Accounting for progress one child at a time
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ACCOUNTING FOR PROGRESS…… ONE CHILD AT A TIME. TOPICS ISTAR (Indiana Standards Tool for Alternate Reporting) Assessment System: Purpose, Functions, and Content – Sheron Cochran Technology Demonstration – Dawn McGrath General Supervision Enhancement Grant:

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Accounting for progress one child at a time



  • ISTAR (Indiana Standards Tool for Alternate Reporting)

    Assessment System:

    • Purpose, Functions, and Content – Sheron Cochran

    • Technology Demonstration – Dawn McGrath

  • General Supervision Enhancement Grant:

    • Outcome Measurement Tool for Children in First Steps –

      Dawn Downer

    • Description of Grant Activities -

      Ann Ruhmkorff

Istar overview


  • Broad Description of ISTAR Assessment

  • Multiple Purposes of ISTAR

  • Why It Was Selected to Measure Progress for Preschool Children with Disabilities

  • Connection to the Foundations

  • ISTAR Content

What is istar


  • It is a web-based standards-referenced assessment system provided free of charge by the Department of Education, Division of Exceptional Learners.

  • It utilizes teacher ratings to measure the progress of students.

  • It is a continuous process. The child does not “take a test”.

Istar multiple purposes


  • Indiana’s Alternate Assessment Component under IDEIA and NCLB for grades 3-10. [Legal Basis]

  • Academic Assessment of Limited English Proficient Students [Legal Basis]

  • Supplemental Assessment

    • May be used to measure progress of any student in relation to grade level expectations.

    • Gifted and Talented Students

Istar multiple purposes1


  • Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, schools must assess all early childhood students with disabilities using ISTAR so that the SEA can carry out its duty to collect information regarding performance goals. [Legal Basis]

  • Indiana’s SPP/APR must address improvement in positive social-emotional skills, acquisition and use of knowledge and skills including early language and communication, early literacy, and use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

Why istar selected as indiana s early childhood assessment

Why ISTAR Selected as Indiana’s Early Childhood Assessment

  • Builds on previous work

  • Authentic assessment for ‘ALL’ children

  • On-going assessment

  • Provides parents and teachers with graphic representation of the progress of the child

  • ISTAR indicators are aligned to Foundations for Young Children and Academic Standards

  • Helps guide instruction

  • Can assist the IEP team in forming IEP goals

Connection to the foundations and academic standards


  • ISTAR is a direct derivative of the Foundations for Young Children to the Indiana Academic Standards and the Indiana Academic Standards.

  • Extensions to the Foundations and academic standards have been included to create a continuum of access for all children beginning from birth.

Istar content extensions to standards


  • Extensions to the academic standards of mathematics and English/language arts have been developed to include four levels of progress prior to kindergarten:

    • Basic 1 (B1) Birth to two years of age

    • Basic 2 (B2) Two to three years of age

    • Foundations 1 (F1) Three to four years of age

    • Foundations 1 (F2) Four to five years of age

Accounting for progress one child at a time

Birth through the highest level of performance

Istar content functional achievement skills


Functional Achievement Indicators are in 3 categories:

  • Physical Skills

  • Personal Care Skills

  • Social-Emotional Skills

    ISTAR measures growth throughout life. 100% of skills represents what would be expected of a fully independent adult. It is reasonable to expect low scores for a young child in an early childhood program.

Istar content separate speech interface

ISTAR CONTENTSeparate Speech Interface

  • There is a separate interface designed for speech-language pathologists (SLP). If a child receives speech services from an SLP , the child must be rated on communication skills through the separate interface.

  • The SLP items are grouped into four areas: social interaction, comprehension, expressive communication, and speech intelligibility.

Istar content separate speech interface1

ISTAR CONTENTSeparate Speech Interface

  • These areas contain assessment elements in the general “listening and speaking” standard plus additional items that are specific to SLP expertise. Students with communication disorders who receive services solely from the SLP may be rated strictly in these 4 areas.

Istar content participation


  • Assessments should begin as teachers/therapists become familiar with incoming students.

  • ISTAR assessment should be collected naturally and periodically throughout the year.

  • ISTAR is to be completed collaboratively if there is more than one provider.

Istar content scoring


  • ISTAR is scored through use of a 3-point rubric (See page 30 in Handbook). Educators base these ratings on observation, work samples, portfolios, and other indicators of performance. Scores are used to measure individual and group progress.

Istar content when does reporting occur


  • Assessments are to be completed

    • During the quarter of entrance

    • During the quarter of exit

    • During the quarter of each birth month

    • If an exit or entrance assessment is done in the quarter of the birth month, one assessment serves both purposes.

Istar demonstration


  • DAWN McGrath, Director of ISTAR/ICAN Project

  • View technology

  • Establishing Accounts

  • Maintaining Security

  • Training, technical support, materials

Outcome measurement tool for children in first steps

Outcome Measurement Tool for Children in First Steps

  • First Steps Annual Outcome Study


First steps annual outcome study

First Steps Annual Outcome Study

  • Entrance Interviews

  • Exit Interviews

  • IFSP Current Level of Performance

  • Crosswalk with SPP/APR Outcomes

  • Limitations



  • Measure attainment of skills linked to state academic standards

    • Basic 1 – birth to two years

    • Basic 2 – two to three years

    • Functional Skills

  • On-line accessibility

  • IFSP Team reporting and review

  • Parent Reports

Early childhood assessment

Early Childhood Assessment

  • Enhancement of Basic 1 and Basic 2 for children birth through three years

  • Include developmental domains (physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and adaptive) in addition to state academic standards

Early childhood assessment1

Early Childhood Assessment

  • Appropriate for children with and without developmental delay/disability

    • Part C

    • Child Care, Healthy Families, Children’s Services, Early Head Start

  • Crosswalk with SPP/APR child outcomes

Accounting for progress one child at a time


  • Develop the Early Childhood Assessment (ISTAR Basic 1, Basic 2 and Functional Skills) into a comprehensive system for all children - including those who are “typically developing” as well as those identified with a disability and served in

    Part C.

  • Develop one assessment tool that could be aligned with all reporting requirements:

    • Indiana Part C Outcomes

    • Indiana’s academic standards

    • SPP/APR child outcomes

Indiana gseg proposal priority a outcome measures

Indiana GSEG ProposalPriority A: Outcome Measures

  • Focus Area One: Developing or enhancing Part B State outcomes indicators and methods to collect and analyze Part B outcome indicator

  • Focus Area Two: Developing or enhancing Part C State outcome indicators and methods to collect and analyze Part C outcome indicators

Indiana gseg proposal

Indiana GSEG Proposal

  • The GSEG project will allow Indiana to develop a comprehensive statewide assessment that will serve multiple accountability purposes:

    • State pre-academic, academic and functional skills standards

    • Part C assessment domains – social-emotional, cognitive, physical, communication and self-help

Indiana gseg proposal1

Indiana GSEG Proposal

  • Serve as Indiana’s accountability measure for reporting State performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR) requirements:

    • Social-emotional skills

    • Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills

    • Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs

Objective 1 alignment activities

Objective 1 - Alignment Activities

Identify and align Part C and Part B-619 performance indicators with items and domains of the Early Childhood Assessment within the context of the Indiana academic standards, SPP/APR, and Part C assessment requirements.

Objective 2 assessment and validation activities

Objective 2 - Assessment and Validation Activities

  • Establish norms for typically developing children and children with disabilities.

  • Demonstrate reliability and validity of the Early Childhood Assessment in relation to Part C and Part B-619 performance indicators related to state academic standards and SPP/APR of outcomes.

Objective 2 assessment and validation activities1

Objective 2 - Assessment and Validation Activities

  • Focus on addressing SPP/APR performance indicators intended to measure:

    • The extent which schools facilitate parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities (Part B-619)

    • Families participating in Part C who report that early intervention services have helped the family know rights, effectively communicate their child’s needs, and have helped their children develop and learn

Objective 3 reporting activities

Objective 3 - Reporting Activities

  • Implementation of a web-based reporting system capable of monitoring the progress of infants, toddlers and children with disabilities in critical SPP/APR performance indicator areas as well as within the context of state academic standards and Part C assessment requirements.

  • This objective builds upon the state’s current comprehensive system of web-based monitoring and reporting.

Objective 4 training activities

Objective 4 - Training Activities

Conduct statewide training and professional development efforts necessary to ensure that project objectives related to alignment, assessment and validation, and reporting activities are implemented and embedded into local improvement and accountability efforts.

Plans for implementation

Plans for Implementation

  • Assemble Project Advisory Group.

    • Stakeholders representing Part B and C service providers, special education and related services personnel, Part C ICC, state assessment and standardization specialists, Institute of Higher Education, parents of children and youth with disabilities, advocates and others

Plans for implementation alignment

Plans for Implementation - Alignment

Alignment based on the methods of alignment analyses developed by Norman Webb (Webb, 1999)

Plan of implementation assessment validation

Plan of implementation – Assessment & Validation

  • Recruit 30-40 qualified early childhood educators to administer instruments and collect assessment data

  • Stratified sample – 350 typically developing children and 350 infants, toddlers and children with disabilities served in Part c and Part B-619 programs (N=700)

Plan of implementation assessment validation1

Plan of implementation – Assessment & Validation

  • Administer child assessments (Early Childhood Assessment and others - TBD)

  • Collect NCSEAM Parent Surveys – expected sample size – 1000 families

  • Analysis of data to assess the overall integrity of the Early Childhood Assessment with regard to identifying which items or clusters of items best measure academic standards, Part C developmental domains and SPP/APR performance indicators

Plans for implementation reporting activities

Plans for Implementation - Reporting Activities

  • Training activities associated with efforts to report information to various audiences (public reporting, academic standards, SPP/APR)

  • On-line assessments over secure internet

  • Generating graphs and custom reports

Plans for implementation training

Plans for Implementation - Training

  • Part C and Part B-619 provider/educator trainings

    • Assessment training

    • Report Training

    • On-going technical assistance



  • University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration (ICI) to conduct evaluation activities in two key areas

    • Performance Measurement

    • Impact Measurement

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