Amber Alert

How to Use Test Scores to Measure Educational Progress and FAPE

"If something exists, it exists in some amount. If it exists in some amount, then it is capable of being measured." Rene Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, 1644

Assume your child began receiving special education services three years ago. Is your child making progress? Is your child catching up with the peer group? Has your child fallen further behind? Is your child receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE)?

How do you know? Do you know your child’s standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, and age and grade equivalents on the most recent evaluation? Have you compared these scores with earlier testing?
Parents, teachers, and advocates must learn how to measure educational progress. If you do not learn how to use information from tests to track your child's progress, you will not be able to play an active role in planning your child's special education program. Your biggest obstacle is likely to be your own fear that you can’t understand this material. You need to overcome that fear.

What can you do? Read “Tests & Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and Attorney” -- three times. Use a highlighter. Make notes in the margins. Reading the material three times is the key to success.

After you have read the article or chapters three times, get the evaluations and tests on your child. Compare tests that have been administered more than once. What's the verdict? Is your child learning and making acceptable progress? Has your child fallen further behind?

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Written originally in Summer 2007.

100 Things I Love

The rule is you are not supposed to list people. Despite that rule, the first two are my children. Other than my children being the first two great loves of my life, these items are not in any particular order:

  1. Cameron
  2. Cassandra
  3. Mountain Dew
  4. The laughter and giggle of my children.
  5. Hearing the chirping of birds to start the day.
  6. Reading before I fall asleep every night.
  7. Photography -- all aspects, taking pictures, especially the unexpected and candid pictures; seeing the outcome or different views/perspectives; having photographs all over the house.
  8. Cassandra’s curly hair.
  9. Scooby-Doo because he works for Scooby snacks.
  10. My blue eyes.
  11. The “color” of fall.
  12. Old Bugs Bunny/Tweety Bird/Road Runner cartoons.
  13. Headsets for phones so I can be hands-free.
  14. Rubies because they are red and my birthstone.
  15. My king-size bed because my whole family can fit in it.
  16. Cassandra’s dimples.
  17. The smell of lilacs.
  18. Remote controls.
  19. Air conditioning.
  20. Snuggling.
  21. Being able to read and write.
  22. My ring collection -- each ring is unique and has special meaning.
  23. Snyder Hawaiian Sweet Onion kettle potato chips.
  24. Scrapbooking and scrapbooks.
  25. Being a mom.
  26. Cameron’s smile.
  27. Hearing, “I love you, Mommy!”
  28. Dark chocolate… yummm!
  29. The beauty of sunsets.
  30. Friendship.
  31. Disposable diapers.
  32. My collection of milk bottles (the old-fashioned glass bottles).
  33. My friends that are my family.
  34. Thumb sucking because it comforts me when I’m tired or sick.
  35. Sleep.
  36. Electricity.
  37. All shades of blue.
  38. The waddle of penguins.
  39. Asthma medicine so Cassandra can breathe.
  40. Salt.
  41. Comfortable clothes.
  42. Chunky potato soup.
  43. Avon cosmetics.
  44. My calendar/organizer/planner to keep me organized.
  45. Cameron’s nicknames: Cool Dude, Pickle.
  46. Internet communities.
  47. Hair color to cover the grey.
  48. Telephone.
  49. Celebrating the “small” things, such as half birthdays, first day of school, etc.
  50. Cards for all occasions.
  51. My German heritage.
  52. My American pride and the ‘Red, White, and Blue.’
  53. Old Steven Segal movies.
  54. Tylenol.
  55. Big old trees.
  56. Email.
  57. Music -- classic country, today’s country, 80s, Christian, oldies, Christmas, more.
  58. Jesus.
  59. Kids sleeping.
  60. Dreaming.
  61. Being a woman.
  62. Towels warm/”fresh” from the dryer.
  63. Knowing how to drive.
  64. “Puppy” love.
  65. Sunny days.
  66. Springtime -- new, fresh, baby animals, the right temperature, clean slate, Easter, Jesus rises from the cross.
  67. Comedy movies.
  68. Deodorant.
  69. Mystery novels.
  70. Disposable contacts.
  71. My nickname, Storm, which has now become my middle name.
  72. Hope.
  73. My Mom’s roast beef, mashed potatoes w/gravy and shoepeg corn dinner.
  74. Yankee candles.
  75. Daddy’s Bible, including his preaching notes.
  76. Grandma’s wedding band that I wear every day.
  77. Being organized.
  78. Candles burning.
  79. Bug spray to protect from getting bitten.
  80. Being an advocate for children, children’s rights, and mental health issues.
  81. Photographs and photo frames -- one of my many collections, each frame is unique.
  82. Taking walks.
  83. Cocker spaniels, especially Princess and Willie.
  84. Night lights.
  85. Free stuff.
  86. Leak-proof sippy cups.
  87. Febreeze.
  88. Scented shower gels.
  89. Going to a restaurant for dinner.
  90. Prayer.
  91. Surprising others with small gifts.
  92. Journal writing.
  93. Not being homeless.
  94. Laughter.
  95. Bag clips to keep foods fresh.
  96. Stickers.
  97. The awe and wonder of toddlers.
  98. Wearing red shirts (because I get lots of compliments).
  99. My mom shirt -- “This mom is extra special because she’s the dad too!”
  100. That I challenged myself to complete this list.
This list was originally written in 2002.

What Kind of World Do You Want

Change Claudia's World

Follow the link to watch a video about a sweet, young girl, Claudia. She was diagnosed with Autism but, unfortunately, cannot get the help she needs due to a 2-yr waiting list.

For every view of the video, money is donated to Autism Speaks in Claudia's name.

Get the Respect You Deserve

Get the Respect You Deserve

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