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Diagnosing the Learning Enabled: New Ways of Thinking About Assessment, Identification and Intervention – And Why We’re Thinkin’ That Way. Rhode Island Technical Assistance Project Summer Institute ‘03 W. David Tilly III, Ph.D. Heartland Area Education Agency 11 July 24 and 25, 2003.

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slide1

Diagnosing the Learning Enabled: New Ways of Thinking About Assessment, Identification and Intervention – And Why We’re Thinkin’ That Way

Rhode Island Technical Assistance Project Summer Institute ‘03

W. David Tilly III, Ph.D.

Heartland Area Education Agency 11

July 24 and 25, 2003

Correspondence about this presentation should be directed to David Tilly, Heartland AEA 11, 6500 Corporate Dr., Johnston, IA 50131. Email is [email protected], (515) 270-9030.

like me
Like ME
  • I was born in Rhode Island
  • I am a parent
  • I’ve got tomatoes in my garden this year
  • I have gone to a National Conference in the past 5 years
  • I have lived outside of the United States
  • I am a special educator
like me5
Like ME
  • I have worked in education for:
  • 20 years or more
  • 15 years or more
  • 10 years or more
  • 5 years or more
  • Less than 5 years
take a couple minutes
Take a Couple Minutes
  • Introduce yourself at your table
    • Who are you?
    • Where are you from?
    • What do you do in your school?
big picture objectives
Big Picture Objectives
  • Updates on what’s going on Nationally and in RI in education
  • Some background on some of “Why” it’s going on
  • Look at the big themes, processes, implementations and outcomes
  • Take some time to process this and to contemplate possibilities. That is, I’m going to ask you to talk with eachother about the stuff I’m presenting
  • Whatchagonnadowhenyougohome?
morning advance organizer
Morning Advance Organizer
  • Discuss where educational assessment is going and for all students with a focus on helping students with learning challenges
  • To review some of the rationale behind reforming our assessment/identification systems in schools
  • To propose a more rational and helpful alternative system consistent with NCLB
  • To provide illustrations and data on the effects of successful implementation of that model
one more objective for the morning
One More Objective for The Morning

To encourage you think “Outside of the Box”

current realities we can view them as obstacles or opportunities
Current Realities: We Can View Them As Obstacles or Opportunities
  • Major Reform
  • Federal Law Changes
  • Few Precedents Leading to the Future
  • High Stakes
  • Ready or not, Here We Come
big picture context nclb
Big Picture Context (NCLB)
  • We can’t ignore it
  • We know enough to get started
  • We have enough guidance too know some things about our near term future
    • We know we have till ’13-’14 to get ALL students proficient in Reading and Math
big picture context nclb activity 1
Big Picture Context (NCLB) Activity 1
  • Question: What percentage of students in the buildings you work in are proficient in mathematics and reading?
big picture context nclb14
Big Picture Context (NCLB)
  • The accountability provisions in NCLB, with subgroup analyses, can provide over a hundred opportunities a year to be designated a School in Need of Improvement (SINI)
  • Schools need to miss only one for SINI designation
big picture context for kids with learning problems
Big Picture Context for Kids With Learning Problems
  • We know with the collateral changes in IDEA all means every, and no students can be exempted from the accountability system
  • The stakes are really high
  • Both the House and Senate Bills have some REALLY INTERESTING STUFF IN them!!!!
richard feynman has said

Richard Feynman has said:

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”

it is also true that

It is Also True That...

If we don’t learn from the past, we’ll repeat it

one perspective on history
K-12 EducationOne Perspective on History
  • Our education system has grown up through a process of “Disjointed Incrementalism” (Reynolds, 1988)

Gifted

SPED

The current

Education

System’s

Programmatic

Evolution

Migrant

Title 1

At Risk

ELL

unintended effects
Unintended Effects
  • Conflicting programs
  • Conflicting funding streams
  • Redundacy
  • Lack of coordination across programs
  • Nonsensical rules about program availability for students
  • Extreme complexity in administration and implementation of the programs
we have got to get more systematic and simplify especially in high stakes areas rms
Intensive Interventions 5%

Strategic Interventions 15%

Core Curriculum 80%

We Have Got To Get More Systematic and Simplify – Especially in High Stakes Areas (RMS)

School Curricula – Pick an area

We’ll Come Back to This

Students

Adapted from: Sugai and Horner

this sounds good but
This Sounds Good, But….
  • Our hands are tied
  • Federal law prescribes lots of how we’re organized
  • Especially in Special Education, there are lots of things we have to do
  • How can we get them done along with the new requirements?
sped assessment survey 03

SPED Assessment Survey ‘03

Activity #2: Complete Survey

forces underlying our assessment systems for kids
Forces Underlying Our Assessment Systems For Kids
  • Ethical Reasons
  • Legal Reasons
  • Professional Reasons
  • Socio-Political Realities
ethical reasons
Ethical Reasons

Why Did You Become An Educator?

legal reasons the purpose of idea 97
Legal Reasons: The Purpose of IDEA ‘97
  • To ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them FAPE...
  • To ensure that the rights of children with disabilities…
  • To Assist States $$…
  • To ensure parents and teachers have tools to improve results...
legal reasons the purpose of idea 9727
Legal Reasons: The Purpose of IDEA ‘97
  • To assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities
professional reasons professional judgment
Professional Reasons: Professional Judgment
  • Determines how we carry out and meet our legal and inspirational purposes.
    • Assumptions
    • Practices
in the beginning
In the Beginning
  • Assessment System for Students With Learning Problems Was Based On A Series of Assumptions
activity 3 name the assumptions
Activity #3: Name the Assumptions
  • Think about your experience.
  • What are one or more assumption about kids, teaching and/or learning problems inherent in how our special education system was defined.
if we assume
If We Assume
  • Assumption 1: Available educational assessment procedures are sufficient for reliable and valid differential diagnosis.
if we assume32
If We Assume
  • Assumption 2: Thorough understanding of the intrapersonal (within person) cause of educational disabilities is the most critical factor in determining appropriate treatment.
if we assume33
If We Assume
  • Assumption 3: Persons within disability categories have similar educational needs that are different in educationally important ways from persons in other disability categories.

Students

with LD

Students

with MR

Students

with EBD

MR Reading Methods

LD Reading Methods

EBD Reading Methods

if we assume34
If We Assume
  • Assumption 4: Matching treatments to disability type (or underlying characteristics) will result in maximally effective interventions.

Learning Disability X LD Methods = Effective Tx.

Auditory Learner X Auditory Instruction = Effective Tx.

Sequential Processor X Sequential Instr. = Effective Tx.

these were the assumptions
These Were The Assumptions
  • The year was 1975
  • Based on the best information we had at the time
  • The best research of the time was considered
logical and rational system structure
Logical and Rational System Structure
  • If these assumptions are true, then, from the standpoint of meeting our professional and legal purposes
    • The historical system is structured appropriately to meet our purposes
    • Nationally-normed, standardized tests are all we need to meet our purposes.
    • Effectiveness of service delivery could be determined by examining how many children we are helping.
the system worked
The System Worked
  • Child find
  • Children were placed in special programs
  • Services were delivered
  • An ever increasing number of professionals were involved
  • We got really efficient at the process!
until activity 4
Until… Activity #4
  • Turn To Activity Page
  • Individually write down some of the challenges (practical, professional, ethical, and/or political) to special education that you have experienced in Rhode Island throughout the past 10 years….
until
Until...
  • Increases in SPED incidence (particularly in SLD and recently in OHI)
  • Increases in English Language Learners
  • National Academy of Science Reports (1984, 1996, 2002)
  • Inclusion
  • Undocumented Effectiveness
  • Fordham Foundation Report “Rethinking Special Education for the New Millennium”
  • National Movement Toward Better Educational Results (e.g., Nation at Risk leading to Standards-Based Reform)
until40
Until...
  • Increasing 504 Awareness
  • Increased Poverty
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Judicial Findings Generally Supporting Parents’ Wishes in Placement (e.g., more inclusive environments)
  • All Converging on IDEA ’97
idea 97 s contributions
IDEA ’97’s Contributions
  • Functional and Developmental Assessment in all assessment domains
  • Increased parental involvement
  • Inclusion of all kids in district and state assessments
  • FBA and Behavioral interventions
  • General Education Curriculum
  • I could go on….
no child left behind
No Child Left Behind
  • Sweeping changes to ESEA
  • Increased complexity (1100 pages of it)
  • Increased accountability
  • Increased rewards and sanctions
  • Increased prescriptiveness (esp. in Reading)
  • Increased linkages with Special Education
president s commission report a new era
President’s Commission Report: A New Era
  • Launch the “antiquated wait to fail” model
  • SPED kids are GenEd. Kids first!
  • Empower parents
  • Emphasize results over compliance
  • Use better approaches to identifying kids with disabilities
  • Prepare teachers better
  • SPED research needs enhanced rigor
and pending idea reauthorization
And Pending IDEA Reauthorization
  • Some highlights from the House Bill
    • Adds language saying a child will not be determined to have a disability if the determinate factor is lack of scientifically based instructional practices and programs that contain the essential components of reading as defined in ESEA
pending idea reauthorization from the house bill
Pending IDEA Reauthorization – From the House Bill

‘‘(6) SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITIES.—

‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding sec- 13

tion 607 of this Act, or any other provision of 14

law, when determining whether a child has a 15

specific learning disability as defined under this 16

Act, the local educational agency shall not be 17

required to take into consideration whether the 18

child has a severe discrepancy between achieve- 19

ment and intellectual ability in oral expression, 20

listening comprehension, written expression, 21

basic reading skill, reading comprehension, 22

mathematical calculation, or mathematical rea- 23

soning. 24

pending idea reauthorization
Pending IDEA Reauthorization
  • Adds a provision allowing LEAs to use a process that determines if a child responds to scientific, research-based intervention when determining whether a child has a specific learning disability.
  • Gets rid of benchmarks or short term objectives
  • Adds “academic” to functional and developmental information that must be collected
pending idea reauthorization47
Pending IDEA Reauthorization
  • Adds “prereferal services” which permits an LEA to use up to 15 percent of its Part B funds for students who have not been identified as needing special education and related services but who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in general education.
  • Massive Part D changes
should we change the way we do business is no longer a question
Should we change the way we do business? - Is no longer a question.
  • We're All Looking for New Ways to do Things,
  • But what are the possibilities?
  • How can we make a good system better?
should we change the way we do business
Should We Change the Way We Do Business?
  • We're all looking for new ways to do things, but how do we do this within the context of NCLB?
    • Legal Standards (shifting)
    • Professional Knowledge (evolving)
federal law and regs are prescriptive about few things in assessment and intervention 300 532
Federal Law and Regs are Prescriptive About Few Things in Assessment and Intervention §300.532.
  • Administered in child's native language
  • Validated for specific purpose for which they are used
  • Administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producer
federal law and regs are prescriptive about few things in assessment and intervention 300 53251
Federal Law and Regs are Prescriptive About Few Things in Assessment and Intervention §300.532.
  • No single procedure may be used for determining an appropriate education
  • The evaluation must be conducted by a multidisciplinary team
  • The child must be assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability
federal law and regs are prescriptive about few things in assessment and intervention 300 53252
Federal Law and Regs are Prescriptive About Few Things in Assessment and Intervention §300.532.
  • A variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional and developmental information about the child...
  • That may assist in determining the content of the child’s IEP, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum
important point
IMPORTANT POINT
  • There is tremendous flexibility within IDEA
  • One of Iowa’s greatest learnings as a state was that “we did it to ourselves”
  • That is, most of the restrictions we perceived as barriers to changing what we were doing – they were self imposed by our state’s interpretation of the Federal Law and Regulations
professionally we now have many years experience implementing our assessment system
Professionally, we now have many years experience implementing our assessment system
our professional obligation
Our Professional Obligation
  • Review practice and assumptions related to accomplishing our assessment purposes
  • We need to celebrate many positive outcomes
    • Nearly 1 million previously excluded - included
    • Services are provided
    • Rights of children and their families are protected
professionally after 27 years we know
Professionally, after 27 years we know
  • Assumption 1: Available educational assessment procedures are sufficient for reliable and valid differential diagnosis.
  • Many assessment devices used for differential diagnosis are not reliable and valid enough for use with individuals (e.g., Salvia and Ysseldyke, 1991; Witt, 1986).
professionally after 27 years we know58
Professionally, after 27 years we know
  • Assumption 2: Thorough understanding of the intrapersonal (within person) cause of educational disabilities is the most critical factor in determining appropriate treatment
  • Educational disability results from a complex interaction between curriculum, instruction, the environment and learner characteristics (e.g., Howell, 1993)
professionally after 27 years we know59
Professionally, after 27 years we know
  • Assumption 3: Persons within disability categories have similar educational needs that are different in educationally important ways from persons in other disability categories.
  • Educational needs vary widely within and across disability category (e.g., Jenkins, Pious, & Peterson, 1988; Marston, 1987).

Students

with LD

Students

with MR

Students

with EBD

LD Reading Methods

MR Reading Methods

EBD Reading Methods

professionally after 27 years we know60
Professionally, after 27 years we know
  • Assumption 4: Matching treatments to disability type (or underlying child characteristics) will result in maximally effective interventions.
  • Aptitude-by-treatment interactions (ATIs) have not been proven (e.g., Arter & Jenkins, 1979; Cronbach, 1975; Good, et al., 1993; Teeter, 1987, 1989; Ysseldyke & Mirkin, 1982).
the reality
The Reality
  • The effectiveness of any educational strategy for an individual can only be determined through its implementation.
in short we need a different assessment system
In Short: We Need A Different Assessment System
  • We need a system:
    • For identifying problems more specifically and earlier
    • That allows for a broader range of explanations of why problems are occurring
    • Emphasizes assessment for Problem ID, Problem Analysis, Treatment Planning
    • and; Evaluating whether the interventions are effective
in short we need
In Short: We Need
  • A School-Wide Problem-Solving System
quote
Quote
  • In the main, the bureaucratic structure of the workplace is more influential in determining what professionals do than are personal abilities, professional training, or previous experience. Therefore, change efforts should focus on the structure of the workplace, not on the teachers

Frymier, J. (1987, September). Bureaucracy and the neutering of teachers. Phi Delta Kappan, p. 10.

so how do we get there
So How Do We Get There?
  • We need to create a new box, outside of our historical paradigm?
let s examine the parameters
Let’s Examine the Parameters
  • Reexamine the assessment survey.
slide68
1. The primary purpose of special education assessment is eligibility determination for services. False
  • IDEA ‘97 discusses assessments for the many purposes including:
    • to determine whether a child is a child with a disability
    • to determine educational needs of such a child
    • to measure a child’s progress toward annual goals
    • to communicate with a child’s parents about
      • their children’s progress toward the annual goals
      • the extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the annual goals by the end of the year
slide69
2. Individually administered IQ tests are not required by federal law for any special education disability category. True
  • IDEA ‘97 does not refer to IQ tests anywhere (nor any type of test)
  • There are places where the federal statute and regulations use terms such as "Cognitive Factors"614(b)(2)(C) and "Intellectual Functioning" 34 CFR 300.7(b)(6)
  • There are ways to make inferences about these constructs without using IQ tests.
slide70
3. It is a requirement of Federal law that disability labels be used to individually identify students with disabilities. False
  • 3 administrations made this position clear
  • At least 2 states are "noncategorical"
  • Iowa offers the option to AEAs - the Feds have OK'd this
slide71
3. It is a requirement of Federal law that disability labels be used to individually identify students with disabilities. False
  • 612(a)(3)(B) Nothing in this Act requires that children be classified by their disability so long as each child who has a disability listed in section 602 and who by reason of that disability, needs special education and related services is regarded as a child with a disability under this part.
slide72
4. Federal regulations do not require that standardized tests be used to identify students with disabilities. True
  • Federal language reads "Tests and other evaluation materials" 34 CFR 300§532a
  • According to Judy Heumann, "Evaluations under Part B can be accomplished by testing or by means other than testing..."
  • Federal regulations provide flexibility in the data sources that can be used to inform professional decisionmaking
slide73
5. It is a due process violation for support staff to collect any student-specific assessment data prior to receiving parental permission. True and False
  • Two issues:
    • How professionals are funded (Incidental Benefit rules) - No longer True!!
    • Whether it is the policy and procedures of the agency to make these types of services available to all general education children
  • Purpose of the evaluation is the key to determining the acceptability of an individual evaluation
slide74
6. All children with any of the 13 disabilities identified in IDEA ‘97 are entitled to special education. False
  • IDEA Entitlement = Disability + Need
  • This was one component of the landmark Rowley (1982) case decided by the US Supreme Court
  • Children with disabilities who do not need services to receive a FAPE are not entitled to receive unneeded services.
slide75
7. Data collected for 504 evaluations, Title I evaluations or “at risk” evaluations can and should be used if available, when conducting full and individual special education evaluations. True
  • All information available on student performance should be considered.
  • The consent for evaluation is giving consent to consider entitlement for special education
  • Rationale to IDEA ‘97 Regs “... the amendments permit initial evaluations to be based on existing evaluation data and reports...”
slide76
8. IDEA requires that a teacher with disability-specific certification teaches children with the corresponding disability. False
  • Federal regulations require that special education specified in a child's IEP is provided by qualified personnel. Teacher certification is a state licensure issue.
slide77
9. Federal regulations require the same assessment procedures to be used with all children suspected of having the same disability. False
  • The language term used in the statute is “full and individual evaluation”
  • It is a presumption that there may be overlap between the data sources collected for different children. However, no two children’s needs will be the same.
slide78
10. Placing children in classrooms based on their specific disability is permissible by federal law. False, False, False
  • “The unavoidable consequence of such a labeling practice is to identify and plan to meet each child's educational needs on the basis of what that child has in common with other children similarly identified rather than on the basis of that child's individualized needs. Thus it is the view of this office that any labeling practice that categorizes children according to their disability in order to facilitate the individual determination of any child's appropriate educational needs or services will be presumed to violate the protections accorded under Federal and State Law.”

Thomas Bellamy, former OSEP Director

the solutions research and common sense into action
The Solutions(Research and Common Sense Into Action)
  • We can't work any harder!
  • So...
  • We gotta work smarter
  • And...
  • It will require the whole system working together
the solutions research and common sense into action81
The Solutions(Research and Common Sense Into Action)
  • Instructional design advances
    • Especially in Reading!!
  • Behavior change technological advances
    • FBA and it’s associated systems-interventions
  • Assessment systems linked to intervention
  • One integrated problem-solving structure that eliminates bureaucratic silos
osep specific learning disabilities finding common ground july 02
OSEP: Specific Learning Disabilities: Finding Common Ground – July ‘02
  • A multi-tiered, collaborative problem-solving approach, which incorporates early intervention, trial teaching, progress monitoring, and a inter-disciplinary evaluation, was named as a promising alternative the current IQ-Achievement discrepancy model for identifying students with Learning Disabilities.
to move toward problem solving
To Move Toward Problem Solving
  • Best to attend to a series of “Big Ideas” or Principles
principle 1 the key to all is every
Principle #1: The Key to All is Every
  • Assessing and ensuring the effectiveness of, efforts to educate ALL Children

P.L. 105-17, Sec 601 (C)(10)(d)(4)

principle 2 shift in emphasis for assessment
Principle #2: Shift in Emphasis For Assessment
  • Old Focus
  • New Focus

Diagnosing the “Disability” or “Diagnosing for Accountability”

Diagnosing the “Learning Enabled”

shift from problem identification admiration to problem analysis
Shift From Problem Identification/Admiration to Problem Analysis
  • Our old system labeled and placed, or labeled and rewarded/sanctioned
  • Our new system needs to analyze problems:
    • For the purpose of understanding changeable factors related to learning problems
    • For the purpose of identifying possibly effective teaching strategies
    • Monitoring when teaching strategies are effective and helping us change them when they’re not
illustration for students with disabilities e g melissa
WISC-III

Woodcock Johnson – R

Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test

Motor Screen

Bender

Teacher Interview

Speech Screening

Health History

Social History

Educational History

Intervention Summary Review

Vision-Hearing Screening

Parent and Teacher Interviews

CBM Normative Comparisons

Curriculum-Based Evaluation Survey-Level

Curriculum-Based Evaluation Specific-Level Procedures

Illustration for Students with Disabilities (e.g., Melissa)

Our Old System

Our New System

principle 3
Principle #3
  • Support seamless school wide resource-allocation systems that:
    • Match resources deployed with nature and intensity of student need
    • Emphasize prevention and early intervention efforts
heartland aea s problem solving approach
Level IV

IEP

Consideration

Level III

Consultation With

Extended Problem

Solving Team

• Define the Problem

Look Familiar?

Level II

Consultation with

Amount of Resources

Needed to Solve Problem

Other Resources

• Develop a Plan

• Evaluate

Level I

Consultation

Between

Teachers-Parents

• Implement

Plan

INTENSITY OF PROBLEM

Heartland AEA’s Problem Solving Approach
iowa s experience how it all started
Iowa’s Experience: How it all started
  • Began in 1986-1987
  • Discussions with stakeholders
    • Parents
    • Teachers
    • Administrators
    • Area Education Agency Personnel
    • Policy Makers
  • Over 4000 persons contributed
a series of questions were asked
A Series of Questions Were Asked
  • What is working with the current system?
  • What components of the system are in need of reconsideration?
  • What barriers get in the way of trying these changes?
  • Important - There was no presumption that what we were doing was not being done well.
iowa s experience
Iowa’s Experience
  • Systematically piloted in late ’80s and early ’90s
  • Changed state rules in ’95
  • Requires General Education Intervention
  • Defines systematic problem solving
  • Promotes assessments tailored to individuals’ needs
  • Assessment for identifying problems, analyzing them, planning interventions, monitoring progress and evaluating effectiveness
what happened sped count
What Happened: SPED Count

Source: Iowa Department of Education Annual Condition of Education Report 2001

what happened due process hearings in iowa
What Happened: Due Process Hearings in Iowa

Source: Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Children, Family and Community Services

slide95
What Happened: Assessments

Evaluation type, frequency, and percentage of total assessments in Heartland AEA 11

1997-2002

Outcomes of BAT for Students- approx 10% of students ’99-’01 School years (n=532). Taken from Ikeda, M. J. and Gustafson, J. K. (2002). Heartland AEA 11's Problem Solving Process: Impact on Issues Related to Special Education. Heartland Area Education Agency, Johnston, IA

what happened consumer satisfaction
What Happened: Consumer Satisfaction

Question 1: The problem solving process supports teachers in improvingthe performance of students whose academic skills and behaviors are of concern. This includes the Building Assistance Team or other intervention supports.

Question 2: Problem solving process leading to educational interventions is equally applicable for helping students in general and special education.

Source: Heartland AEA 11 Consumer Satisfaction Survey 2000-2001

what happened results for kids
Special

Education

General Education

Staffed into Special Education (n=116)

Pending Level III Intervention (n=43)

Continuing Intervention in General Education

(n=219)

Problem Solved (n=107)

What Happened: Results for Kids

Outcomes of BAT for Students- approx 10% of students ’99-’01 School years (n=532). Taken from Ikeda, M. J. and Gustafson, J. K. (2002). Heartland AEA 11's Problem Solving Process: Impact on Issues Related to Special Education. Heartland Area Education Agency, Johnston, IA

summary priorities for assessment revisions
Summary: Priorities for Assessment Revisions
  • Results not process
  • Assess skills, not aptitudes
  • Refocus on early identification and prevention efforts. Provide a continuum of resources to meet students needs
punch line
Punch Line
  • We have an exciting opportunity before us
  • We have many of the tools we need to move ahead
  • A broad base of experimentation is occurring across the country
  • We can set direction for where we go next
  • The critical difference between places where change takes hold and flourishes and where it founders, is LEADERSHIP
slide100
A leader is a person you will follow to a place that you wouldn't go by yourself.

Joel Barker, 1992

slide101
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.

Michelangelo

activity last
Activity Last
  • Individually, identify one idea that “made you think – HMMM”
  • Individually identify one thing you want to know more about.
  • Individually identify one question that you have.
  • Share these out at your table
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