2007 Summer Institute on Addressing Disproportionality

August 7-8, 2007
Presentations and Handouts


KEYNOTE: Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms
Dr. Donna Ford, Vanderbilt University
Despite our nation's changing demographics, some culturally diverse do not feel connected to school; too many are disengaged. This session focuses on what educators can do to build relationships with students from all backgrounds and to create classrooms that are culturally responsive and affirming. Strategies and resources are shared.

KEYNOTE: What Native Students and Teachers of Native Students Say About School & Schooling
Dr. Thomas Peacock, University of Minnesota--Duluth
The Seventh Generation: What do Native students have to say about schools, schooling, and life? What do they have to say about teachers and teaching? The presentation will focus on the findings of a national study of Native students' perceptions.

KEYNOTE: Reconceptualizing the African American Educational Pipeline: New Perspectives from a Systematic Analysis
Dr. Jerlando Jackson, University of Wisconsin--Madison
This keynote presentation, based on Strengthening the African American Educational Pipeline, presents an enlarged and more tangible understanding of the pipeline metaphor for African Americans in education. This discussion extends the pipeline metaphor and provides direct connections to African American participation, attainment, and outcomes in education. This will be achieved by drawing on knowledge from applied sciences. In doing so, this keynote presentation presents a new conceptualization of the pipeline encompassing the dynamic nature, multiple and parallel lines of progression, various end points, blocked passages, cracked surfaces, and nonlinear status often attributed to African American participation in education. PPT Presentation Handout

KEYNOTE: Risk and Resiliency: Unpacking the Over-placement of American Indian and Alaska Native Students in Special Education Programs and Services in the Early Grades
Dr. Susan Faircloth, Penn State University
This keynote address will focus on the cognitive, behavioral, and contextual factors that place American Indian and Alaska Native students at increased risk for special education referral and placement in the early grades. Implications for practice, policy and future research will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the role of improved administrator training, parent-school-community collaboration, and culturally appropriate early intervention services.

KEYNOTE: Enchancing Culturally Diverse Males’ Scholar Identity
Dr. Gilman Whiting, Vanderbilt University
A large percentage of Black and Latino males are not doing well academically. This session focuses on a unique program designed to reverse and prevent underachievement among culturally diverse males. Components of the Scholar Identity model and institute are shared to help educators work more effectively with culturally diverse males.

SECTIONALS:

Addressing Disproportionality in the Madison Metropolitan School District--Transfer Students Are a Part of the Puzzle
Jack Jorgensen and Kisten Gillespie
For the past 10 years, MMSD has been addressing disproportionality in special education as a district priority. In response to this complex and challenging problem, our school district developed and is utilizing a variety of tools and processes to help facilitate the appropriate identification and labeling of students with disabilities. During the 2006-07 year, educational records were reviewed of in-state and out-of-state transfer students in our "high risk areas" who entered the district with IEPs. The review process included utilizing the Exclusionary Factor Checklist to examine whether the exclusionary factors that are part of state eligibility criteria were adequately addressed. This presentation will provide information on our district's student data, identification of concerns, our response plan (including sharing of our tools and processes), and what we learned from this past year's experience. PowerPoint Presentation

A Conversation About Emotional Behavioral Disability (EBD Eligibility Criteria)
Lynn Boreson
This session is designed to be a discussion about the eligibility criteria for EBD. What are the questions and issues that have arisen in your district – are there common criteria issues that you believe are misapplied and/or poorly documented? What information do you need for better decision making? Here’s your chance to talk to the state consultant as well as to provide feedback on what would be helpful as you evaluate students for EBD and address disproportionality issues around appropriate and inappropriate identification. PowerPoint Presentation Handout - Eligibility Worksheet - Need for Special Education Worksheet, Sample Form ER-1, page 4

Disproportionality Data Analysis Workbook: A Process for Analyzing Data and Reflecting on Hypothesis
Dan Losen
This "hands-on" workshop will provide step by step guidance to understanding your district's data. Attendees will receive their district's raw data and a workbook. Using these materials, the workshop leader will guide the participants through a series of simple and straightforward exercises in calculating risk, risk ratio and in analyzing their district's data to formulate and evaluate hypotheses as to the root causes of disproportionality. Participants should leave this workshop with a strong understanding of their own districts data, have enhanced capability to explain it to others, and a stronger understanding of the likely causes of disproportionality in their district in light of the statistical evidence. District Profile Workbook [Document updated 7/2008].

A Conversation About Cognitive Disabilities (CD Eligibility Criteria)
Sandy Berndt
This session is designed to be a discussion about the eligibility criteria for CD. What are the questions and issues that have arisen in your district – are there common criteria issues that you believe are misapplied and/or poorly documented? What information do you need for better decision making? Here’s your chance to talk to the state consultant as well as to provide feedback on what would be helpful as you evaluate students for CD and address disproportionality issues around appropriate and inappropriate identification. PowerPoint Presentation

Using Required IDEA Funds to Address Significant Disproportionality
Vaunce Ashby, Shelley Zion, and Nancy Fuhrman
This session has been designed to assist school districts with understanding the Early Intervening Services funding requirements under IDEA. Information presented will include legal requirements regarding use of IDEA funding for Early Intervening Services to address significant disproportionality, examples of how districts may use funds, examples of what other states are doing to meet these requirements, and guidelines for determining what funds may and may not be used for. The presentation will conclude with a demonstration of how to complete the EIS flow-through budget section of the Local Performance Plan.

Examining a Guiding Questions Tool for Determining Disordered Behavior from Cultural Mismatch
Dr. Lisa Bardon, University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point
In order to address disproportionality, tools need to be developed to assist teachers in becoming more culturally responsive. A tool in the form of guiding questions with resources is being developed to guide teachers in Wisconsin to consciously consider various mismatches between the classroom, school, teacher, etc. and the child’s culture for two purposes: 1. To assist the teacher and pre-referral team in determining appropriate interventions, and 2. For a teacher or school to engage in self-reflection for possibility of cultural mismatches. This session will consist of three components: 1. A presentation of the current context of disproportionality in special education, 2. A presentation of the ‘work-in progress’ guiding questions, and 3. Time for constructive feedback from participants for improvement and fine tuning of the checklist and resources. Handout

SHOWCASE OF DISTRICT INITIATIVES

Monona Grove: Using a Problem Solving/Response to Instruction Model to Address Disproportionality
John Faust and Ed O’Connor
This presentation focuses on efforts of the Monona Grove School District in the implementation of a systems change initiative using a Problem-Solving /Response to instruction monde. The presentation begins with an overview of the efforts to date in the implementation process, which provides the foundation for the rest of the presentation. The remainder of the presentation concentrates on the data collected by the district’s Disproportionality Committee in the problem identification and problem analysis stages of the problem-solving process. Specific data includes behavioral data, academic performance data, and data gained from focus group interviews with African- American students (current and former) and parents. The presentation concludes with future directions based on the hypothesizes generated in the problem-solving process.

Verona: Response to Disproportionality: Early Intervention Literacy Specialists
Lynette Fassbender, Linda Christensen, and Janet Farnan
This will be a power point presentation on the Early Intervention Literacy Specialist (EILS) position created and used as an intervention during the 2006-07 school year. The District created a job description, interviewed and hired the EILS position which dedicated resources to the lowest disproportionate performers in the District prior to a special education referral. The EILS has been working mostly one-on-one with 10 students pulled –out of the regular education classroom using a variation of the Reading Recovery model. This was in addition to the 90 minute regular education classroom using a variation of the Reading Recovery model. Data has been taken on many variables related to literacy and will be reported out during the presentation. The goal was to help the students to obtain grade level performance, reintegrate and pick up additional students. While costly, the model has proven highly beneficial for these students and their individual data shows great gains. Handout

Appleton: A School District’s Approach to Addressing Disproportionality--Weaving New Fabric for a Growing Community
Brian Anderson
A healthy community must provide educational opportunities for all learners. To do this, educational practices must reflect the belief and the expectation that all students will learn. The AASD considers the elimination of performance gaps for children of color to be a top priority in years ahead. District efforts have been coordinated through a Minority Achievement Task Force, with members hailing from all departments and levels. A Five-Year Strategic Plan has been drafted that includes actions addressing achievement and participation gaps, disparities in discipline and family involvement, and disproportionality in special education. Plan components reflect Appleton’s intent to reach deep and effect lasting change through dialogues about race, the development of cultural proficiency in all classrooms and by all personnel, and the enhancement of personal relationships between staff and students of color. Key actions within the Strategic Plan will be highlighted and the coordination of these with other district-wide initiatives will be discussed. Handout

Resource Materials/Books - Descriptions & Order Information

Strengthening the African American Educational Pipeline: Informing Research, Policy, and Practice. 2007. Jerlando F.L. Jackson

Focusing on pre-k-12 schools, higher education, and social influences, this book examines the following question: What systemic set of strategies is necessary to improve the conditions for African American throughout the educational pipeline. This book provides an important window to the pipeline problem and also offers some viable solutions. This book is a must read for all educators, policy makers and researchers responsible for making decisions in reference to African Americans in education. Available from sunypress.edu and through amazon.com.

The Seventh Generation: Native Students Speak About Finding the Good Path. 2003. Amy Bergstrom, Linda Miller Cleary, and Thomas D. Peacock

This book highlights the experiences of 120 American Indian, Alaska Native, and First Nations youth from across North America who were interviewed by the authors. The book is written especially for today’s Native youth, teachers and others who work with Native youth and their families. The author’s share what they learned from these remarkable young people through their stories of success and failure. The final chapter provides information about how to help Native youth develop resiliency and gives readers more detail about the research methods used and the philosophy underlying this unusual project. Available through amazon.com.

Teaching Culturally Diverse Gifted Students. 2005. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. D.Y. Ford and H.R. Milner

This guide offers practical advice for building gifted education programs that serve a rich diversity of students. This book features an overview of multicultural gifted education, effective teaching strategies and best practices that support a diverse population of students, and an effective model for building a diverse, successful gifted program. This guide is recommended for educators, classroom teachers, policy makers and researchers. Available through amazon.com.

2006 Scholar Identity Institute, DVD

This award winning DVD presents highlights of the 2006 Scholar Identity Institute which has now become an annual event. Approximately 100 black males from Metro Nashville schools participated in the 2006 Summer Scholar Identity Institute at Vanderbilt, a two-week program designed by Vanderbilt instructors Dr. Donna Ford and Dr. Gilman Whiting to address the growing problem of academic underachievement among this group. This DVD is recommended for educators, policy makers and researchers. Available from sunypress.edu and through amazon.com. Available from Gilman Whiting.

For questions about this information, contact Courtney Reed Jenkins (608) 267-9183