All important educational decisions – eligibility, services in your child’s IEP, educational progress – are based on test scores. Not grades, not subjective observations – test scores.
To successfully negotiate for special ed services that provide educational benefit, you need to know how to interpret test scores.
To write accurate Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance you need baseline data from objective tests.
At a training many years ago, I heard that if a parent requested evaluation data be graphed, the school needed to provide the graphed data. A graph of data is much easier to interpret than a written narrative. Are schools required to graph data for parents?
There is no legal requirement that schools must graph evaluation data if requested by the parents.
Parents should master this skill themselves.
Suppose your child has received special education for three years.
- Has your child caught up with the peer group?
- Has your child fallen further behind?
- How do you know?…
- What do standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, and age and grade equivalents mean?
In our Wrightslaw training programs, I show parents how to use test scores to create graphs using powerpoint. In the old days, pre-computer, we used to do it simply with graph paper.
From the MA Wrightslaw training, LC writes –
Using your advice, my daughter is now going to receive more services than we even requested. The school principal and I are back on laughing terms. I have also been able to assist friends with issues they have been having. And I gave the principal a lesson on the bell curve. She feels that the way I have been taught is much easier to understand. I will always be forever grateful for the great training you both provided.
Because this is such an important skill, Wrightslaw developed a training program about test scores. Understanding Your Child’s Test Scores.
In this 1.5 hour program, you will learn about the bell curve, mean, and standard deviations. You’ll learn how to draw the bell curve and how to use your child’s test scores to create powerful progress graphs.
I will also teach you about standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, composite or cluster scores, and subtest scatter.
You will find an article on Wrightslaw about Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Educator, Advocate & Attorney. This has been the #1 download since 1998: a must read!
Time to Review
Self-Study Summer School for Parents – Present Levels in the IEP. What’s So Important?