioned are administered by the School Psychologist and/or Special Day Class teacher.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our Special Education teachers administer assessments that give results in academic areas (Key-Math, WIAT, etc). School psychologists give psychological assessments.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    WJ-III and similar tests are done by the LDT-C's (the IEP case managers)

    Psychological tests are done by the district psych.

    Tests like DIBELS and DRA are done in the classroom as they are benchmark assessments
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Looks like it is really a district decision who gives the tests.
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    In my current district I'm in charge of all academic testing for IEPs. We use the WJ-IV and CTOPP-2, or K-SEALS if it's a K student. The psych completes cognitive testing. I'm also responsible for general progress monitoring/benchmarking using things like aimsweb (similar to DIBELS). In my first district, the school psych did all the formal testing. I'm guessing that it's rare for the teacher to not do the testing around here though, because I was asked in tons of interviews what tests I was familiar with, so be thankful that you're getting this experience now! When I got a job in this district I had to be trained by another teacher to give the tests, but luckily it was really easy to pick up. I think it is different everywhere, but I think it's better to get the experience/knowledge of how to do the tests even if you don't end up testing in the future. I'm mentoring a new sped teacher from Texas that works in another of our elementary schools this year, and apparently in her home state she was not required to give tests, write eval reports, lead meetings, or write the majority of IEPs. She is really struggling with being responsible for everything now.
     
  10. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    SPED teachers do the academic testing and benchmarks, and the Psychs do all the cognitive and psychological testing. Where I work, we always want the SPED teacher involved in testing as it is supposed to be a multidisciplinary evaluation. There were jobs that I worked at that had the SPED teacher or SLP do parts of the processing testing (such as the CTOPP), but I usually tried to stop that practice and take it back from the teacher and/or SLPs. I once worked in a school where there was an RSP teacher who's only job was to do the academic testing for all the SPED teachers.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    In TX, diagnosticians administer all cognitive and achievement testings like the WJ, WISC/WIAT, or KABC/KTEA. Our sped teachers give the CTOPP and GORT or the Key Math if needed.


    I'm curious to find out how teachers can give cognitive and achievement tests like the ones above since the qualifications require an advanced degree/certification in the area of testing.
     
  12. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    In Utah I gave the tests without any advanced degree. The only thing I had to do was complete training through my sped department . It was a 2 week course for each test. I don't administer the tests in Mississippi.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    No state I've worked in requires any particular certification to do the WJ-III or KTEA-II, and honestly, I think either test could be administered perfectly adequately by a reasonably capable middle schooler. I mean... the whole thing is completely scripted. I don't know what college course I could have taken to make me more qualified to do either test.
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    For those teachers that give these tests, do you also do the interpretation of what their scores mean?
     
  15. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Typically, the psychologist gave a general explanation of the bell curve and standardized scores, and I gave an explanation about what the specific scores meant about the student's performance.
     
  16. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Achievement tests don't require an advanced degree in the area of testing. They just require a background or training in testing and assessment. The truth is, if you can give the CTOPP, you can give the academic tests. Interpreting them, however, can be a different story.
     
  17. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    As a sped teacher, I have given the KTEA, WJ-R and KeyMath. I am becoming a psych now, and districts that used to have sped teachers giving those assessments are now having psychs do them. I think it varies from place to place and changes within places. It's good to be familiar with them, anyways.
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    As long as they don't interpret it, I don't see any grave error in allowing teachers to give achievement tests.

    Cognitive tests, on the other hand, should be given by a psychologist, as they are trained to watch for things while the test is going on.
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    This thread was on my mind today during a training. We had an Pearson Assessment consultant as our presenter going over the new KTEA-III and she was reviewing the qualifications. She said that teachers were not supposed to be giving this test.
     
  20. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    As a diagnostician, do you agree with the consultant, and if so, why?
     
  21. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    The consultant is wrong. From the Pearson website:

    Tests can be bought, and administered by an individual with "Formal, supervised mental health, speech/language, and/or educational training specific to assessing children, or in infant and child development, and formal training in the ethical administration, scoring, and interpretation of clinical assessments."

    SPED teachers get training specific to assessing children when they are getting their credentials.
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    They do?
     
  23. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Yes, they do. That's what started this whole conversation, the OP was being trained to administer academic assessments.
     
  24. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I did. And then additional training in my district.
     
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I did as part of my Special Ed Specialist qualifications. My school board also offers specific training in a variety of tests that are used in the schools.
     
  26. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I got 0 training is assessment in my special education program. Didn't learn anything about disabilities (like types of disabilities) either.

    Mostly, the other students had to learn about the history of special education, then a very very very tiny bit about current special education law, not much though - I can't remember a single useful thing they had to learn about IDEA. Section 504 wasn't even mentioned in any class.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Do you believe your school did a good job preparing you and fellow graduates for the competitive NJ market?
     
  28. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah. I didn't learn much during my time at the four year school that I hadn't already learned in taking 2 education courses at the community college level or learned independently while researching special education & special education law.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Now imagine hiring districts viewing your college thru this lens. Add on the unique challenges you present as a candidate..
     
  30. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I know quite a bit about special education law, knowledge which could be gauged quite easily through asking me any questions, provided I do not ramble on about something, as I am wont to do. The 4 year I attended (along with the CC I attended) both have rather good reputations throughout the state - the four year for its education program, and the CC is just known as a great school.
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    That's similar to what we do as well, but it's not always the psych that explains what the bell curve/standardized scores mean. It's really whoever explains their testing first, so it just depends on the meeting. Usually while she explains her results I will show the parent where the student falls on our bell curve print out and she will do the same for me while I'm explaining my results. I'm responsible for writing the portions of the eval report that explain the achievement test results and then explaining those at the meeting. The psych does the cognitive testing part. When I first started in this district I wasn't happy about having to do the testing myself, since in my previous district the psych had done everything, but now that I'm used to it I actually think this way is better. I understand so much more about the eval process and why/how a student qualifies than I did when I was just sitting in the meetings listening to the psych talk about everything. In the past our psych would just tell me if they qualified or not and didn't really explain why so I'm glad I'm a part of that process now.

    We all had to fill out a form for Pearson at the beginning of the year saying we were qualified to give assessments. They had several ways listed for how you could qualify, and one of them basically just said that you received training to give the assessment. Having a degree in special education was also listed as a possible way to qualify. Do other states use diagnosticians? I've never heard of them being used anywhere but Texas.
     
  32. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I also took a required course on sped assessment when earning my degree. Many of my peers in the course complained about having to take it because they assumed any school where they worked would have a school psychologist give all of the assessments. That obviously isn't the case in many schools.

    My district has psychological examiners give the cognitive and achievement tests and then type up a report. They do not attend meetings, except in rare circumstances, however. It's up to the sped teacher to share the report and explain the results to parents. The sped teacher is also responsible for doing the social/emotional assessments, typing up the reports, and explaining the reports to parents. I personally didn't feel prepared for all of this responsibility, even having taken the assessment course. I do think that, with additional training, I could feel more prepared, however.
     
  33. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    waterfall~the only other state where I've seen it listed as a job is NM.

    I do agree with the presenter, as I had to go through certification process (and many of my cohorts were getting it along with their masters) in order to become a diagnostician and do the testing for the district. I take Pearson's word of "formal training' to mean higher than a Bachelor's degree. We also run the IEP meetings at my district, though that is not the case across the state of TX. In some districts, the diagnostician only comes to the IEP meeting when discussing evaluations.
     
  34. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    What specifically about the KTEA leads you to agree that it needs to be administered by a diagnostician, rather than a teacher who has been given training on how to administer the test?
     
  35. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    What "formal training" is really trying to address is an understanding of basic psychometric properties that are needed for testing. I think as a psych, I spent one class on that, same as many SPED teachers do in their credential programs. I agree that it should take higher than a BA/BS, but that doesn't necessarily mean a masters degree. A BA/BS plus the training should be sufficient.
     
  36. marid4061

    marid4061 Rookie

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    In our school system as sped teachers we used to give the assessments. About 3 years ago they started to have the school psychologists administer them. Thank goodness!
     

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