Decision Making Should Be Empirically Driven
Dear Pete & Pam,
I've taken a thorough look at your web page. I think it's outstanding, especially the court cases. I'm a special ed director who is constantly trying to improve our special education services via good, sound empirically-driven practices. That's the KEY.
Educaton Should Use Empirically-Driven Practices
It galls me that special education training programs don't mandate coursework in applied behavior analysis which has a sound empirical base. Such training would greatly improve the education received by nearly all special ed populations.
We can train Shamu but we can't train a kid to be compliant or read?? Give me a break!!
and Grade Equivalent Scores May be Inaccurate
The use of subtest scatter analysis - this is a common practice, and may be okay if one only looks at the variation in performance as a hypothesis-generator for more in-depth investigation.
Even then, the psychometric validity/reliability of the specific subtests must be considered on their own merit before deciding to put any real value on the subtest score. To do so in the absence of sound psychometric evidence is at the very least unethical.
The use of subtest scatter (e.g., WISC-III) in the attempt to "differentially" diagnose a disability/problem is not supported by the empirical literature, even though it has some intuitive appeal and "testimonials" from clinicians abound.
I refer you to Howard Knoff's chapter on Personality Assessment in NASP's Best Practices-III for a thorough treatment of the personality assessment issue.
That are Psychometrically Sound
my psychologists are not allowed to use many tests - projective included
- simply because they don't have the necessary reliability (.85 test-retest
or higher), validity, or standardization characteristics. This constraint
- a good one - is a quality control issue.
Warn Parents About Evaluations That Do Not Use Sound Psychometrics
must be cautioned against seeking a private evaluation that only serves
to support their position in the absence of good sound psychometrics.
Advocating for Kids with Emotional Disorders
would love to be an advocate for parents in SED cases where "appropriate"
treatment is being determined. Here in CA that means a one hour session
where a verbally based form of insight therapy is used, typically with
an elementary-aged, low SES, conduct disorder/oppositional behavior type.
Letter to Bobbie about Behavior Problems and Discipline is excellent,
especially the references to animal training.
Really enjoy your web page -
Bill Matthew, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D
& Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and Attorney.
To successfully negotiate
for special ed services that provide educational benefit, you need to
know how to interpret test scores. (To ensure that you have the graphics
in this article, print the article from the screen.) #1 download!
What You Should Know About Evaluations. As a parent, you must make sure that all areas of possible need are assessed as quickly as possible. While some parents would rather not allow their school system to evaluate their child, a refusal to cooperate at this stage of the process can backfire . . . " Read article
Testing: Myths & Realities. Describes why tests are essential in measuring progress and learning; includes nine myths about testing.
Learn more about Tests & Assessments