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Daily Archives: March 28, 2013

Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss at the Dept. of Education has been publicly quoted saying that “data-mashing” is a good idea.  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gives speeches calling for ”more robust data.” And at the recent White House Datapalooza, the CEO of eScholar stated that without Common Core tests being “the glue” for open data, this data movement would be impossible.

What kind of tests or surveys are you or your child’s teacher given to take on behalf of your child that will be collected as data for their student record? Just about every thing you say, type, or show will be in the child’s permanent record.


Data that can be collected for students permanent record:


Birth certificate (full copy!!)

Attendance records

Immunization record (every update)

Medical history


Special transportation needs (wheelchair, oxygen, other medical equip)




Dietary needs


Tests schools use (these are some, but certainly not all):

Connors – Social/Behavioral Functioning 3rd Edition

UNIT – Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test

Behavioral Intervention Plans

SIB-R-SF  — Scales of Independent Behavior Revised Early Development Form

BASC-2-PRS –Behavior Assessment System for Children Second Edition

Battelle Developmental Inventory 2nd Edition

Student Assessment Reports by CTB/McGraw-Hill


More assessments that collect data for kids birth to 3 years old:

This manual contains the SKI-HI Language Development Scale which is a parent observation scale listing the receptive and expressive language skills of children ages birth to five. It is specifically designed for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The manual contains the rationale and development of the scale, reliability and validity information, instructions for administering and scoring, and the scale (test form) itself.

This is not a complete list by any means. Please comment and add your findings!

If you take a look through your IFSP (for 0-3 yrs) there will also be a great deal of personal info, medical info, and lots of tests or assessments that are done and should be listed in the sheet the IFSP coordinator leave with you each time. Need more info on IFSP’s?

The following info is about ELAP’s. Information gathered from CHTOP and other sites for reference. This is just another data collector for early childhood programs. There may be value to some extent with these evaluations, however, all info you give to service providers ends up in your child’s permanent record.

Here is the definition from CHTOP’s website:

Early Learning Accomplishment Profile (E-LAP) provides a systematic method for observing the skill development of children functioning in the birth to 36 month age- range. The purpose of this criterion-referenced assessment is to assist teachers, clinicians, and parents in assessing individual development. The Early LAP contains a hierarchy of 414 developmental skills arranged in chronological sequence in six domains of development:

  • gross motor (90 items) Infants and toddlers
  • fine motor (73 items)
  • cognition (105 items)
  • language (59 items)
  • self-help (49 items)
  • social-emotional (38 items)
  • The results of the E-LAP provide a complete picture of a child’s developmental progress so that individualized, developmentally appropriate, activities can be planned, implemented and monitored. This assessment can be used with any infant and toddler, including children with disabilities who are functioning below the 36-month age range. The E-LAP is not a “normed” or “standardized” instrument, so, therefore, its results should not be used in isolation to determine eligibility for special services or for other purposes that require standardized instruments. However, E-LAP results are often used in combination with standardized instruments to determine developmental levels of functioning and eligibility for special services. Professionals often choose the E-LAP because it gives a much more complete assessment of a child’s acquired skills and emerging skills than most standardized instruments.
    Infants and toddlers
  • For a visual representation of the child’s developmental skills, use the profile form on the back of the Early-LAP Manual or Scoring Booklet. The profile is often used to show child progress to parents and caregivers.
    Infants and toddlers
    Assessment and observation summary forms are provided to summarize the progress of individual children at the beginning, middle, and end of the program year. Each form contains space to indicate skills the child has achieved, emerging skills, and strategies for supporting skill development at home.

What is an IFSP?

The information below comes from the Waisman Center website.

The IFSP Process starts with the initial contact with the family. This is where the family’s story starts to unfold and the provider and caregiver(s) begin to build a relationship. The IFSP document is just one part of this process.

  • The IFSP – the written product itself – is possibly the least important aspect of the entire IFSP Process. Far more important are the interaction, collaboration, and partnerships between families and professionals that are necessary to develop and implement the IFSP. (McGonigel, M.J., & Johnson, B., H. (1991). An Overview. In McGonigel, M.J., & Johnson, B., H., & Kaufmann, R. K. (Eds.), Guidelines and recommended practices for the individualized family service plan (2nd ed.). Bethesda, MD: Association for the Care of Children’s Health, p. 1)

The service coordinator, however, is responsible for compiling the written portion of the IFSP as it represents the formal agreement reached by the IFSP Team – which includes the family – and is required by HFS 90 and IDEA.  According to HFS 90, the service coordinator is responsible for convening a meeting to develop the initial IFSP within 45 days after receiving a referral for initial evaluation of a child. It not only reflects and records the process the team has gone through to identify outcomes, strategies and services, it becomes the legal basis for the provision of services. The IFSP document is the reference for any questions about the appropriateness of the services or the frequency, location, or intensity of these services and forms the legal basis for appeals and other formal decisions.

The following components must be included in the IFSP:

  • information about the child’s developmental status, including statements about the child’s present level of ability that are based on “professionally acceptable objective criteria”;
  • summaries of the evaluation and initial assessment of the child and reports of any ongoing assessment;
  • a summary of the family’s strengths, resources, concerns, and priorities related to enhancing the child’s development (with the parents’ permission);
  • a statement of the expected outcomes for the child and family, as identified by the IFSP team, and the criteria, procedures, and timelines to be used in determining progress toward those outcomes (or need for modification of outcomes);
  • the early intervention services needed to reach the outcomes. This includes the frequency, intensity, and service delivery model to be used; the setting in which the service will be provided; payment arrangements; the projected dates for initiation of services and their expected duration; and, if appropriate, medical or other services the child needs, but which will not be provided by the early intervention program, and the steps that will be taken to secure those services (see Memo on Health Info on the IFSP);
  • the name of the service coordinator;
  • steps taken to support the family through transitions;
  • provisions for ongoing review, evaluation, and, when needed, revision of the plan; and
  • justification of when early intervention cannot be achieved satisfactorily in a natural environment.

The IFSP document is meant to reflect a fluid process, responsive to the changing needs of a child and family. Service coordinators must have a method to track the changing needs and legal timelines related to the IFSP process for each family they work with. Consider reviewing the sample checklists referred to in Unit 2. There are four points in a child and family’s Birth to 3 timeline that are important for service coordinators to be aware of:

  • The primary referral source has two working days to refer the child for an evaluation from the time he/she concludes there is a developmental concern;
  • From the day the responsible agency receives the referral, it has 45 days to complete the evaluation and initial assessment and hold an IFSP meeting to develop a service plan. (In certain situations, an Interim IFSP might be used. See Interim IFSP Guidelines.)
  • After the initial IFSP has been developed, it must be reviewed every six months, or sooner, if warranted or if the parents request a review. (See Guidelines for IFSP Revisions.)
  • At least annually, the service coordinator must convene a meeting to evaluate and revise the IFSP as needed.

Resources are available on the Wisconsin Birth to 3 Training and Technical Assistance web site to assist you in understanding the legal requirements of the IFSP document. Where?

  • Left tool bar: Click on Birth to 3 Basics
  • Click on IFSP (Be sure to review the items under “The Big Picture” and consider reviewing the “Walk Through the IFSP Process Slide Show”)
  • Additional information on completing the IFSP document can be found on the Nebraska Department of Education web site, IFSPweb. Read through Developing a Great IFSP for an additional perspective and detailed guidelines on what should be included.

As mentioned earlier, it is those initial conversations with families which begin to build mutual trust and help develop an exceptional IFSP. Your discussions with families should follow an ecological perspective considering a family’s:

  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Priorities
  • Resources & supports
  • Relationships
  • Current situations

A major portion of the IFSP document will be devoted to developing and prioritizing child and family outcomes that are appropriate for intervention. These outcomes will be based on family routines as well as information learned from evaluations and assessments of the child’s current level of functioning. Multiple tools are available to assist you, the family, and additional team members to identify family routines, functional outcomes and appropriate resources for intervention.

The article, Functional Intervention Planning: The Routines-Based Interview(HTML version), from FPG Child Development Institute – Project INTEGRATE, gives practical tips on how to introduce the routines-interview, ask questions and have rich conversations with families about outcomes.

Some of the suggested questions to incorporate into a Routines-Based Interview (taken from the above article) might be:

  • How does your day start?
  • What does everyone do at this time?
  • What does the child do?
  • How does the child participate?
  • What does the child do by him or herself?
  • How does the child communicate and get along with others?
  • How satisfied is the caregiver with the routine?
  • What happens next in your day?*

Discovering Family Routines:
Other links are available on individual state websites . Many of the links point to the Family-Guided Approaches to Collaborative Early-Intervention Training and Services (FACETS) web site. Where?

Outcomes that may be listed should state an end point that can be observed (i.e. sleep through the night; eat independently; communicate using a combination of words, signs & simple devices; have mobility to explore the environment; play with brother; have knowledge and resources about…) They also include parent priorities and concerns as well as provider information gained from assessments. An IFSP provider looks for outcomes to integrate information across developmental domains (not be simply an OT or a fine motor goal) to incorporate language that the parent understands or helped to write.

Other guidelines for outcomes include:

  • Addressing both family and child needs
  • Stating why the outcome is important to the family (consider using a “so that” or “why is this important” statement)
  • Including a statement about how the outcome will be measured (ask “How will we know we accomplished this?”)
  • Revising, eliminating or adding to outcomes when agreed by the family and team
  • Enhancing the family’s optimism about the future.

More Guidance on Writing Functional Outcomes:
Planning for Interventions within Naturally Occurring Routines and Activities (Adapted by WPDP for the Wisconsin Birth to 3 Programs from FACETS materials, Lindeman & Woods), can be used to assist the IFSP team in thinking about and writing appropriate functional outcomes.

Getting to Know Your Child worksheet(HTML text-only version) (from FACETS materials, Lindeman & Woods)


The Waisman Center has the following info listed on their site for IFSP Service Providers:

Appropriate Resources for Intervention:

Application Station: Tools for Completing the IFSP
Become familiar with a new form or tool that might assist you and the team in completing an IFSP, or take the time to review your organization’s IFSP document. Complete Application Station: Tools for Completing the IFSP.

* From Project INTEGRATE (Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center) – an outreach project funded by the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

These modules were developed from a combination of materials, including:

  1. Pathways Service Coordination Project, Waisman Center-University of Wisconsin-Madison, funded by a number of grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. These materials were developed and field tested for several years within Wisconsin and several other states throughout the nation, leading to these publications: Pathways Trail Mix: A Collection of Ideas and Training Activities in Early Intervention Service Coordination (1999); Pathways in Early Intervention Service Coordination: A Video & Companion Guide (1996); and Pathways: A Training and Resource Guide for Enhancing Skills in Early Intervention Service Coordination (1996)
  2. Wisconsin Personnel Development Project/Birth to 3 RESource Training materials posted on the Birth to 3 Training and Technical Assistance Website
  3. Portage Project, CESA 5 Training Materials
  4. Materials and forms created by Wisconsin County Birth to 3 Programs
  5. Resources available on the Internet that have been developed by other programs throughout the country.


With all of the talk across the country about student privacy, it seems that parents are getting pretty much the same message, “your child’s information will be kept safe, only stakeholders will be able to access it for educational purposes.” There is a somewhat new report that has come out about what the  U.S. Dept of Education plans to do with this data.



The following is what the Dept of Ed say’s:

“The report discusses the promise of sophisticated digital learning systems for collecting and analyzing very large amounts of fine-grained data (“big data”) as users interact with the systems. It proposes that this data can be used by developers and researchers to improve these learning systems and strive to discover more about how people learn. It discusses the potential of developing more sophisticated ways of measuring what learners know and adaptive systems that can personalize learners’ experiences.” Dept of Ed


“Data at the institutional level is becoming increasingly streamlined and cross-referenced, improving the capacity to link student data within and across systems.”


Newer digital learning systems use artificial intelligence to go beyond a behavioral definition of mastery (e.g., whether a student responds correctly or incorrectly) to incorporate detailed cognitive models of the knowledge to be learned (Falmagne et al. 1990; Ritter et al. 2007). These systems base adaptations not just on whether a student responds correctly or incorrectly, but also on a model of the student’s thinking compared with a target knowledge model (the domain model) with the goal of closing the gap. These systems constantly update the model of a student’s thinking as the student works with the system.

For whatever reason, the Dept of Ed thinks that facial expression sensors and artificial intelligence being used on our children is a good thing…they also mistakenly think that parents won’t be in TOTAL OUTRAGE over it when they finally figure out what is really happening!

A team at the University of Massachusetts is combining data from sensors that detect learners’ facial expressions and physical activity with data from the intelligent tutoring system Wayang Outpost to identify in real time whether a learner is feeling excited, confident, frustrated, or bored. The team has designed software characters or agents that behave differently depending on the learner’s emotional state. This system adapts dynamically and can respond differentially to the same student at different times depending on his or her current emotional state.

If you are a parent, you NEED to get involved and be informed about what is happening. There are many Facebook groups and pages dedicated to Stopping Common Core. You can also search the hashtag #stopcommoncore for info as well.