Transcript of NCSET teleconference call held on August
Access to the General Education Curriculum: Research-Based Interventions
for High School Students with Disabilities
Jean Schumaker, Ph.D.
Center for Research on Learning
University of Kansas
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presentation referenced in this teleconference call (in PDF
format: 84 slides, 2.98 MB). (Also available as an accessible
Word document.) Small numbers in the text below (i.e., 45)
refer to the slide being discussed.
MS. JOHNSON: Hello, good afternoon, and welcome
to “Access to the General Education Curriculum: Research-Based
Interventions for High School Students with Disabilities.”
I am Donna Johnson, Project Coordinator with the National Center
on Secondary Education and Transition at the University of Minnesota.
I would like to extend a special welcome to our Exiting TA Community
of Practice members. Today we are pleased to have Dr. Jean Schumaker
as our presenter.
Dr. Schumaker is Associate Director of the University of Kansas
Center for Research on Learning and Professor in the Department
of Human Development and Special Education. She received her Ph.D.
at the University of Kansas in developmental and child psychology
in 1976. She has spent the last 25 years studying the problems of
adolescents and developing educational interventions for them. Along
with Dr. Donald Deshler and other colleagues at the Center for Research
on Learning, she has developed the Strategies Intervention Model,
a comprehensive program for students with learning disabilities.
Dr. Schumaker is an author of the Learning Strategies curriculum,
a curriculum comprised of 15 student learning strategies; Social
Skills for Daily Living, Assets, and Cooperative Strategy Theories,
which are three social skills curricula; eight manuals in the Content
Enhancement series, a series developed to improve the delivery of
content in mainstream classrooms; and numerous articles and chapters.
We are very pleased to have Dr. Schumaker present for us today.
So, now I will turn it over to Dr. Schumaker; thanks, Jean.
DR. SCHUMAKER: Thank you, Donna, and welcome,
everyone. 1 I am going to be talking
today about the Institute for Academic Access, which was a grant
funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs. 2
This particular project at the University of Kansas was to create
real access to the high school general education curriculum for
students with disabilities. Basically, what we were about was improving
educational outcomes achieved by students with disabilities. 3
The research partners involved were people in Oregon like Doug Carnine
and Betsy Davis and as well as people at the University of Kansas
like Keith Lenz, Don Deshler, Jan Bulgren, and myself. 4
The target population was high school students with disabilities—they
had been formally classified as having a disability by their schools.
They were students who are expected to earn the standard high school
diplomas, because we wanted to look at students who potentially
could be enrolled in the general education curriculum. They either
had been enrolled in a rigorous general education course, they could
have been enrolled in a rigorous general education course, or they
could have been enrolled in a rigorous general education course
if the proper support had been available to them.
5 The model that we used involved four
strands of research.
- We began with descriptive research where we were looking at,
“What is the education like that these students with disabilities
- Then we went to student learning research where we focused on
interventions that could help students.
- Then we moved to teacher learning research where we were looking
at professional development experiences and the components of
those experiences that yielded implementation of new instructional
- Now we are working on school change research where we are working
with whole schools, trying to help them understand the kinds of
programs that they need to put in place to train their teachers
and actually effect change at the whole-school level.
The arrows on that graphic device there show that the data gathered
about each strand inform the other strands of research and that
all strands are ongoing.
6 One thing that we knew going into
this project was that students with disabilities in junior and senior
high schools reach a plateau in their achievement. This figure labeled
“Achievement Gap” shows with the blue line what we would
expect students to achieve; that is, we would expect a first grade
student to achieve at least one year in—second grade level
and we are talking about the average second grade or third grade
student all the way up through this blue line on the chart. The
red line, on the other hand, represents what students with disabilities
look like—that is, their growth is slower, they reach about
the 4th grade level and then they plateau off when they are in 7th
grade. So in other words, we have the 4th grade hump there. For
example, in reading, students with disabilities would be reading
on average at the 4th grade level when they hit 7th grade and they
don’t improve after that. So we knew that was the case going
into this project and we wanted to take a look at what their education
7 We went into the classes that they
were enrolled in. First, we took a look at what their general education
teachers were doing. This figure shows the main percentage of intervals
that the general education teachers were observed in various activities
in eight high schools. We went into four different types of general
education teacher classes—science, social studies, English,
and math—in each school and we observed what percentage of
the time were they involved in instructional activities, what percentage
of the time were non-instructional activities, and what percentage
of the time were research-based activities. As you can see by the
chart, there was a lot of variability in terms of the percentage
of instructional time across schools, but that averaged around 60%
in most of the schools. One school had as high as 89% of the teachers
involved in instruction, which is quite high. You will also see
that there were no research-based intervals, that means that we
did not observe any teacher using research-based instructional materials
or methods—curricula, for example.
8 The next chart shows the main percentage
of intervals with general education teachers were observed in actual
instructional practices. We took a look at typical instructional
practices that you would expect teachers to be using like lecturing
or reading aloud, giving directions, etc. We also looked at activities
such as monitoring, giving a model or demonstration, having the
students verbally rehearse using simple enhancers, content enhancement
devices, and so forth, which are research-based methods that we
now use with students with disabilities. So you can see, most of
the time the teachers were lecturing or reading aloud or giving
directions and there were very few observations of teacher use of
research-based instructional methods.
9 The next figure shows the main percentage
of intervals the special education teachers were observed in various
activities in the different schools. And there were six high schools
that were observed here. You can see in half of the schools there
were more intervals where the teachers were not involved in instruction
than when they were involved in instruction. And only one school
was using any research-based material: their curricula for students
10 Again we looked at the special education
teachers and the particular instruction methods they were using,
and their profile looks very similar to the general education teachers
which was surprising to us—you will see that they again used
very few models: verbal rehearsals, simple enhancers, etc., can
give much elaborate feedback or describing skills or strategies
to the students.
11 We took a look at the different course
options that were available for special education students.
- Type B were courses taught by general education teachers for
low achievers and…students, they were specifically designed
to be a kind of low-track/watered-down course.
- Type C were rigorous courses taught by general education teachers
that had genius groups of students enrolled; that is, they had
students with disabilities, low achievers, no achievers, and high
achievers in those courses and of course our thought was that
we wanted to see students with disabilities in Type C courses.
- Type D were the Advanced Placement courses taught by general
- Type E were other courses taught by general education teachers
like…electives and other kinds of electives.
What we found was that in most of the schools (five) there were
type A courses, a few of the high schools had type B courses, only
two of the high schools had Type C classes, and only one of those
high schools had a written policy that specified that all students
with disabilities who were in the track for the standard high school
diploma would be enrolled in Type C classes....On Type C classes
they call them regular general education courses.
12 The next figure shows the actual
numbers of enrollments of students with disabilities in the nine
high schools that we studied. On the first line you will see the
total number of special education students in each of the schools,
for example in (Royal) School there were 48 special education students.
The next row shows the total possible core class enrollments—we
took the numbers of students and multiplied that times four, because
we wanted to see them in English, social studies, science, and math
courses. And so there were 192 possible core class enrollments for
(Royal) School special education students. However, the actual number
of rigorous general education enrollments was 15 for that school.
So, in other words, out of 48 students only 15 classes—of
those 48 students—only a few of them were enrolled in—actually
15—in the total of 15 general education classes. And then,
we asked the teachers to estimate the number of students with disabilities
in their classes. And so that last line shows you their estimates,
which were pretty inaccurate.
13 The next screen shows you kind of
a summary of these data. The total possible rigorous class enrollments
was more than 3,000. The actual number was about 682. The total
numbers of students with disabilities was 805 and the estimates
for the number of students was 205.
14 With regard to student achievement,
we looked at the student grade point averages, and we found that
the students’ grades were C and below. A majority of students
were getting D’s and after the grade point averages were in
the D and F range. And this is interesting given the fact that most
of them were in watered-down courses or in general education courses
taught by special education teachers. And what these courses look
like were, for example, in English class, where 9th grade, 10th
grade, 11th grade, and 12th grade students were all in the classroom
together, working individually on different English activities related
to the code/encode course they were taking.
15 The next slide shows our model for
ensuring access and positive outcomes for students with disabilities.
You will see that in the triangle that there are three major program
components. We have learner-friendly courses, those are Type C courses
where students are taught using research-based methods in English,
social studies, science, and math. There is skills or strategies
instruction where students learn strategies for approaching the
demands of their courses, and there is homework assistance for students
who need help studying for tests and completing their homework.
As you can see, we used some formative evaluation tools, developed
benchmark assessments that can be given to students on a regular
basis to determine their progress. The final outcomes that we are
shooting for are success in Type C courses, high school graduation,
passing scores on the state assessments, and enrollment in postsecondary
16 The Content Literacy Continuum is
kind of our way of looking at what happens in the whole school across
a wide variety of classes to enhance the instruction for students
- At Level I, we have enhanced content instruction in those learner-friendly
courses, like English, science, social studies, and math.
- In Level II, we have embedded-strategy instruction in those
rigorous courses—that is, the strategies instruction is
woven within and across classes by the teachers in a coordinative
- At Level III, we have intensive strategy instruction. That’s
where those students who need additional help and more practice
receive intensive strategy instruction and perhaps a support setting
such as a research course or a special class designed for teaching
- Level IV is intensive basic skill instruction—that’s
where students who are reading at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade
levels, for example, receive instruction in phonetic skills or
specialized reading programs are used to help them learn those
- Level V is therapeutic intervention for students who have severe
language problems and need perhaps the attention of speech-language
therapist. After school course, that’s where the homework
assistance comes in or it could be before school and we have a
special method called strategic tutoring.
I will be telling you more about each of the interventions that’s
used at the different levels in a couple of minutes. So that was
very descriptive research.
17 Let’s take a look at student
learning research studies and what we have been doing in that area.
18 So, let’s just take a look at
learner-friendly courses. We have developed a whole set of routines
called the Content Enhancement Routine that are used to make subject
area courses learner-friendly. 19 For
example, if we want to compare two concepts like the concept of
an evergreen tree and dizygous tree, we can use a routine called
the Concept Comparison Routine. 20 This
routine is a set of research-based methods that teachers can use
in their class to create a comparison table, which is shown on the
screen here. We call this comparison table a visual device that
the teacher uses. The teacher puts the blank device up on the overhead
projector and students have a blank device at their desks. And the
teachers, through an interactive process and a series of steps called
the Concept Comparison Routine, create this comparison table in
partnership with the students. You will see here with the two concepts
being compared are plot and theme, which are two elements of literature.
And what the teacher does is ask the students questions to come
up with the characteristics of plot and the characteristics of theme.
And then they come up with characteristics that are similar and
different across the two concepts and talk further about that and
21 What we have found is, that when
we use the Concept Comparison Routine—see the data graph here—different
types of students, students with learning disabilities, low achievers,
normal achievers, and high achievers do better than if we don’t
use the Concept Comparison Routine. All these students, for example,
fail their unit tests when they receive information comparing two
concepts. However, when the Concept Comparison Routine is used they
get an average of 70%.
22 We will move on to the next slide,
which is the Concept Anchoring Table. This is another visual device;
it’s used with the Concept Anchoring Routine. You will see
the fractional parts—which is the new concept—is being
related to parts of a pizza. 23 When
this device is used, basically what we are doing here, if you look
at the next screen with the picture of the boat—we are anchoring
new information to information that’s already known by the
students. They may not understand fractions but they do understand
parts of a pizza. We are trying to anchor the new information to
what they already know through the use of this visual device, the
Concept Anchoring Table.
24 When we did our study, we had two
concepts that we were using: one was called Pyramid of Numbers and
the other was Commensalism, both were complex concepts that we were
teaching the students. We had two groups of students. And in condition
one, one of the groups had Pyramid of Numbers with the Concept Anchoring
Routine and the other group had Commensalism without Concept Anchoring
Routine. And then we flip-flopped the groups so that the Pyramid
of Numbers was not in—the routine was not used with Pyramid
of Numbers and then the routine was used with Commensalism. 25
If you look at the graph, it shows that with learning disabled students,
low achievers, normal achievers, and high achievers in just about
every case, when the concept was enhanced with the routine, the
students did better. So, for example, when Pyramid of Numbers was
enhanced, you see that the students with learning disabilities earned
a mean score of 69%, whereas when it wasn’t, they earned a
mean score of 36%.
26 The Recall Enhancement Routine is
another routine we use to help students remember what they are learning.
We had two groups, an experimental group and a control group, and
we had two groups of facts that they were learning, non-reviewed
facts and reviewed facts. At the end of the lecture, some of the
facts were reviewed and some of the facts were not reviewed. And
there were two types of reviews, one set of facts was reviewed just
by repeating them again and the second set of facts was reviewed
by using the Recall Enhancement Routine. And the Recall Enhancement
Routine was a co-construction process between the teachers and the
students creating memory devices for remembering the information.
27 You will see in the next graph that
the students with learning disabilities, when the routine was not
used or when the facts were just repeated, received an average score
of 41%, whereas when the Recall Enhancement Routine was used they
received a score of 70% on average, so from an F to a C grade. 28
The next figure shows the percentage of students performing at passing
levels—it shows that on the non-reviewed facts, the control
and experimental students were just about the same on the non-reviewed
facts. However, when we take a look at the reviewed facts on the
right-hand side of the screen, we see that it makes a huge difference,
only 11% of the students with learning disabilities received the
passing grade in the control condition whereas 77% received a passing
grade in the experimental condition—when the Recall Enhancement
Routine was used.
The next few slides just show some of the different visual devices
that go with some of our other routines. 29
For example, the first one here is our Exploration Guide which goes
with our Question Exploration Routine where a critical question
is asked and then the class analyses that critical question, unpacks
it into smaller parts, and comes up with a main idea answer. 30
And we also have a Course Organizer Routine for launching courses
and a Course Organizer Device. 31 We
have a Frame Device for framing a key topic and main ideas and details
related to that topic and several others—we have about 15
different routines and visual devices that go with those routines
and we have done studies on all of them.
32 We have also done a series of studies
on learning strategy instruction. 33
Our learning strategies curriculum has three strands:
- the acquisition strand, which is basically reading strand;
- the storage strand, which is the strand for studying for tests;
- the expression strand, which is the strand for demonstrating
what you know by either writing about it or by taking tests and
34 “Learning strategy” as
we have defined it is a set of steps that a person uses to plan,
act, and evaluate his or her performance on a task and its outcomes.
35 For example, if you receive an assignment
to list the political leaders of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the
fall of communism, how are you going to remember those? 36
We have designed the strategy to help the students retain that information
and it’s called The First Letter in Pneumonic Strategy. The
steps are shown here on the screen: the student can go through the
series of little memory devices and choose one of them. In this
case, the student would choose the fourth device called “shape
a sentence” and come up with sentence like “Little Soviet
Kids Become Adult Citizens Gradually.”
37 The Sentence Writing Strategy is
another strategy that’s in the expression strand. Students
pick one of 14 different formulas that they learn, they explore
words to fit the formula, they note the words, and then they search
and check—that means that they search for the verbs and subjects
making sure that it’s a complete sentence and they check that
they have a capital letter, period at the end, and that it makes
sense. 38 You see here some data showing
that before students go into the sentence writing strategy they
write about 70% complete sentences; after they learn the strategy
99% of their sentences on the average are complete.
39 The Paragraph Writing Strategy—you
see the steps here and 40 data showing
that in baseline students earn about 36% of the points on their
paragraph and after instruction they earned 80%. All of these data
derive from multiple baselines across the students graph, they are
just summarized here.
41 The Error Monitoring Strategy is
a set of steps students use to find their errors in their writing.
42 In the pre-test they could only find
and correct 25% of their errors and in the post-test—after
instruction—they could correct 90% of their errors. 43
In baseline, the mean number of errors per word was about 0.27,
which is about one error for every three or four words, and then
after instruction they had less than one error in every 20 words.
44 The Theme Writing Strategy is shown
here and this is the strategy that students use to write long papers.
45 Before instruction they earn about
24% of the points on their themes and after instruction about 74%.
46 For a group of students who had learned
all the writing strategies, in the district competency writing test,
they earned an average score of 3.5, whereas all students in the
district earned an average score of 2.5.
47 The next graph shows what happened
when we taught the Theme Writing Strategy to underprepared students
at the University of Kansas. These were students whose ACT scores
were around 17. After learning the Theme Writing Strategy, their
average score or grade was 2.5, which is a C/C+ in their English
classes at KU. And other students who were prepared—these
were students whose ACTs were around or above 25—earned average
grades of 2.6 and they earned a grade of 2 or C for the underprepared
students and 2.5 for the prepared students.
48 Homework Assistance through Strategic
Tutoring: 49 we have a strategic tutoring
process that includes four instructional phases. 50
Our model for strategic tutoring involves explaining the content
and building knowledge in the subject area that the students are
studying, sharing extensive knowledge of strategies that is the
tutor is an expert in, and an apprenticeship relationship with the
student that shows the student how to be a good learner. The tutor
applies the principles of strategic instruction in the phases while
also mentoring the student and connecting with the student, giving
the student a connection to the school.
51 This graph on the next slide shows
the data from three students during baseline and after strategic
tutoring. You will see that their test scores and their quizzes
for the period of time during baseline are first shown and then
to the right of that you will see their test and quiz scores after
or during strategic tutoring. And in all cases the students’
grades raised from F in baseline or low D’s to C’s and
B’s on average. 52 In another study,
the students’ scores again raised from F’s to B’s
on their tests and quizzes. And in the pretest they only earned
15% of the points available and on the posttest they earned 85%.
53 We have also taken a look at how
can we enhance the way teachers learn, with the Teacher Learning
Studies. 54 Some of these routines that
I showed you earlier like the Concept Comparison Routine, the Concept
Anchoring Routine—what we call Enhancement Routines—as
well as the Concept Mastery Routine are represented on this graph.
55 Next graph, when we train the teachers,
we gave them workshops and we observed them in their classes before
and after the workshop. 56 You will see
in the yellow bars the percentage of instructional procedures that
they used that were associated with routines before they participated
in a workshop, and then in the red bars you will see the percentage
of behaviors they performed after the workshop and you will see
that in each case the teachers were performing at least 90% of behaviors
that they were taught to perform.
57 We find that to enhance our ability
to teach teachers about new methods, first we have pretty much discarded
the traditional approach, which is an inservice training session
on an inservice day. We find that these stand-and-deliver kinds
of activities don’t yield much in the way of the fidelity
of implementations. We work with teachers before the workshop, giving
them interviews to find out what’s going on in the school.
We use partnership learning methods where we involve teachers in
choosing what they want to learn about and we go into classes and
model, we maybe have support team meetings, we have onsite instructional
coaches in some schools where they collaborate with the teachers
on an ongoing basis. What we find is that if we use this enlightened
approach, we get about half of the teachers implementing our routine
or strategy, but with the instructional coaches added to the enlightened
approach, then we get more than 80% of the teachers implementing.
Our staff development activities we find are more effective, the
more instructional methods we put into place in a school. This table
shows that when we present information, when we model it, when we
have practice activities where we go into the classrooms and coach,
the teachers learn 90% of the information—that is, they are
knowledgeable about the innovations. When we observe them in the
classes using the innovation, they implement about 90% of the methods
and also when we observe them in the workshop they implement about
90%. So we see really good gains when we put in as many of these
instructional methods as we can.
Another thing that we are doing in the area of professional development
is developing professional development CDs (we call them virtual
workshops) where teachers can attend the workshop via their computer—they
put the CD into their computer and it tells them all about a routine.
58 For example, the routine that’s
featured here in this slide is the Concept Anchoring Routine and
the different lessons that are depicted on the next few slides show
what we tell the teachers about the Anchoring Table, different parts
of the Anchoring Table, the instructional steps that they are going
to be using, 59 called the linking steps
in lesson two and then 60 in lesson three,
we tell them about the Cue-Do-Review Sequence which is the overall
instructional sequence that they use with routines. 61
Then in lesson four we show them different teachers using the routine
at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels, so they
can see that all different kinds of teachers can use the routine
with all different kinds or subjects like science and social studies
and English and math. And then in lesson five, which isn’t
shown here, we show them a wide variety of example tables, anchoring
tables that teachers have developed for different subject areas.
In each of these lessons, there are video clips of teachers using
the routines so they can actually see how it’s done in the
classroom and see the students responding to and working in partnership
with the teachers. 62 And there are activities
like in lesson six where they create their own Anchoring Tables
and they can kind of check their work through an interactive activity
63 The results of these virtual workshops
are very similar to the results of actual workshops or live workshops—what
we find is the teachers in both groups, the actual workshop group
and the virtual workshop groups, perform about 15% of the routine
before they go to the workshop or use the CD and then afterwards
they perform about 80% of the routine. So they are both pretty effective
and they look pretty equally effective. 64
With regard to knowledge, the same thing is true—teachers
in both groups are able to earn average scores of about 80% on written
tests of their knowledge of the routine. 65
We also gave the teachers a test where they had to create an Anchoring
Table and both groups were equally effective in doing that, they
earned about 98% of the points available after the instruction.
66 And when we take a look at their students,
we found that the students of the virtual workshop teachers actually
performed better than the students of the actual workshop teachers.
They earned average scores of about 70% on a written test vs. about
54% by the actual workshop group after the teachers started using
the routine. 67 This next figure shows
that the students with learning disabilities, the virtual workshop
group students performed better than the actual workshop group students.
68 Our School-Change Research has taken
us to a new level where we are going into schools and working with
the faculty to put into place the different levels of the continuum
that I talked to you about earlier. If you recall, the first level
was learner-friendly courses, the second level was embedded-strategy
instruction, third level was intensive-strategy instruction, etc.
What we have done is a variety of studies in different high schools
where we have put some of these interventions in place and I’m
going to show you some graphs now that depict the data from those
studies. 69 The first graph shows the
effects of using several different Content Enhancement Routines.
In a general education economics class at the 10th grade level at
Muskegon High School, what we found there was that we could use
the students in the economics classes in the year 2000-01 as our
control group. The students with disabilities earned average test
scores across the whole school year of 53%—failing grades,
basically—whereas the other students in the classes earned
an average score of 71%. The next year, when the teacher used Content
Enhancement Routines, students with disabilities earned average
scores of 68% and students without disabilities earned scores of
about 80%. And those are scores across the whole school year, all
their unit tests.
70 This next figure shows 9th grade
physical science classes. It’s a slightly different study—here
the teachers taught half of the units without Content Enhancement,
that’s represented in the blue bars, and half of the units
with content enhancement, represented in the red bars. These scores
show the unit test scores, average scores for students with disabilities,
without disabilities, and the whole group. Before or in the units
where Content Enhancement was not used, students were getting average
scores in the 60% range whereas after or when Content Enhancement
was used with particular units, students were getting average of
scores in the 70% range. 71 The next
figure shows the same students, but we are taking a look here at
sub-groups of students in the 9th grade physical science classes.
We are taking a look at the students who were getting B’s
in the units where they did not use Content Enhancement Routines
and students who were getting C’s or who were failing. As
you can see, the failing students are the ones who benefit the most
from the use of the Content Enhancement Routines (the red bars),
but the other groups did benefit as well.
72 This next figure shows a study we
did in a district where 1,000 students were taught the Sentence
Writing Strategy, it shows that before the instruction 66% of their
sentences were complete sentences and after the instruction 93%
of the sentences were complete sentences. Before the instruction
9% of their sentences were complicated sentences, after the instruction
45% of their sentences were complicated sentences, so their sentences
that are compound, complex sentences.
73 This next figure shows in a high
school that where the English teachers were teaching Sentence Writing
Strategy in 9th grade, the Paragraph Writing Strategy in 10th grade,
and the Error Monitoring Strategy in 11th grade. The percentage
of students that passed the state writing competency exam—this
was an inner-city school—and the red bar shows the percentage
of students in each of three years who passed the writing competency
exam, it’s in the 90% range for each year. The blue bar shows
12 comparable schools and their percentage of students that were
passing the state competency exam in writing. The yellow lines show
the percentage of students passing in Michigan middle cities and
then the blue line shows all of Michigan. So you see some ranges
there but you also see that this inner-city school is outperforming
all of the other comparison groups.
74 Self-Questioning Strategy is a strategy
that where students have white boards and then the teacher prompts
them to think of a question related to the subject area they are
studying and then they have to think of predictions that are related
to their questions. 75 When a teacher
in 7th grade science taught the Self-Questioning Strategy to his
students and then gave a pretest before the unit began and a posttest
after the unit, the students who did not learn the Self-Questioning
Strategy gained an average of 40 percentage points from the pretest
to the posttest and students who did learn the strategy gained an
average of 60 points from the pretest to the posttest.
76 The Word Identification Strategy
is a strategy we teach students who are reading at the 4th grade
level, so that they are able to dissect or decode just about any
multisyllabic word that they encounter in their textbooks. 77
We have had a class at Muskegon High School for seven years now—the
data for those seven years are represented in this figure. We tested
all the 9th graders coming into the high school. Any student who
was two or more years below grade level in decoding was placed into
a special class to learn the Word Identification Strategy. This
figure shows that most of the groups of students each year were
reading on average about the 5th or 6th grade level in this group.
After the instruction they are reading at about the 8th/9th grade
level, which meant they gained about three to four grade levels
in reading by participating in this class. The class lasted for
4-6 weeks depending on the students’ progress. 78
This next figure shows the data from the LD student sub-groups and
again we are getting nice gains on the part of those students.
We also had a group of students who were scoring two or more years
below grade level in reading comprehension. The graph I just showed
you was reading decoding. 79 This next
graph shows reading comprehension. We put the students into a reading
comprehension class that lasted one semester and we had a comparison
school with similar types of students who were matched to our students
in reading. 80 At the beginning of the
study, the students in the comparison schools were reading at about
6th grade level. After the instruction students came to about one
year in reading comprehension after a semester of the instruction
and reading comprehension strategies.
81 This next figure shows the data for
just responders—the students who actually did better on the
posttest than they did on the pretest. What we found was quite good
group of students, probably about a third of our students didn’t
do very well on the posttest and in fact they did worse on the posttest
than they did on the pre-test. So we just wanted to look at the
responders to take a look at how much they were gaining. As you
can see across five semesters—the first group of students
came in reading about the 5th grade level and they finished their
reading at about the 8th grade level. So the students who were actually
serious about taking the posttest showed us that they were making
some pretty nice gains. These data on this next graph from Chase
Middle School and… show the skill levels in reading competency
and the state reading competency exam for the last three years—the
blue is three years ago, yellow is two years ago, red is last year—and
it shows the different categories of student scores, the unsatisfactory
scores, the basic score, the proficient, advanced, and exemplary.
What we are seeing over time is, as we instituted the reading comprehension
instruction, we are seeing fewer students in the unsatisfactory
and basic levels and more students in the proficient, advanced,
and exemplary levels.
82 This next figure shows a 7th grade
class in Maryland and they are instituting the learner-friendly
classes in the strategy instruction in their school. And you will
see here in 2000-01 the scores for reading, writing, and math and
also special education. You will see that the scores are 0% and
the special education student, so they are the students with disabilities.
2001-02, it looks about the same but we are getting a little higher
score in writing and math. Special education has now showed up on
the screen. And then in 2002-03, we are seeing an increase in all
of the scores for the general students and the special education
students, we’re seeing them performing at the 90% level in
reading, writing, and math.
83 So to conclude: what we found is
that if we put validated instructional practices in place by ensuring
the fidelity of implementation through excellent professional development
with teachers and we also ensure coordinated implementation by the
teachers across the different levels, we also ensure that we have
strong administrative leadership and coaching and other quality
professional development—we put all these things together,
we can improve the outcomes for students with disabilities, we can
ensure that they have access to rigorous general education courses.
We can ensure that they get passing grades on their tests and we
can ensure that basically they are just doing better in school and
feeling better about themselves and receiving high-quality education.
84 Thank you very much. Do you have any
MS. JOHNSON: So, is there anyone who has a question
to ask? Well, Jean, I have a question for you. Are you working with
very many colleges’ and universities’ teacher preparation
programs to implement some of these strategies?
DR. SCHUMAKER: Well, for years we have had summer
workshops for professors. We have a national network of professional
developers, now is about 1500 people strong. And I would say about
a third of the network are individuals who teach courses at universities
and teacher training institutions across the nation. And they include
the interventions that we have developed in their courses. On the
whole, they don’t necessarily train teachers to implement
this whole package like I have described it to you. Their courses
are typically filled with lots of information and they just really
don’t have enough time to cover all of the interventions that
I have described to you.
MS. JOHNSON: Okay. Any other questions for Jean?
Well, thanks, Jean for sharing the information with us. Jean’s
contact information is available at http://www.kucrl.org/
and I would like to again thank Jean for sharing her time and experience
with us. And if you are interested in our next teleconference, we
are having one on August 19, which is Thursday, at 1:00 Central
Time and the topic is “Promising Practices in Supporting Student
Development of Self-determination Skills.” So thanks again
and thanks everyone for joining us today. Goodbye.
END OF TELECONFERENCE
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