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Including Children with Developmental Delays and Disabilities in KEA’s. Kathy Hebbeler SRI International. Presented at State Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) Conference San Antonio, Texas February, 2012. Starting point. Good EC assessment is good EC assessment

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including children with developmental delays and disabilities in kea s

Including Children with Developmental Delays and Disabilities in KEA’s

Kathy Hebbeler

SRI International

Presented at

State Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) Conference

San Antonio, Texas

February, 2012

starting point
Starting point
  • Good EC assessment is good EC assessment
  • Principles that apply to typically developing children apply to children with disabilities
    • See NAEYC position statement

Early Childhood Outcomes Center

non negotiable

Exclusion of children with delays or disabilities from KEA’s is not an option

Early Childhood Outcomes Center

considerations related to assessment development or selection
Considerations Related to Assessment Development or Selection
  • Type of assessment
  • Some key concepts
    • Universal design
    • Construct irrelevant variance
    • Adaptations
    • Floor effects
    • Sensitivity

Early Childhood Outcomes Center



with special needs:

Pages 260-280

types of assessments
Types of assessments
  • Direct assessment
    • Tasks administered to the child
    • May be norm-referenced
  • Observation-based assessment
    • Criterion referenced or curriculum based
    • Authentic or naturalistic assessment
    • Teacher checklists
features of direct assessments
Features of direct assessments
  • Child is asked to perform or respond to a series of assessor administered tasks
  • Many have strict rules for how the items are administered and scored
    • For many direct assessments, tasks must be administered the same way to all children
  • Child may or may not be familiar with the assessor
  • Examples: Woodcock-Johnson, PPVT
features of observation based assessments
Features of observation-based assessments
  • Multiple ways for child to show mastery of the item or objective
  • Assessor is familiar with the child; not a stranger.
  • More flexibility than direct assessment but there are “standards”
    • criteria for the behaviors addressed in the item and scoring
  • Examples: GOLD, High Scope COR, Work Sampling
interesting dilemma
Interesting dilemma
  • Observation-based assessment widely regarded as the better way to assess young children
  • Many large scale assessment efforts (especially program evaluations) use direct measures.
    • Few notable exceptions: statewide EC efforts in KY, CO, NE, PA.

Direct assessments with rigid standardized procedures pose far more problems for assessing children with disabilities

universal design for learning udl
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
  • UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

Early Childhood Outcomes Center

principles of udl
Principles of UDL
  • Provide multiple means of representation
  • Provide multiple means of action and expression
  • Provide multiple means of engagement

Early Childhood Outcomes Center

construct irrelevant variance
Construct Irrelevant Variance
  • Child has the concept but does not get credit for the item because
    • Can’t point
    • Can’t speak
    • Can’t attend for even short periods of time
    • Can’t understand the instructions
    • Etc.
  • Major problem with rigidly standardized direct assessments.

**Standardizing the conditions does not standardize the experience for the child.**

  • Develop assessments to allow the widest range of participation (UDL); minimize the need for adaptations
    • E.g., refer to “communication,” not “spoken language”
  • Modifications in presentation, response format, timing, setting (Some of which assessors do in EC anyway)
    • Validity of adaptations in standardized direct assessments?
  • Desired Results Developmental Profile access
    • EC assessment with adaptations
adaptations in drdp access
Adaptations in DRDP access
  • Augmentative or alternative communication system
  • Alternative mode for written language
  • Visual support
  • Assistive equipment or device
  • Functional positioning
  • Sensory support
  • Alternative response mode

Early Childhood Outcomes Center

floor effects and sensitivity
Floor effects and sensitivity
  • Floor effects – not enough or any items for children who are lower functioning
    • E.g., assessment is geared for 5 year olds – developmentally the child is 2
  • (for measuring progress) Lack of sensitivity – increments between items too large to capture growth of children who progress slowly
if your kea will provide useful information
If your KEA will provide useful information….
  • Exclusion of children with disabilities is not an acceptable option.
  • All children and their families are entitled to the benefits of KEA’s
    • Inform instruction
    • Social benchmarking
    • etc.

Early Childhood Outcomes Center

  • Promoting Positive Outcomes for Children with Disabilities: Recommendations for Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation
    • Available free from the Division for Early Childhood (DEC)

  • Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, How
    • Available from the National Academies Press