The CLiDES Process:
Moving Toward Culturally
Competent Assessment
Practice
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
February 1, 2007
Berthica Rodriguez-McCleary
Ed. S. Bilingual Special Education
FCPS CLiDES Project Director
Those We Teach…
General Student Population
Language Minority
LEP / ELL
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
The KEY Issue….

SLA theory (BICS and CALP) illustrates
that LEP students are likely to
lag behind grade-level expectations and
peers. If so…
USING TRADITIONAL MODES OF
MEASUREMENTS, IT IS
EXTRAORDINARILY DIFFICULT FOR
EDUCATORS TO DISCERN IF THE
DIFFICULTIES ARE DUE TO
“NORMAL” SECOND LANGUAGE
ACQUISITION ISSUES OR DUE TO A
POSSIBLE DISABILITY.

So…what do we do?
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
The Traditional Special
Education Discrepancy Model

Relies on standardized measures

Is based on comparing a student’s
assessed ability to his/her
performance.

Looks for a specified discrepancy (e.g
15 points/one standard deviation)
between the student’s ability (IQ)
and his/her performance
(achievement) is required to find the
student eligible for special education
due to specific learning disabilities
(SLD). @B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Problems with Standardized
Assessment Measures
Cultural Bias
Standardized assessments assume that
all children have:
• Similar life experiences
• Exposure to the same concepts and
vocabulary
• Standard socialization practices
• Comparable early literacy experiences
• Similar exposure to content/subject
material
(Laing & Kamhi)
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Problems with Standardized
Assessment Measures
Linguistic Bias/Translation Issues
 Items are organized by the order of English
difficulty instead of reflecting the development
order of the translated language.

Words may represent same concept but have
different levels of difficulty across languages;
some words common in one language may no
be as frequent in another language.

Translated tests do not retain their
psychometric properties; validity and
reliability are questionable. (Pena, Bedore & Rappazzo)
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Cultural and Linguistic Bias
…a few samples
José is not Johnny
Scores can be depressed
 Scores can be inflated
 Responses can look like one thing but
represent another
In the end…
what does it really mean??

@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
IDEA 2004: Something New!

November 19, 2004: Congress passed
new bill reauthorizing IDEA: The
“Individuals with Disabilities Education
Improvement Act”
• States can no longer require local school
districts to use the discrepancy formula (IQAchievement) when identifying LD students
• Implies that local school districts MAY or
MAY NOT use the discrepancy formula
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
The Discrepancy Model vs.
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Discrepancy model:
• Has evolved into a “wait to fail” model
• Has resulted in over-identification; underidentification; and disproportionality
• Relies on standardized assessment results which tend
to be inherently culturally and linguistically biased
RTI:
• Provides an alternative way to identify individuals
with SLD in addition to achievement testing, history,
and observations of the child
• Is based on belief that response to quality, scientific,
research-based intervention is the most promising
alternate identification method
• Helps close the gap between identification and
treatment
RTI: Three Tiers
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
What is CLiDES?

Process for the early intervention, referral,
assessment, eligibility and placement of:
Culturally
&
Linguistically
Diverse Exceptional Students

Systematic framework for collaborative,
interdisciplinary problem-solving
(RTI is “built in”)

The LEP companion to the FCPS Special
Education Handbook
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Purpose of the
CLiDES Handbook & Process

Create awareness of laws, regulations, &
policies related to educational rights of LEP
students.

Explain process & developmental stages of
second language acquisition.

Promote collaborative decision-making
approaches among teachers, administrators, &
others involved in educating LEP students.

Provide consistent guidelines for instructional
interventions, identification processes, &
program options for CLDE students.
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Birth and Development of
CLiDES Project

1991—Informal interest group meetings of concerned

1993—Steering committee formed with participation by

Summer, 1996—Summer curriculum project lays the

October, 1998—Publication of first “CLiDES

Spring, 2003—Publication of new edition; CLiDES

Currently—”Baby CLiDES”; review of new IDEA; focus
educators
coordinators and specialists in ESOL, special
education, student services. CROSS TRAINING!
foundation for the handbook
Handbook” (best practice document)
regulation; extensive county-wide
staff-development
on RTI; and updating Handbook & regulation
(selected drafts provided)
Contents of the
CLiDES Handbook
Foundation and Background
Information
2. Intervention, Assessment, and
Eligibility
3. The Special Education
Process and LEP Students
4. Appendix/Glossary
1.
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
The CLiDES Flowchart

(pages 34-35)
Emphasis on interdisciplinary, school-wide,
early & ongoing support for struggling student
• Reminder to use interpreters throughout process
and to involve parents long before any
discussion of possible special education
• Special education processes include ESOL/SLA
expertise at key decision-making meetings
• Expectation that interventions will be targeted,
sustained, and systematic with specific
collaborative support and documentation:
• Student Support Team
• Protracted Enrollment Prevention (PEP-C)

Emphasis on continued interdisciplinary,
school-wide, support for student whether or
Rodriguez-McCleary;
FCPS CLiDES education
Project 2007
not [email protected]
for special
IDEA

Provision related to native language or
other mode of communication states
evaluations should be:
”…provided and administered in the
language and form most likely to yield
accurate information on what the child
knows and can do academically
developmentally, and functionally,
unless it is not feasible to so provide or
administer.”
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Purpose of the Dual
Language Assessment

Determine home language proficiency
and skills

Establish English proficiency and skills
within the SLA continuum

Identify dominant language(s), if any,
and establish procedure for further
evaluations

Address referral concerns

Recommend effective strategies &
interventions
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Components of the Dual
Language Assessment

Formal, standardized evaluations in
English and L1

Alternative and performance
evaluations

Behavioral & classroom observations

Consultations with parent/caregivers
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
DLA Analysis

Locally-established norms
• Over 1200 LEP students
• PPVT and EOWPVT
• Currently developing BSM
FCPS rubrics (R/W/S)
 Inter-rater reliability training
 Second reader for each report

@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
DLA Report Findings

Provide L2 results: “Lower than;”
“higher than;” or “as expected”

Are based on each student’s:
• Length of time in U.S. schools
• Previous L1 formal education &
medical history
• Mitigating affective factors


Compare ELL to ELL
Rely on SLA research
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Developing the CLiDES Process:
Securing “Buy In”

Create diverse committee
• Identify “Key Players” needed
• Select interested/positive group

Review & analyze processes already in
place

Reach consensus on goals and needs

Develop long and short-range plans

Explore feasibility of plans & revise

Establish realistic time-line for
development and implementation
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
CLiDES Underlying
Philosophy
• Given appropriate instruction where all
are equal “stake-holders,” all students
can learn
• No one alone knows as much as all of us
collectively
• Instruction should be student-centered
rather than program-centered
• Flexibility, creativity, & commitment
are critical (and a little humility helps a lot!)
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
Some people see a closed door
and turn away.
Others see a closed door,
try the knob,
and if it doesn’t open,
they turn away.
A rare few see a closed door,
try the knob,
and if it still doesn’t open,
they find a key…
and
if the key doesn’t fit,
THEY MAKE ONE!
(Author Unknown)
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
For Additional Information,
Contact:
Berthica Rodriguez-McCleary
Ed.S. Bilingual Special Education
• address: 201 Orchard Drive
Purcellville, Virginia 20132
• email: [email protected]
• office: (703) 876-5294
• cell: (703) 209-2486
@B. Rodriguez-McCleary; FCPS CLiDES Project 2007
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