Tag: Educational Evaluations

10 Myths About Special Education & Having Your Child Evaluated

Educational Evaluations

If special education is something you’re exploring for your child, you may hear all kinds of things that give you pause. It can be hard to know what’s true and what’s not. Here’s the reality behind 10 common rumors.

1. “Kids in special education have to be in a separate classroom.”

Most kids who get special education services are in the same classroom as kids who don’t. That’s not just the school’s choice, it’s the way the law says it should be. The concept is set forth in IDEA, and it’s known as “least restrictive environment,” or LRE. Research shows that two-thirds of kids with learning disabilities spend 80 percent of their day in the general education classroom with all the other kids. For Educational Evaluations in US visit UT Evaluators

2. “Special education is only for kids with severe physical and intellectual disabilities.”

Most kids in special education do not have severe disabilities. The majority of students fit into the category of “specific learning disability.” That means kids who have reading issues like dyslexia, or math issues like dyscalculia.

3. “Getting services is always a battle.”

You’ve probably heard stories of parents who had to “fight” to get services for their kids. But nearly 6 million kids in the U.S. receive special education services, so there are plenty of stories about it going well, too—though you may not hear them as often. Knowing your child’s rights can make a huge difference in making the process go smoothly.

Connect with parents in our community to hear about their experiences with getting services.

4. “Kids in special education will be labeled forever.”

It’s natural to worry about the stigma of a “label.” But special education focuses on services and supports based on your child’s needs—not his “label.” When you advocate for your child, that can help teachers understand who your child is in real life—not just on paper. Encourage your child to self-advocate, too. And keep in mind that getting the help he needs now doesn’t necessarily mean your child will be in special education his entire school career.

5. “Kids in special education have to take ADHD medications.”

Taking medication for ADHD is an individual decision you make with the help of your child’s doctor. In fact, IDEA—the federal law covering special education—specifically states that schools can’t require a child to take medication to get services. To know more info on  Educational Evaluations  check Cssn

6. “Special education services are expensive, so other kids will lose out on activities.”

Schools get federal funding for special education programs. That funding doesn’t pay for everything. But it helps to ensure that only a small part of the local school budget goes to special education. Your child, like every child, has the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). If your child needs special education services, try not to let concerns about where the school gets that money hold you back.

7. “Kids in special education have to take the ‘special ed bus.’”

Some kids do get what’s known as “special transportation.” It’s an option the law allows for, but kids don’t have to take it. If your child goes to his neighborhood school and has no problems on the regular bus or is able to take public transit, there’s no reason he would be taking a special bus.

8. “Kids in special education can’t participate in the same activities as other kids.”

Kids who get special education services can join the same activities as other kids—both in and outside of school. The law says so! It’s true that some kids with learning and thinking differences have a hard time with social situations. But being in special education doesn’t mean kids can’t participate in extracurricular activities. And there are many ways to help kids with social challenges.

9. “Kids in special education don’t get a good education.”

Special education has changed a lot over the years. The changes have helped to make sure students get a FAPE and that they’re not separated from their peers without justification. Parents now play a bigger role in the process. There’s more research and awareness of learning and thinking differences. And personalized learning, multisensory teaching and assistive technology have changed how many kids are taught.

10. “If you’ve never been in special education, you won’t know how to support a child who is.”

If you don’t have firsthand experience with special education, it’s natural to worry that you won’t be able to relate to what your child is going through. It can help to find ways to understand your child’s challenges. So can seeing things through your child’s eyes. Having a good relationship with your child’s teachers can help you get ideas on how to support him. Understanding his Individualized Education Program (IEP) is key, too.

Basic Concepts In Evaluation Procedures In Education

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Assessment refers to the wide variety of methods that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, and skill acquisition of students from preschool through college and adulthood.

ASSESSMENT is the process of gathering information about student performance; commonly used for the word measurement. Assessment focuses on learning, teaching and outcomes. It provides information for improving learning and teaching. Assessment is an interactive process between students and faculty that informs faculty how well their students are learning what they are teaching. The information is used by faculty to make changes in the learning environment, and is shared with students to assist them in improving their learning and study habits. This information is learner-centered, course based, frequently anonymous, and not graded.

EVALUATION: A process in which the teacher uses information derived from many sources to arrive at a value judgment. Evaluation might be based on measurement data but also might be based on other types of data such as questionnaires, direct observation, written or oral performance, ratings or interview. For Educational Evaluations in US visit here

Dimension of Difference Assessment Evaluation Content: timing, primary purpose Formative: ongoing, to improve learning Summative: final, to gauge quality Orientation: focus of Measurement Process-oriented: how learning is going Product-oriented: what’s been learned Findings: uses thereof Diagnostic: identify areas for improvement Judgmental: arrive at an overall grade/score KEY DIFFERENCES

MEASUREMENT is the process used to obtain data concerning student learning. For instance, a paper-and- pencil test is used to measure the achievement of a student, but other types of data collection can be used such as performance-based measures.

TESTS are tools that effectively enhance the educational process; represent an attempt to provide objective data that can be used with subjective impressions to make better, reliable decisions.

Student Evaluation is necessary to help teachers determine the degree to which educational objectives have been achieved and to help teachers know their students as individuals.

Classroom Issues, anyone? Exams only test memory so coursework is much more valuable and needed to demonstrate learning. Giving assessed work back helps keep track of student learning and provide holistic view of performance. Getting students to reflect on the feedback and explain what actions may be taken can help close the feedback loop and promote learning

What Are The Steps In The Evaluation Of Health Education Activities

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In this section, you will learn the steps that you can follow to evaluate your health education activities. Evaluation is not conducted in a haphazardly way, and there are six steps that are usually taken when conducting an evaluation of health education activities. In developing the evaluation steps, you will be able to put the methods we have discussed into the broader context of your local situation and the work you do. It shows the six steps usually involved in the evaluation of health education activities. You should note that evaluation, similar to planning health education activities, is a continuous process. Based on the feedback gained from evaluation, you will develop another plan, and so the process continues.

These six steps are interdependent, and the earlier steps provide the foundation for subsequent progress. Thus, you could not jump to Step 2 without having undergone Step 1, and so on. In the following section, you will be able to learn about each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Involve people to participate in the activities

You should begin the evaluation cycle by engaging people who have been taking part in your health education activities. For example, it will be useful to meet with community members, key informants, NGOs in the locality, and others who have participated in the activities. If you fail to involve them, your evaluation might not address certain important aspects. If you do the evaluation by yourself and later tell them the findings, they may not take any notice of the findings because the evaluation has not addressed their interests. For Educational Evaluations in US visit here

NGOs are non-governmental organisations.

Step 2: Describe the activities to be evaluated

In order to carry out an evaluation, you need to describe the activities being evaluated in detail. This enables you to determine the objectives, activities, methods and materials—as well as the content of the messages used in the activities being evaluated. In doing so, you will be able to focus on what you have planned and what you have achieved. For example, if you want to evaluate the family planning health education activities that you have undertaken through home visits, you need to describe in detail how you have been conducting those health education activities in people’s homes.

Step 3: Select methods

In this step, you will need to select appropriate evaluation methods to use. You could select observation, or interviews, or use other methods, depending on what you want to evaluate. Moreover, you need to decide who you want to interview, and when to interview them. Prepare all the necessary resources needed to conduct the evaluation.

Step 4: Collect credible data

The data that is collected in order to conduct an evaluation is the most important step. You can use multiple data collection methods, such as observation, interviewing and discussion, at the same time. For instance, you may go to a family and observe whether their health-related practices have changed in any way. At the same visit you can also interview the mother or head of the household to know more in detail about their health practices. The method you use should be appropriate and sufficient to give you the information you need to know. For example, if you want to know how well households are using mosquito nets, direct observation might be more reliable than asking someone else.

Step 5: Analyse the data

Once you have collected all the relevant data from various sources, the next step is to analyse and interpret the data. Analysis involves presenting the information you have collected in such a way that it gives meaning. For example, you can convert the raw data to percentages and numbers that will be relevant to people who need to know about the outcomes of the evaluation. For example, the number of pregnant women who attend antenatal care sessions, and the percentage of women who use family planning, are results of evaluation that might be of interest to the participants and other agencies.

Step 6: Learn from evaluation

The last step of evaluation deals with judging your achievements. In this step, you look at the extent to which you have achieved your objectives, particularly behavioural and learning objectives. If the achievement is encouraging and you appear to have done the right thing, then it demonstrates that the methods, materials and the messages you have used have probably worked. So you can learn from this evaluation, and should be able to replicate these approaches in your future health education activities.

On the other hand the evaluation findings may tell you that you have not done so well. This could mean that you have achieved only a portion of your behavioural and learning objectives. The evaluation findings should not only tell you the extent to which you have achieved your objectives, but also the possible reasons for your failure. These weaknesses should not be repeated. This is one of the basic purposes of conducting evaluation.

High-Stakes Teacher Evaluations Increased Student Achievement

SCHOOLS ACROSS THE country, especially those in low-income neighborhoods, struggle to recruit and retain teachers, an effort made more difficult by the nationwide teacher shortage and a dwindling number of people entering the profession.

A growing body of evidence shows that teacher turnover, especially the high turnover rates in many of the most underserved communities, reduces student achievement.

So why is one urban school system proactively asking teachers to leave?

As it turns out, increasing teacher turnover for the right reason, like eliminating bad teachers, can have a significant positive impact on student performance, at least in the nation’s capital.

“Often when you look at teacher turnover we have this expectation that it’s going to be something negative for students,” says James Wyckoff, professor at the University of Virginia and an author of a new study on the impact of the District of Columbia’s teacher evaluation system.

“We are exploring what’s the effect of turnover in a place that has a rigorous evaluation system, and it seems to be more positive than what you’d expect,” he says.

D.C. schools officials evaluate the performance of all teachers through a system called IMPACT, which takes into account student test scores. Those rated “ineffective” are dismissed; those rated “minimally effective” have one year to improve; and teachers rated “highly effective” receive large bonuses and the potential for substantial increases in base pay. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

The system is intended to encourage high-performing teachers to stay and to induce low-performing teachers to leave.

Researchers from Stanford Graduate School of Education and the University of Virginia Curry School of Education examined the effects of teacher turnover at the District of Columbia Public Schools from the 2009-2010 school year through the 2011-2012 school year.

During the period of the analysis, the average teacher attrition was 18 percent, high compared to a recent study of teacher attrition in 16 urban school districts across seven states that found year-to-year attrition averages 13 percent but varies between 8 and 17 percent.

In addition to showing that teacher turnover improved student performance on average, researchers also found that exiting teachers who were identified as low-performing resulted in substantial improvement in overall teacher quality and student achievement.

Specifically, the report showed that teacher quality and student achievement in both math and reading increased substantially when low-performing teachers – those dismissed by the teacher evaluation system or who voluntarily left following their first “minimally effective” rating – exited the school system.

On average, the exit of low-performing teachers resulted in an increase in student achievement equivalent to four months of learning in math and reading.

“It’s not that there aren’t effective teachers leaving D.C.,” Wyckoff says. “When that happens, that has a negative effect.”

He continues: “It’s just that there are a fair number of less effective teachers leaving D.C. partly because what it has done around IMPACT. When they leave, the effects are seemingly so positive for students because the incoming teachers are so much more effective.”

The results are notable as they provide the first empirical evidence of the effects of a high-stakes teacher assessment system on the composition of teacher effectiveness and student achievement.

Such teacher evaluation systems got a big boost from the Obama administration’s hallmark competition, Race to the Top, as well as its waivers from then-federal education law, No Child Left Behind, both of which asked states to evaluate teachers based in part on student test scores.

The federal programs also incentivized states to tie those evaluations to compensation and find ways to reward great teachers with bonuses while creating pathways out of the profession for ineffective teachers.

Since 2009 – the year the administration launched Race to the Top – more than two-thirds of states have altered their teacher evaluation systems to include test scores, though not nearly as many operate under the type of high-stakes system that’s in place in the District of Columbia.

The swift move toward adopting such policies resulted in significant pushback, including from the two national teachers unions.

In arguing against the new evaluations, critics claimed reformers peddling such high-stakes proposals were trying to eliminate the tenure system – an argument that many supporters embraced, noting that a system that protects bad teachers shouldn’t exist. Educational Evaluations in US visit UT Evaluators

 

Prior to states revamping their evaluation systems, many schools rated their teachers simply with a single classroom observation. And in many cases, teachers in schools where large numbers of students were below proficient in math and reading were being rated as top-notch.

But critics also maintained that using student data, like test scores or another variable that represents the amount of academic progress students make over the course of a school year, produce inconsistent results and present a host of problems when it comes to evaluating educators who don’t teach core or measurable subjects, like art.

States and the District of Columbia have struggled with different aspects of implementing new teacher evaluations, and in the twilight of the Obama administration, some are even beginning to pull back on their years-long effort.

Acting Education Secretary John King addressed the issue in a speech last week, apologizing for the role the Department of Education played in fueling the polarizing and politicized environment surrounding education and teacher performance, in particular.

Wyckoff is adamant that the report is not an evaluation of IMPACT, and he’s careful to suggest that the findings in D.C. may not be transferable to other school systems, even those with similar profiles. That’s partly because of the uniqueness of the evaluation system and also, Wyckoff says, because the nation’s capital seems to have a ready supply of good teachers.

“I don’t know if you’ll find that anywhere else,” he says.

But for those pushing ahead with their new systems, like Washington, the report offers a look at the potential upside.

“This is really exciting news,” says Jason Kamras, the chief of human capital for the District of Columbia Public Schools. “I think four months more of learning in reading and math is life-changing for our students. Those are enormous gains.”

Notably, student achievement in several high-poverty schools in the district remains low.

Kamras notes that the evaluation system hasn’t been an easy undertaking for the school system, and that even after several important tweaks to its overall formula, it’s continually changing.

“This work is tough, complicated and complex, and there is no single lever,” he says.