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Building Quality Child Assessment Systems for IDEA Infant/Toddler and Preschool Programs. Where We’ve Been Lately and Where We Might Be Going Next Mary McLean 8/27/2008. Where We’ve Been Lately. Working on Outcomes Assessment!. IDEA 2004 and Accountability.
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Building Quality Child Assessment Systems for IDEA Infant/Toddler and Preschool Programs Where We’ve Been Lately and Where We Might Be Going Next Mary McLean 8/27/2008
Where We’ve Been Lately Working on Outcomes Assessment!
IDEA 2004 and Accountability Is money spent on programs for young children with disabilities producing good outcomes?
Decisions, decisions…. • What to measure ? • Status vs progress ? • One instrument or many ? • Direct assessment or observation-based? • Sample or report on all children?
Part C and Preschool Child Outcomes % of children who demonstrate improved: • Positive social emotional skills (including positive social relationships) • Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/ communication [and early literacy]) • Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs
Reporting Categories • % of children who did not improve functioning • % of children who improved functioning but not sufficient to move nearer to functioning comparable to same-aged peers • % of children who improved functioning to a level nearer to same-aged peers but did not reach it • % of children who improved functioning to reach a level comparable to same-aged peers • % of children who maintained functioning at a level comparable to same-aged peers
Timelines __X__December 2005 – States submit State Performance Plans __X__Feb 2007 – APR: Child status at entry data __X__Feb 2008 – APR: First progress data _____2009 - First report to the public _____2010 – Targets to be set
Where We Are Now Working on Quality Assessment Practices
As states work through the many challenges involved in developing accountability systems, we may find that the push for accountability has the unintended positive consequence of building better assessment practices. Hebbeler, Barton & Mallik, 2007
Building a better assessment system for children, families and programs
Recommended Practices for Assessment • Neisworth, J.& Bagnato, S. (2005). DEC recommended practices: Assessment. In Sandall, Hemmeter, Smith & McLean (Eds) DEC recommended practice: A comprehensive guide for application. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Publishing Co. • NAEYC and NAECS/SDE (2003). Early childhood curriculum, assessment, and program evaluation: Building an effective accountable system in programs for children birth through age 8. http://www.naeyc.org/about/positions/cape.asp • DEC (2007). Promoting positive outcomes for children with disabilities: Recommendations for curriculum, assessment and program evaluation. www.dec-sped.org • Snow, C. & VanHemel, C. (2008). Early childhood assessment: Why, what and how? Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Characteristics of a Quality Assessment System • Useful (utility) • Authentic • Collaborative • Universal
Useful assessment utility
The Birth to 6 Child Outcome System 1. Assess at entry and exit. 4. The state collects this data and reports to OSEP: percentages of children meeting criteria for each reporting category 2. Determine status ratings at entry and exit 3. Provide this information to the state. 5. The state determines goals and improvement activities. COSF Social Emotional Acquiring knowledge and skills Actions to meet needs
Formative Assessment Assessment for learning Ongoing during intervention Informs instruction Benefits the children who are being assessed Summative Assessment Assessment of learning Completed as a child is exiting a program Informs accountability or program evaluation Benefits programs Formative and Summative Assessment
Wisconsin Model Early Learning StandardsTeaching Cycle Ongoing Assessment Gathering information to determine what the child can do and what the child is ready to learn Planning Deciding what should be done to promote development and what we want children to learn. Implementation Providing meaningful, experiential activities that support individual and group goals guided by supportive interaction and relationships
Ongoing Assessment • Helps decide what to teach • Helps decide how to teach • Helps to know when to make changes in teaching • Is “assessment in the service of instruction” (McAfee & Leong, 2002)
An Assessment System with High Utility • Informs program planning and progress monitoring and accountability • Informs general early childhood planning/monitoring and IFSP/IEP planning/monitoring
The Birth to 6 Child Outcome System 1. Utilize authentic, on-going assessment practices. 4. The state collects this data and reports to OSEP: percentages of children meeting criteria for each reporting category 2. Determine status ratings at entry and exit 3. Provide this information to the state. 5. The state determines goals and improvement activities. COSF Social Emotional Acquiring knowledge and skills Actions to meet needs
Authentic assessment Observation of child behavior over time in typical routines and activities
Standardized_________________________________AuthenticDirect Assessment__________________Observation-based assessment
“…the science of the strange behavior of children in strange situations with strange adults for the briefest possible period of time” Bronfenbrenner (1977) (standardized assessment)
“The best way to understand the development of children is to observe their behavior in natural settings while they are interacting with familiar adults over prolonged periods of time.” Bronfenbrenner, 1977 (authentic assessment)
Procedures for consistency in administration and scoring are built in Behavior sampled may not be representative of child’s typical behavior Consistency depends on teacher training and monitoring of implementation Behavior measured is child’s typical behavior Increased utility for instruction (Mathematica, 2007) Observation_______Direct Assessment
Strategies for authentic assessment Observation and documentation anecdotal notes event sampling activity protocols portfolio assessment
Embed assessment into ongoing routines and activities (Raver, S.,2003; Sandall & Schwartz, 2008)
Activity Protocols An activity protocol provides a list of skills from a curriculum-referenced assessment that are likely to be observed in a particular activity or routine Grisham-Brown, Hemmeter & Pretti-Frontczak, 2005
Activity Protocol: Playdough AREA ITEM CHILD BEHAVIORS Motor M-1 Holds object with one hand and manipulates with other Cognitive C-3 Demonstrates understanding of size concepts Adaptive A-4 Fastens button on art smock
Portfolio Assessment • Paper • Electronic
Use of Authentic Assessment to Inform Multiple Measures • To inform curriculum-referenced assessments which measure progress toward EC learning targets or curricular goals • To measure progress toward IEP goals or IFSP outcomes • To inform measures of accountability
Collaborative …with families and teams
Family involvement expands the validity of assessment information to home and community environments Gathering information from families
Strategies for Gathering Information • Utilize home visits as a strategy to connect with families • Make periodic requests for information from families (describe specific skills to watch for at home.) • Use assessment tools that have family report forms: AEPS, HELP. • Use existing informal communication mechanisms (traveling notebook, daily conversations, e-mail, telephone.)
How to Include Information from Other Providers Systematically • Plan collaborative activities for observations • Schedule periodic team meetings or staffings • Share information and request information
Universal …and individually appropriate
Universality Design and/or accommodations which enable all children to demonstrate their underlying functional capabilities Bagnato, Neisworth,& Pretti-Frontczak, (in preparation). Assessment must be valid for all children including children who are English Language Learners and children with disabilities
Assessment and Learning Targets IFSP/IEP Targeted Curricula (e.g., early literacy, social emotional) General Curriculum Commercial General Curriculum Locally Developed Early Learning Standards or Foundations Individualized Universal
Universal Design The design of products to be useable by all people to the greatest extent possible (Thompson, Johnstone & Thurlow, 2002) Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html Desired Results access Project California Department of Education www.draccess.org
Accommodations/Adaptations Adaptations are changes in environmental arrangements or differences in observed behavior that allow children with disabilities to be accurately assessed in the natural environment: Augmentative or alternative communication system Alternative mode for written language Visual support Assistive equipment or device Functional positioning Sensory support Alternative response mode www.draccess.org
Where Are We Going Next? Innovative Practices in Measurement
Innovative Models and Frameworks Assessment Framework - RTI Measurement Model - IRT / Rasch
Assessment Framework: RTI Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood http://www.crtiec.org/ Recognition and Response: An Early Intervening System for Young Children At Risk for Learning Disabilities http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~randr/
Where did RTI come from? • Initiatives in the field of learning disabilities • Written into IDEA 2004 – “early intervening” • Part B money can be used to fund programs for children who have not yet been found eligible for special education