Special Education Legal & Assessment Terms
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Burden of proof. Duty of a party to substantiate its claim against the other party; in civil actions, the weight of this proof is usually described as a preponderance of the evidence.
Consent. Requirement that the parent be fully informed of all information that relates to any action that school wants to take about the child, that parent understands that consent is voluntary and may be revoked at any time. See also Procedural safeguards notice and prior written notice.
FAPE. Free appropriate public education; special education and related services provided in conformity with an IEP; are without charge; and meets standards of the SEA.
Ability Testing. Use of standardized tests to evaluate an individual’s performance in a specific area (i.e., cognitive, psychomotor, or physical functioning).
Conversion table. A chart used to translate test scores into different measures of performance (e.g., grade equivalents and percentile ranks).
National percentile rank. Indicates the relative standing of one child when compared with others in the same grade; percentile ranks range from a low score of 1 to a high score of 99.
T-Score. A standard score with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. A T-score of 60 represents a score that is 1 standard deviation above the mean.
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1. ________Disability category under IDEA; includes disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language; may manifest in difficulties with listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, and doing mathematical calculations; includes minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia
2. ________ Usually means an alternative to a paper and pencil test; refers to non-conventional methods of assessing achievement (e.g., work samples and portfolios).
3. ________ A distribution of scores used to scale a test. It is a normal distribution curve with most scores in the middles and a small number of scores at the low and high ends.
4. ________ If child with disability engages in behavior or breaks a rule or code of conduct that applies to nondisabled children and the school proposes to remove the child, the school must hold a hearing to determine if the child’s behavior was caused by the disability.
5. ________ Changes in how test is administered that do not substantially alter what the test measures; includes changes in presentation format, response format, test setting or test timing. They are made to level the playing field, i.e., to provide equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge.
6. ________ Disability category under IDEA; includes depression, fears, schizophrenia; adversely affects educational performance.
7. ________ Requirement that schools provide full easily understood explanation of procedural safeguards that describe parent’s right to an independent educational evaluation, to examine records, to request mediation and due process.
8. ________ Procedural safeguard to resolve disputes between parents and schools; must be voluntary, cannot be used to deny or delay right to a due process hearing; must be conducted by a qualified and impartial person who is trained in effective techniques.
9. ________ Requirement to educate special needs children with children who are not disabled to the maximum extent possible.
10. _______ Changes in the content, format, and/or administration of a test to accommodate test takers who are unable to take the test under standard test conditions. These alter what the test is designed to measure or the comparability of scores.
11. _______ Expectations about what the child should know and be able to do in different subjects and grade levels; defines expected student skills and knowledge and what schools should teach.
12. _______ The practice of combining two or more subtest scores to create an average or composite score. For example, a reading performance score may be an average of vocabulary and reading comprehension subtest scores.
13. _______ The middle score in a distribution or set of ranked scores; the point (score) that divides a group into two equal parts; the 50th percentile. Half the scores are below this, and half are above it.
You will find both glossaries of terms in these Wrightslaw books:
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