There are numerous tools of assessment available to trace and support children who struggle to reach physical, emotional, and academic benchmarks. Test assessors have an enormous responsibility to understand the strength and weaknesses of each assessment. An experience that each tester provides allows educators and teachers to do his or her best to support the individual needs of his or her students.
Interview Paper - Assessment Tools
Assessment tools are essential in determining ability levels and performance strengths and weaknesses to best support the needs of underperforming children. There are a variety of assessment tools available in addition to specific circumstances for administration and personnel who need to be consulted when gathering the materials to evaluate students. A student's background as well as the opinions of specialists, ranging from administrators, psychologists, doctors, and other evaluators, are all closely examined before creating an assessment plan. Regardless of the person or team administering the test, specific and thorough training needs to be completed so that accurate results may be recorded and used to better empower the child and support team. Tests must be understood and used appropriately so that they can be administered upon entry into the school system or as needs arise-based on struggles or concerns teachers or parents may voice.
In the Pinellas County School District a formal test, which is administered to students when they first enter the school system at age three, is The Peabody Developmental Motor Scales 2nd Edition (PDMS-2). This test is used to assess fine motor skills in children from birth through six years of age. This assessment evaluates children's ability to use their hands by holding an object with one hand [comma before "one hand"] , and progressing to actions involving controlled use of the fingers of both hands. This test also assesses the students' visual motor integration and their ability to perform complex eye-hand co-ordination tasks such as reaching and grasping for an object with blocks and copying designs (IEP Team meeting, personal communication, April, 2004). The state of Colorado uses similar tests administered through Child Find (Colorado Department of Education, 2006).
In Georgia, every public school system uses The Student Support Teams (SST) regular education problem-solving processes. The SST's are used to improve student performance as mandated by the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Board Rule 160-4-2-.32 (Georgia Department of Education, 1993). The SST membership consists of a minimum of three professionals which draws from administration, counselor, regular education, special education, social worker, parents, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instructors, school psychologist, or others deemed necessary. The SST members brainstorm and generate problem-solving recommendations. ...