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Assessment Questions, Steps, and Purposes (page 3)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Oct 25, 2010

Step 5. Monitoring Individual Progress

The purposes of this step are to determine (1) if the student is making progress and (2) whether to modify instruction if the student is not making progress. Teachers should assess the student's progress frequently. Information from this assessment step allows the IEP team members to modify interventions, teaching procedures, or materials if the student's progress is lagging.

Step 6. Evaluating the Program

Program evaluation is a process used to assess (1) the progress the student has made and (2) the overall quality of the school program. To evaluate the student's progress, the IEP team focuses on the student's IEP. They ask, "Is the student meeting the goals of the individualized education program?"

To address the overall evaluation of special education services, the questions focus on the achievement, as a group, that students accomplish in the program; the degree of satisfaction with the program as expressed by teachers, administrators, and parents; and the effectiveness of the program. The following section examines these two types of evaluation questions in more detail.

Student evaluation  This type of assessment helps evaluators make decisions about the success of the instructional program for individual students. The IEP team reviews the student's IEP at least annually to address any lack of expected progress, the results of any reevaluation, information about the student provided to or by the parents, or the student's anticipated needs (20 USC Sec. 614(d)). For children receiving services under an IFSP, family and evaluators must review the program every six months (or more frequently, if appropriate) and conduct the full evaluation annually.

IDEA requires a reevaluation of the student's performance and educational needs at least every three years, or more frequently if conditions warrant a reevaluation or if the child's parent or teacher requests a reevaluation. The team reviews existing assessment information including (1) evaluations and information provided by the parent; (2) current classroom-based, local, or state assessments and classroom-based observations; and (3) observations by teachers and related services providers (20 USC Sec. 614(c)) and considers the following questions: "Does the student continue to need special education and related services? What is the student's present level of performance and educational need? Does the student need any additions or modifications to the special education and related services to meet the annual goals?" On the basis of the review, and with input from the student's parents, the team decides what additional information it needs and what assessment approaches to use.

Program evaluation   Program evaluation involves evaluating the overall services provided to groups of students or programs. Educators need to examine the success of programs offered to students, to replicate strong programs, and to refine or change programs that are not effective. Evaluation questions include: "Is the program successful? Are goals being met? Do parents feel satisfied with the services?" Information is collected in a variety of ways including aggregating assessment results of students who participate or have participated in the program; asking teachers, students, and parents to complete checklists or rating scales; interviewing current students in the program and their parents; or asking graduates of the school or program and their employers to complete questionnaires.

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