Summer School for Parents
You CAN Measure Educational Change
You MUST Understand Tests Scores

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July 29, 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 449
Subscribers: 63,678

In This Issue:

Fact: All Important Education Decisions are Based on Test Scores

Assignment #5: Tests & Measurements

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Get a Comprehensive Evaluation from an Independent Evaluator

Find an Evaluator in the Yellow Pages for Kids


The Wrightslaw Way: A Special Online Community

The Wrightslaw Way Blog

Read comments from KarenRZ on "measuring & showing progress and IEP goals..."

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Understanding Your Child's
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Here is a fact about your child's test scores.

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 be an effective advocate, you need to know what tests measure and what test scores mean.

WOW - When I used this training about test scores, I got a new plan, a new evaluation, additional services in the IEP – all in a one hour meeting...

starMore Resources

What Tests Should I Request?
What is the "Matthew Effect?"
What to Expect from an Evaluation
The Numbers Do Not Lie - Charting Test Scores
Must Parents Chose an Evaluator from the School's List?

ATTN! VA Parents
& Advocates

What Happens Next on Special Ed Regs?

 Candle in window

Fairfax County School Board passes Resolution on parental consent rights

Podcast of Resolution Discussion & Action

Listen to the Podcast

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043



Copyright 2008, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your web site without explicit permission.

Just two weeks left in Summer School for Parents. You've completed your written assignment and continue with your reading. This week, your math homework - statistics.

Your goal this summer was to improve your advocacy skills in order to get an appropriate program for your child. But here's the thing - how will you know the program is appropriate or if your child is making acceptable progress?

You must learn how to measure progress. Statistics allow you to use numbers to measure your child's educational growth - progress (or lack of progress).

When you understand your child's test scores, you'll be able to use information from objective tests to track progress and make decisions about your child's program.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you will learn how to use psychological and educational achievement test scores to measure your child's educational growth.

Please don't hesitate to forward this issue of Summer School for Parents to other families, friends, and colleagues.

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Fact: All Important Educational Decisions are Based on Test Scores

All important educational decisions - eligibility, services in your child's IEP, educational progress - are based on test scores.

Changes in test scores over time provide the means to assess educational benefit or regression.

Assignment #5: Read “Tests & Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and Attorney” -- three times. Use a highlighter. Make notes in the margins.

You must learn about tests and measurements so you can track your child's progress or lack of progress. If you do not learn tests and measurements, you cannot be an equal participant in planning your child's special education.

You may not think you can do this - but you can! You use statistics (numbers) to measure things and describe relationships between things all the time - your child's height, his weight, how many eggs to bake only six muffins, how much gas you need to drive to work ...

Remember, you will need to read the article three times. Be sure to follow The Parent's "To Do List".

Tests and Measurements 101 & 102

If you have a copy of From Emotions to Advocacy, turn to Chapters 10 & 11 to learn more about tests and measurements. Complete the homework assignment on p.113.

Get the evaluations and tests on your child and compare them. When you compare the test results, you should know if your child is catching up, staying the same, or falling behind.

Make graphs of scores that create dramatic visual presentations of test data.

Quiz #2: What is your Bell Curve IQ?

Did you take the quiz? What was your score? Did you find some gaps in your knowledge about tests and measurements?

Don't worry. Continue working on Assignment #5 and you'll be surprised at how easy it is to get the correct answers.

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Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Here's another approach to learning about tests and measurements. In the Wrightslaw WebEx program, Understanding Your Child's Test Scores, Pete Wright teaches you about standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, composite or cluster scores, and subtest scatter.

Bell Curve

You'll learn how to draw the bell curve and how to use your child's test scores to create powerful progress graphs.

You want to master this material about test scores before the next IEP meeting!
Why? Because the numbers from tests do not lie!

Read Cold Hard Numbers and a Successful IEP Meeting to see how one parent learned, then taught the IEP team that you can't argue with cold hard numbers.

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Get a Comprehensive Evaluation from an Independent Evaluator

Has the school told you your child "does well" in class? He has "passing grades." These are not objective measurements.

The facts about your child are contained in the various tests and evaluations that have been administered. You need to learn what different tests measure and what the test results mean. 

Did you compare your child's test results? Don't have test scores to compare?

Get a comprehensive evaluation of your child by an independent evaluator in the private sector. This comprehensive evaluation will give you a roadmap in planning for the future. The evaluation should identify your child's problems and include a plan to address these problems.

Parent attorney Wayne Steedman clears up the confusion about what constitutes an independent educational evaluation (IEE) and how the evaluation is to be used in Independent Educational Evaluations: What? Why? How? and Who Pays?

For more helpful articles and information go to Assessments, Evaluations and Tests.

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Find an Independent Evaluator in the Yellow Pages for Kids

Yellow Pages for Kids with DisabilitiesIf you are looking for educational consultants, psychologists, educational diagnosticians, you'll find them in the Yellow Pages for Kids.

We built the Yellow Pages for each state so people can get reliable information and help.

The Yellow Pages for your state has hundreds of resources - parent support and study groups, evaluators, educational consultants, psychologists, tutors, advocates, attorneys, and others who provide services to parents and children. You will also find listings for government programs and grassroots organizations in your state.

User Guide: The Yellow Pages for Kids User Guide will help you build your team, learn about your child's disability, learn advocacy skills, get training, and help other parents.

Free Listings in the Yellow Pages: If you help parents get services for children (i.e., an evaluator, educational consultant, academic tutor, advocate, attorney, special ed school, etc.) or you facilitate a support or study group for parents, please submit an application to be listed in the Yellow Pages for Kids. Listings are free!

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What People Are Saying About The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter

"Thanks for the trustworthy information and support you provide through the Wrightslaw web site and newsletter. You helped our family act when we needed to - we are thriving now."


Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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