Formal And Informal Assessment In Special Education

Read the “Analyzing Cognitive and Educational Evaluation Report” provided for student Adam Gallery. Based on the report, create a table with a column for each formal and informal assessment. Complete the table with the following information, labeling each column and row:

1.  In the first row, clearly identify each assessment.

2.  In the second row, describe how each assessment is technically sound and minimizes rater bias

3.  In the next row, provide a summary of Adam’s results on each assessment that will help guide appropriate educational decisions. (Do not simply cut and paste the findings.)

4.  In the last row, explain why the selected assessment tool is appropriate for diagnosing Adam’s strengths and needs.

Beneath the table, in a 500-750 word analysis, advocate for the appropriate educational decisions for this student based on the assessment results. The analysis should include:

  • Recommendations for any needed classroom accommodations or modifications, and placement for specific content areas.
  • Appropriate accommodations for Adam’s assessments or testing conditions, including the use of technology for these accommodations.
  • Reflection on the role of special education teachers as advocates for students to help students realize and develop their unique talents and skills.Analyzing Cognitive and Educational Evaluation Report

    Name: Gallery, Adam

    School: Rolling Meadows

    Date of Birth: 04/05/2002

    Teacher: Mr. Robinson

    Age: 11 years, 11 months

    Grade: 6.5

    Sex: Male

    Examiners: Dr. Kowalczyk and Dr. Jones

    Dates of Testing: 05/01/2014, 02/25/2014, 02/20/2014

     

    REASON FOR REFERRAL

    James Robinson, Adam’s teacher, referred him for an evaluation of observed interpersonal and academic problems.

    Specifically, Adam displays a great deal of withdrawal and anxiety when interacting with his peers and engaging in classroom activities. In addition, Mr. Robinson reports that Adam struggles with academic content in English language arts and mathematics.

    The purpose for this evaluation is to determine if Adam has a documented disability as defined by one of the IDEA disability categories. The evaluation is also being conducted to gather data to understand Adam’s educational strengths/needs and determine subsequent appropriate educational programming for Adam.

    The following data sources were collected for this evaluation report.

    Informal assessments include:

    · Teacher’s report (conducted on 02/22/2014 by Dr. Kowalczyk and Dr. Jones)

    · Parent report (conducted on 2/23/2014 by Dr. Kowalczyk and Dr. Jones)

    · Self-report (conducted on 2/23/2014. by Dr. Kowalczyk and Dr. Jones)

    · Classroom observation (conducted on 02/28/2014 by Mr. Robinson, classroom teacher)

    · Informal writing evaluation (administered on 2/25/2014 by Dr. Kowalczyk)

     

     

     

    Formal assessments administered include:

    · Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (administered on 02/20/2014 by Dr. Kowalczyk)

    · WJ III Tests of Cognitive Abilities (administered on 02/25/2014 by Dr. Kowalczyk)

     

    TEACHER’S REPORT

    This information represents Mr. Robinson’s observations of Adam over the previous month.

    Mr. Robinson described Adam as caring and conscientious, but he is also shy. Adam seems unhappy and his mood swings include displays of nervousness around new activities and/or changes in schedule. He said that Adam needs more one-to-one attention to complete about as much schoolwork as other boys his age

    Mr. Robinson reported certain characteristics that may be affecting Adam’s classroom performance.

    Adam seems to have difficulty sustaining attention in schoolwork activities. He usually attempts, but gives up easily, when confronted with difficult tasks. His oral responses to questions are stated slowly and carefully.

    He often loses his personal belongings.

    When seated, Adam is often lethargic. Outside the classroom, he seems sluggish or lacking in energy. His style of motor activity seems slower and overly careful in comparison to other boys his age. Adam generally talks much less than other boys his age. He typically avoids interacting with his peers. Mr. Robinson is most concerned about the way Adam interacts with his peers; he believes this generally impairs Adam’s classroom performance as group work is often required as part of the classroom routine.

    Mr. Robinson reported that Adam demonstrates withdrawn behaviors in the classroom. He also demonstrates anxious type behaviors in the classroom.

    Mr. Robinson rated Adam’s levels of listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and written expression as average. His levels of oral expression, basic reading skill, and basic writing skill were rated as limited. His levels of mathematics calculation and mathematics reasoning were rated as negligible.

     

    FATHER’S REPORT

    Mr. Gallery provided the following information. Adam lives with his mother and father, along with three other children, ages 7, 6, and 2. There have been no significant changes in Adam’s family life recently.

    According to his father, Adam has a health condition, but does not require medication. Adam had a recent vision test; his vision is normal when he wears corrective lenses. No hearing problems were reported; Adam’s hearing was tested recently. At night, Adam typically sleeps soundly for 8 or 9 hours.

    During pregnancy, Adam’s mother had no significant health problems. Adam’s delivery was within normal range and post-birth ratings indicated acceptable health levels.

    Adam’s father remembers Adam as an affectionate infant and toddler, but also shy and withdrawn. His thinks that early motor skills, such as sitting up, crawling, and learning to walk, developed normally. His early language development, such as first words, asking simple questions, and talking in sentences, seemed to be typical.

    Adam attended preschool, beginning at age 4. His preschool cognitive development and social skills progressed normally. Adam had no atypical behavior management problems. Still, Adam’s father was not certain if any specific reports/concerns were shared via the preschool staff.

    Mr. Gallery believes that Adam has learning problems and has been concerned about this for about a year.

    At the time of this assessment, Mr. Gallery described Adam as reserved and caring, but also shy. He typically avoids interacting with his peers. Mr. Gallery said that Adam likes some things about school but dislikes other things. Generally, he tries to succeed at schoolwork, but often fails to finish.

    Some things that Mr. Gallery reported may be significant. Adam frequently fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes. He seems to have difficulty organizing and sustaining attention during task and play activities done at home. He often does not follow through on instructions. Adam usually attempts, but gives up easily, when confronted with difficult tasks.

    Mr. Gallery reported that Adam demonstrates some problem behaviors at home; these include inattentiveness, anxiousness, and withdrawal tendencies.

     

    SELF-REPORT

    Adam does like reading about topics that he finds interesting and that are not too difficult. He does not like it when the “words are too hard” to understand. Topics of interest include reptiles, the solar system, and space travel. He enjoys listening to his teachers read aloud and putting his initial thoughts down in writing on graphic organizers when provided teacher support. He gets “worried” when tasks are too hard. This includes timed tasks, talking aloud in class, and any work related to mathematics.

    Adam typically avoids interacting with others. He usually remembers what he is supposed to do. He often has difficulty relaxing. Further, Adam shared that he has recently experienced an inability to concentrate for long periods. He tries to keep his personal items organized, but does lose “things” during the school day.

    In social situations that occur in school and outside the home, Adam prefers to play quietly by himself. He has a few classmates that he sits next to during lunchtime.

     

    CLASSROOM OBSERVATIONS

    Adam was observed in the classroom on 02/28/2014. James Robinson was the observer. A small-group activity was observed. Adam usually wears glasses and was wearing them during this observation.

    When compared to another male student who was identified as typical, Adam was observed as having more off-task behaviors. During the 45-minute observation, the comparison student was off-task 5 times; Adam was off-task 16 times. Inattentive and withdrawn behaviors and anxious behaviors were observed, but were not disruptive to others. The primary problem behavior observed was withdrawal. This behavior may have occurred because of group activities scheduled with the other students. According to Adam’s teacher, his behavior during this observation was typical for him.

     

    TESTS ADMINISTERED

    Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (administered on 02/20/2014 by Dr. Kowalczyk)

    Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities (administered on 02/25/2014 by Dr. Kowalczyk)

    The WJ III tests provided measures of Adam’s overall intellectual ability, specific cognitive abilities, academic achievement, and oral language abilities. Relative strengths and weaknesses among his cognitive and academic abilities are described in this report. A description of each ability is provided. His performance is compared to peers from the same age group using a standard score range.

    Adam’s proficiency is described categorically, ranging from negligible to average; his test performance can be generalized to similar, non-test, age-level tasks. Clinical interpretation (with qualitative observations) of cognitive and academic task performance is provided.

     

    WOODCOCK-JOHNSON III TESTS OF COGNITIVE ABILITIES

    INTELLECTUAL ABILITY

    Adam’s overall intellectual ability, as measured by the WJ III General Intellectual Ability (GIA) Extended (Ext) score, is in the average range of those his age. There is a 68% probability that his true GIA score would be included in the range of scores from 95-99.

     

    COGNITIVE ABILITIES

    Intra-Cognitive Variations

    When compared to others his age, Adam’s cognitive abilities are in the average range in working memory, short-term memory, fluid reasoning, auditory processing, visual-spatial thinking, processing speed, phonemic awareness, comprehension-knowledge, and long-term retrieval.

    Clinical Interpretation of Cognitive Fluency and Executive Processing

    Adam’s overall speed in performing cognitive tasks is average. For example, his performance on tasks measuring speed of forming simple concepts was average; he made decisions slowly. On tasks measuring speed of direct recall of simple vocabulary, Adam’s performance was average. On tasks measuring fluency of retrieval from stored knowledge, Adam gave examples very slowly; his performance was average.

    His overall ability to plan, monitor, and arrive at solutions to problems is in the low average range. Specifically, Adam’s ability to maintain focus on a task amid visual distractors is low average. Adam’s adaptive learning and flexibility in thinking are low average. Adam’s strategic planning ability appeared to be impulsive in style. During testing, Adam’s ability to focus his attention on relevant stimuli for information processing purposes was low average.

     

    WOODCOCK-JOHNSON III TESTS OF ACHIEVEMENT

    ACHIEVEMENT

    Intra-Achievement Variations

    Among his achievement and oral language abilities, Adam has a relative strength in basic reading skills.

    Basic reading skills include sight vocabulary, phonics, and structural analysis skills. His basic reading skills standard score is within the low average range (percentile rank range of 20-28; standard score range of 87-91) when compared to others his age. His basic reading skills are limited; Adam will probably find age-level tasks requiring accurate word perception and use of decoding skills very difficult.

    Listening comprehension is also a relative strength for him. Listening comprehension includes listening ability and verbal comprehension. His listening comprehension standard score is within the average range (percentile rank range of 20-38; standard score range of 87-95) when compared to others his age. Adam’s listening and oral comprehension abilities are limited to average; it is likely that he will find age-level tasks requiring listening skills, working memory, and oral comprehension difficult.

    When compared to others his age, Adam’s academic achievement is in the average range in oral expression.

    Academic knowledge is a sampling of Adam’s knowledge in the sciences, history, geography, government, economics, art, music, and literature. His standard score is within the low average range (percentile rank range of 9-24; standard score range of 80-89) when compared to others his age. Adam’s academic knowledge is limited; this suggests that he will find similar age-level tasks very difficult.

    Basic writing skills include spelling skills and knowledge of English language usage. His basic writing skills standard score is within the low average range (percentile rank range of 10-20; standard score range of 81-87) when compared to others his age. Adam’s basic writing skills are limited; it is predicted that he will find age-level tasks requiring spelling of single-word responses and knowledge of conventions of English writing very difficult. His handwriting legibility is average. Adam’s punctuation and capitalization skills are low average.

    Reading comprehension measures Adam’s reading vocabulary and his ability to comprehend connected discourse while reading. His reading comprehension standard score is within the low range (percentile rank range of 4-9; standard score range of 74-80) when compared to others his age. His reading comprehension is limited; Adam will likely find age-level tasks requiring the ability to decode and understand printed text very difficult.

    Written expression measures Adam’s fluency of production and quality of expression in writing. His written expression standard score is within the low range (percentile rank range of 3-10; standard score range of 71-81) when compared to others his age. His overall ability to express himself in writing is limited; Adam will probably find age-level tasks requiring clear expression and organization of sentences very difficult.

    Among his achievement and oral language abilities, he has a relative weakness in math calculation skills.

    Math calculation skills measure Adam’s computational skills and automaticity with basic math facts. His mathematics calculation skills standard score is within the very low range (percentile rank of <1; standard score range of 30-43) when compared to others his age. Adam’s mathematics calculation skills are very limited; it is likely that he will find age-level tasks requiring computational skills and automaticity with basic math facts extremely difficult.

    Mathematics reasoning is also a relative achievement weakness for him. Mathematics reasoning includes mathematical knowledge and reasoning. Adam’s mathematics reasoning standard score is within the very low range (percentile rank of <1; standard score range of 5-12) when compared to others his age. His mathematics reasoning ability is negligible; this suggests that he will find age-level tasks requiring the ability to reason with concepts involving quantitative or mathematical relationships and knowledge impossible.

    Individual Tests

    Reading fluency measures Adam’s ability to quickly read simple sentences. In this timed test, Adam was required to indicate whether each simple sentence was true or false. Adam’s standard score is within the average range (percentile rank range of 22-47; standard score range of 89-99) when compared to others his age. His fluency with reading tasks is average; he will probably find age-level tasks requiring efficient operation of reading processes manageable.

    Story recall-delayed measures Adam’s language development and meaningful memory using previously presented stories. Adam was asked to recall details of stories presented in story recall after a specified period. Adam’s standard score is within the average range (percentile rank range of 5-66; standard score range of 75-106) when compared to others his age. His ability to recall complex details previously presented is average; it is likely that he will find similar age-level tasks manageable.

    Spelling of sounds is a measure of Adam’s spelling ability, particularly phonological and orthographical coding skills. This test required him to spell letter combinations regularly used in English. Adam’s standard score is within the average range (percentile rank range of 18-41; standard score range of 86-97) when compared to others his age. His ability to spell non-words is average; this suggests that he will find similar age-level tasks manageable.

    Sound awareness is a measure of Adam’s phonological awareness, including his ability to rhyme words and manipulate word sounds. Adam’s standard score is within the low average range (percentile rank range of 10-31; standard score range of 81-92) when compared to others his age. His sound awareness is limited to average; it is predicted that he will find similar age-level tasks difficult.

    Clinical Interpretation of Academic Processing Academic Skills

    Overall, Adam’s academic skills are very limited. In particular, his sight reading ability is limited. Initially, he was able to rapidly and accurately identify test items, but as the items progressed in difficulty, his responses seemed to lack applications of phoneme-grapheme relationships. His spelling is limited; the automaticity of his responses to spelling items appeared to be typical for his age. Adam’s math calculation skill is negligible. He gave incorrect responses on math calculations involving addition and subtraction.

    Academic Fluency

    The overall fluency with which Adam performs academic tasks is limited. For example, his fluency with reading tasks is average; he made several errors and read sentences slowly. His fluency with mathematics problems is limited; he solved problems slowly and made several errors. Adam’s writing fluency is limited. He wrote appropriate sentences at a pace typical for his age.

    Academic Applications

    Adam’s overall ability to apply his academic skills is negligible. Specifically, on a passage comprehension task, his performance was limited to average. His writing ability is limited; the sentences he wrote were inadequate when compared to what would be expected for his age. Adam’s quantitative reasoning is negligible; he appeared to have limited understanding of age-appropriate math application tasks. He gave incorrect responses on math reasoning items involving number concepts and subtraction.

    Phoneme/Grapheme Knowledge

    Adam’s overall knowledge of phoneme/grapheme relationships is limited to average. In particular, his ability to spell non-words is average. His ability to sequence sounds and knowledge of common English spelling patterns appears to be typical for his age. His ability to pronounce non-words is limited. Initially, he answered items easily and accurately; his responses to the more difficult items were slower and less fluent.

    INFORMAL WRITING EVALUATION

    Additional information about Adam’s writing abilities was obtained from an evaluation of a narrative writing assignment. Adam’s handwriting was rated as being in the adequate range. His abilities to form letters correctly, to use consistent spacing, to stay on the line, and to form letters automatically were adequate. Adam’s spelling of regular and exception words was adequate. Adam’s punctuation and capitalization skills (including the correct use of sentence-ending punctuation, internal punctuation, capital letters, and paragraph indentation) were in the low average range. Adam’s use of vocabulary (including age-appropriate, varied, and precise vocabulary) were in the low average range. Adam’s syntax and usage (including using correct word endings, maintaining verb tense, using pronouns correctly, writing complete sentences, and writing sentences of varied length and structure) were in the low average range.

    Adam’s narrative text structure rated in the low average range. Qualities rated include his abilities to provide a setting, to describe the external characteristics of characters, to describe the internal responses of characters, to sequence ideas logically, to highlight important events, to include major details, to use appropriate words to link ideas together, to combine sentences into cohesive paragraphs, and to describe an ending or outcome.

    Overall, Adam demonstrated difficulties to maintain focus and intent, appropriate voice, and discourse genre. Adam started the activity with a positive attitude, but appeared less confident when writing tasks continued to be administered. He asked to take a break several times during the writing evaluation. Woodcock-Johnson® III (WJ III®)

     

    Note. Reprinted from “Woodcock-Johnson® III (WJ III®),” by The Riverside Publishing Company, 2007, Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Reprinted with permission.

 

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