Understanding Assessments & Evaluations

Kathy Giordano

Education Assessments & Psycho-Educational Evaluations

  • Psychological testing, in general, measures a student’s potential instead of what has been learned. It clarifies the nature of possible processing deficits.
  • Educational assessment measures what has been learned in reading, math, spelling and other academic areas documenting how the disability negatively impacts a student.

Importance of Assessments

  • Provides information regarding a student’s strengths and weak areas
  • Points out areas which may require special education from an IEP or accommodations and modifications for an IEP or 504 Plan
  • Often requested for students who demonstrate higher intellectual abilities but grades are dropping or difficulties with specific subject areas

 

Making Sense of the Report

Beginning: Evaluator’s impression:

Example: Hard worker; pleasant; good effort; fidgety; signs of perfectionism, distracted, frustration, gave up, kept asking if answers were correct, etc.

Ending: Conclusions & Recommendations

Example: “Results may not reflect true abilities, ”“Frequent request if answer was correct,”Average IQ score between 90 and 110

What to Look for

  • Subtests Superior vs Average or Low Average
  • Discrepancy between Verbal IQ and Performance IQ (Verbal 120; Performance 80 = Full Scale 100 IQ)

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The Assessment report provides critical information for future success of child.

Making Sense of Confusing Numbers

Percentages

Reading Ability = 90%tile; Reading Comprehension = 15%tile

GE (Grade Equivalency)

  • Math Facts; GE 12; Math Fluency; GE 3
  • AE (Age Equivalency) : General Knowledge; AE 16; Written Language; AE 8

 

Ability Scores Higher than Achievement

Excerpt from: The Civil Rights of Students with Hidden Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

“….a student with a learning disability may be unable to process oral or written information routinely; or a student with an emotional problem may be unable to concentrate in a regular classroom setting. As a result, these students, regardless of their intelligence, will be unable to fully demonstrate their ability or attain educational benefits equal to that of nonhandicapped students. They may be perceived by teachers and fellow students as slow, lazy, or as discipline problems.”

 

Prior to meeting in which Evaluations will be discussed

  • Request copy of evaluation
  • Meet with Evaluator
  • Highlight any areas you don’t understand
  • Discuss areas of strength & weakness
  • Ask how the weakness impact performance in class
  • Ask for explanations:
    • Percentiles
    • Numbers
    • Each area of evaluation (Example, Processing Speed and how this impacts performance)
  • Bring copy of Evaluation; post-it notes with notes indicating topic for quick reference

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