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Assessing ELLs for LD within an RTI framework

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing ELLs for LD within an RTI framework"— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessing ELLs for LD within an RTI framework
Jennifer Venegas, M.A. Alicia Hoerner, Ph.D.

2 ELLs and LD eligibility
History of overrepresentation and underrepresentation of ELLs as LD due to linguistic and cultural differences and inappropriate assessment and instruction. (Ochoa, Ortiz, Rhodes, 2005; Donovan & Cross, 2002)s Considerable demands in parsing out academic difficulties that are due to a learning disability versus difficulties due to factors related to English proficiency. (Wilkinson, Alba, Robertson & Kushner, 2006) Most referred group of ELLs is that exhibiting reading difficulties. Over 50% of ELLs score in the bottom 3rd of reading achievement (National Center for Education Statistics, 2005)

3 Approaches for determining eligibility: Discrepancy model
Measurement of IQ/achievement gap Utah Estimator: at least 93 percent confident there is a severe discrepancy between the student's expected achievement score and the obtained achievement score. Criticisms : “wait-to-fail model” Use of discrepancy models for determining LD contribute to the disproportionate minority representation in special education. (Donovan & Cross, 2002)

4 Approaches for determining eligibility: Response To Intervention
Response to intervention (RTI) model has been proposed as an alternative approach to determining eligibility for special education. Not primarily a system for eligibility requirement but an intervention delivery system. Expectation that RTI approaches to determining SLD eligibility will be more culturally sensitive to issues of disproportionality for minorities with LD. (Linan-Thompson, Cirino, & Vaugh, 2007) Variation from district to district Different states are at different stages about how detailed RTI data needs to by

5 Approaches for determining eligibility: Response To Intervention
Vaughn, Mathes, Linan-Thompson & Francis (2005) say: “At the current time, it is very difficult to actually implement this model with ELLs because efficacy of various interventions has not been tested with this population.” Esparza (2008) states “The main problem with RTI and ELLs is the same as that with standardized assessment- what is the appropriate standard, expectation for growth or baseline to use?” Haager (2007) cautions that it is not feasible or desirable to have separate sets of tools and procedures for non-ELLs and ELLs. Studies shown to be efficacious with non-ELLs should be replicated with ELLs to determine dual utility of instructional tools and practices. Richardson (2009) found that assessment of ELLs with CBM measures yield different trend lines and slopes. What is to be expected? What is progress? What is response to intervention?

6 English learner oral language proficiency and its impact on growth trajectories in reading: A three- year longitudinal study (Richardson, 2009) Limitations: didn’t have data for all ELLS’s only included data for kids that had all three years Oral language mediated the outcome of ELLs on CBM measures (DIBELS) Dual discrepancy approach Consider level and rate of progress, continue to monitor progress compared to grade level Lower expectation Sample size: EO=545; FES=138; LES=167; NES= 59 Yellow Line: below 20% chance of passing language arts CRTs; above is 50% Green Line: above is 80% chance of passing language arts CRTs

7 English learner oral language proficiency and its impact on growth trajectories in reading: A three- year longitudinal study (Richardson, 2009) Limitations: didn’t have data for all ELLS’s only included data for kids that had all three years Oral language mediated the outcome of ELLs on CBM measures (DIBELS) Dual discrepancy approach Consider level and rate of progress, continue to monitor progress compared to grade level Lower expectation Sample Size: EO= 357; FES= 163; LES= 38; NES= 16 Yellow Line: below 20% chance of passing language arts CRTs; above is 50% Green Line: above is 80% chance of passing language arts CRTs

8 English learner oral language proficiency and its impact on growth trajectories in reading: A three year longitudinal study (Richardson, 2009) Findings ELLs were not found to be reading at the same level as non-ELLs; however, ELLs demonstrated variable oral English proficiency, which had a strong influence on reading proficiency level. ELLs appear to be catching up in the 4th through 6th grades, showing faster growth rates than their non-ELL peers. ELLs had similar rates of reading to non-ELLs, but different starting and ending points, depending on English proficiency Best to identify how to help ELLs meet ambitious expectations rather than lowering expectations to meet status quo. ELLs with SLD in reading will likely present with low level of performance AND low rates of progress. Limitations: didn’t have data for all ELLS’s only included data for kids that had all three years Oral language mediated the outcome of ELLs on CBM measures (DIBELS) Dual discrepancy approach Consider level and rate of progress, continue to monitor progress compared to grade level Lower expectation

9 ELLs and Eligibility When assessing ELLs it is beneficial to link together multiple sources of information. Wilkinson, Ortiz, Robertson, & Kushner (2006) suggest paying attention to four domains when determining eligibility. Early intervention (type, duration, outcomes) Alternatives explanations to referral question Assessment (use of culturally and linguistically sensitive tests) Sensitivity of the multidisciplinary team to CLD factors Developmental history, home environment, culture, language use, formal and informal testing methods need to be considered with respect to LD eligibility. Target bx to be intervened on is still an issue team may pick a target that is either too hard or too easy  will affect if ‘response’ is made EX.Student w/o basic phonemic awareness had target of sound blending vs. 6th grader who got goal of ‘R’ sounds ZPD Oral language impacts ELLs but may not be receiving support in that area

10 Data interpretation for eligibility
Many school psychologists may find themselves unsure of how to go about incorporating data from curriculum based measures along with scores from standardized measures into their evaluation. SLCSD currently uses standardized measures along with CBM measures to determine eligibility for LD (“combined” approach). Evidence of appropriate instruction and documentation of repeated assessments to determine student progress in curriculum Observation in the area of concern Standardized measure of intellectual ability Standardized tests in targeted areas of referral Discrepancy report with at least 93% chance that there is a significant gap between achievement and intelligence Our state is still using standardized measures along with CBM measures SL District guidelines still include Appropriate instruction with assessment to determine student progress in curriculum OR Tier 2 data Observation Standardized test in targeted areas of referral Discrepancy report with at least 93% chance that there is a significant gap between achievement and intelligence

11 Purpose of presentation
Review two case studies to examine the application of a combined approach when determining LD eligibility for ELLs Participants: Two ELLs in the third grade Referral: Possible specific learning disability in reading fluency and comprehension History and early intervention Assessment: CBM, rate of progress measurement, and standardized measures Interpretation

12 SHAKIRA: Background information
9 years old, 3rd grade Born in Mexico Came to U.S.A. at 2 years with mother Spanish as first language Spanish is used as the primary home language Parent reported head injury due to “low speed” car accident at age 2; reportedly well the next day Educated in Utah since pre- school in English only English is dominant language as per Mother Teacher referral for slow academic progress in reading and math IPT: Oral language proficiency=limited; Reading= Non-English Reader IPT= Idea proficiency test, district wide test to determine lang prof of ELLS

13 SHAKIRA: DIBELS Annual Performance Profile
History and pre-referral information Target goal is the gray bar  Not reaching expected level for her grade; consistently below expected level since third grade Target based on DIBELS norms Black dots are BENCHMARKS: everyone benchmarked White are PROGRESS MONITORING: some in second grade Received English language development (oral language development) in 1st grade and some tier two intervention Began receiving SPED at the Feb of third grade increased slope in Fourth grade, closer to 4th grade target

14 SHAKIRA: Targeted Intervention
Intervention with reading specialist with instruction in phonics for reading fluency and reading comprehension (Anita Archer Phonics for Reading) 45 minutes daily for eight weeks in a small group Baseline: 13 wpm on 3rd grade level DIBELS 92 wpm expected for 3rd grade Target: Increase oral reading fluency and reading comprehension Before intx she was getting core instruction  Story Town is now the district wide reading curriculum core

15 SHAKIRA: Progress Monitoring Data
Anita Archer program NORMS: should have gained 8 words over 8 weeks Used Tukey’s to calculate rate of progress  Median points for first and last third of data, and then divided by the number of weeks of data points minus 1 First grade level: not making progress, and very low at the third grade very low

16 SHAKIRA: Standardized Testing
Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT) STANDARD SCORE PERCENTILE PRIMARY SCALES Memory Quotient 103 58th Reasoning Quotient 79* 8th SECONDARY SCALES Symbolic Quotient 97 42nd Nonsymbolic Quotient 85 16th FULL SCALE SCORE 90 25th REASONING WERE SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN MEMORY SKILLS  reasoning is relative weakness * Teacher had reported that she was slower at grasping concepts than other students

17 SHAKIRA: Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey-Revised
CLUSTER STANDARD SCORE CALP ENGLISH SPANISH Oral Language 90 87 3-4 Picture Vocabulary 79 91 -- Verbal Analogies 100 Reading 70 50 1 Letter-Word Identification 78 54 Passage Comprehension 63 Broad Language Ability 72 58 2 Both English and Spanish are developed evenly Not reading well in either language, but her oral language average to low average * Oral language includes CALP, and should be support the Reading more Reading is not commensurate with oral language; below what would be expected given the level of oral language proficiency CBM helps to look at the progress and interpret these results

18 SHAKIRA: Selected tests from WJ-III Achievement
CLUSTER STANDARD SCORE RELATIVE PROFICIENCY INDEX INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL Broad Reading 62 1/90 1.4 Basic Reading Skills 78 5/90 1.9 Reading Comprehension 71 14/90 1.6 RPI: All material is extremely difficult for Shakira BROAD READING: L-W, Reading Fluency and Passage Comp. STANDARD SCORES: Low range to Very Low SUBTEST Relative Prof Index %ile Letter-Word= /90 3rd Reading Fluency= <K Passage Comp= 77 12/90 6th Word Attack= 87 36/90 20th Reading Vocab= 76 17/90 5th Sound Awareness= 80 46/90 9th

19 SHAKIRA: Estimator Discrepancy Report
Ability (UNIT) Achievement (WJ-III) Percent Confident Significant Discrepancy FSIQ= 90 Basic Reading SS = 78 90 NO Reading Comp SS = 71 97 YES Utah State Office of Ed requires a discrepancy Used the reading comp As per district, discrepancy doesn’t need to be met, but RTI data does have to show deficits Discrepancy isnt the determining factor IQ might not be good estimate of cognitive functioning b/c of discrepancy Unit: multidimensional test allows us to see performance across areas related to learning and see variability variability linked to processing deficits and linked to learning disability RTI: allowed us to see this lower rate of learning Showed rate of progress and level (first grade instructional level) Team decision: both sources of data helped conclude that lower levels of performance not related to language proficiency

20 LUIS MIGUEL: Background information
8 years old, 3rd grade Born in Utah Both parents and sister migrated from Mexico Spanish as first language Spanish is used at the primary home language Described as “late talker” by mother English is reported as dominant language as per Mother Educated in U.S.A. in English since Kindergarten Teacher referral for slow academic progress Poor reading fluency and reading comprehension IPT (2nd grade): Oral Language= Limited; Reading= Non-English Reader Family moved back to Mexico after evaluation *Academics: poor reading fluency,

21 LUIS MIGUEL: DIBELS Annual Performance Profile

22 LUIS MIGUEL: Targeted Intervention
Intervention with reading specialist with instruction in phonics for reading fluency and reading comprehension (Anita Archer Phonics for Reading) 45 minutes daily for eight weeks in a small group Baseline: 21 wpm on 3rd grade level DIBELS 92 wpm expected for 3rd grade Target: Increase oral reading fluency and reading comprehension * Core reading curriculum is research based and district wide

23 LUIS MIGUEL: DIBELS ORF Data
Anita Archer program A lot of variability on the first grade level * * Used Tukey’s to calculate rate of progress  Median points for first and last third of data, and then divided by the number of weeks of data points minus 1

24 LUIS MIGUEL: Standardized Testing
Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT) STANDARD SCORE PERCENTILE PRIMARY SCALES Memory Quotient 100 50th Reasoning Quotient 85* 16th SECONDARY SCALES Symbolic Quotient 97 42nd Nonsymbolic Quotient 88 21th FULL SCALE SCORE 91 27th

25 LUIS MIGUEL: Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey-Revised
CLUSTER STANDARD SCORE CALP ENGLISH SPANISH Oral Language 72 71 3 Picture Vocabulary 69 60 -- Verbal Analogies 81 85 Reading 83 58 2 1 Letter-Word Identification 84 Passage Comprehension 52 Broad Language Ability 74 59 Mixed results with regard to dominant language Clearly English in reading, Has difficulty in vocabulary in both languages Not spanish, espcially for academics b/c he cant read in sp English for academics, but variability across domains, and is limited

26 LUIS MIGUEL: Selected tests from WJ-III Achievement
CLUSTER STANDARD SCORE RELATIVE PROFICIENCY INDEX INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL Broad Reading 85 -- 2.2 Basic Reading Skills 91 2.4 Reading Comprehension 76 14/90 1.5 RPI Concerns: SS=91 is technically in the average range, but looking at RPI, sill one year behind instructionally * Would expect better sustained growth from intervention given intensity BROAD READING: L-W, Reading Fluency and Passage Comp. STANDARD SCORES: SUBTEST Relative Prof Index %ile Letter-Word= th Reading Fluency= th Passage Comp= 84 12/90 15th Word Attack= 93 36/90 32nd Reading Vocab= 76 17/90 5th Sound Awareness= 89 46/90 24th

27 LUIS MIGUEL: Estimator Discrepancy Report
Ability (UNIT) Achievement (WJ-III) Percent Confident Significant Discrepancy FSIQ= 91 Basic Reading SS = 91 63 NO Reading Comp SS = 71 93 YES Utah State Office of Ed requires a discrepancy Used the reading comp As per district, discrepancy doesn’t need to be met, but RTI data does have to show deficits Discrepancy isnt the determining factor TEAM: Resource teacher: intervention included aspects of reading comprehension  no response, the student qualifies In an intervention that emphasizes oral lang Oral lang scores are low while reading scores were higher  mixed scores, not consistent within subtests Level and Rate: not retaining skills on a first grade level, not showing consistent progress

28 Conclusions Repeated assessment of student performance allowed us to obtain a more comprehensive perspective than ‘snapshots’ from standardized assessment. Inclusion of data showing progress on instructional and grade level contributed to a better understanding to student’s response to intervention. Level of performance AND growth rate were helpful indicators when attempting to make predictions of learning. Decisions regarding ELL’s eligibility for SPED need to include data on oral language. Standardized measures of language proficiency Parent interviews Repeated district wide measures of oral language RTI for oral language? Level and performance indicators are consistent with Richardson’s recommendations

29 Conclusions (cont.) When using eligibility approaches that combine CBM and standardized measures, some inconsistency can be expected. e.g. Luis Miguel’s low ORF scores, yet average Basic Reading (SS=91) Lack of a significant discrepancy on the Estimator for basic reading for both students. Training and varied amount exposure to RTI and ELLs among school psychologists and IEP team members may be related to significant differences in interpretation and eligibility outcomes. Authors felt that eligibility decisions based on combined sources of data remain subjective.

30 Limitations Although intervention reportedly targeted reading comprehension, no progress monitoring data were collected on this area. Difficult to make conclusions regarding response to intervention in this domain. No information on fidelity of intervention implementation. Other potential mediating factors intervening on reading measures were not addressed (e.g., ADHD, motivation, compliance). Intervention might have been mediated by behavioral factors

31 Future Directions Need for ongoing support to teachers as they implement academic interventions. Does intervention need to continue for 8 weeks if initial data is showing inconsistent response? Schools report a need for additional training on RTI. Additional guidance at the state and district level on making eligibility determinations based on approaches incorporating RTI data. Understanding the CBM data for traditionally trained psychologists may be challenging Little guidance on how to synthesize ELL growth rates and slopes

32 Acknowledgements Salt Lake City School District University of Utah
Rebecca Robbins University of Utah Janiece L. Pompa, Ph.D. Mary Beth Lindsay Pummel


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