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Ethical Considerations for Gifted Assessment and Identification of Children who are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

Nanda Mitra-Itle

Essential Questions
What is the problem? What are the ethical considerations? What factors comprise the problem? What are the solutions? What is the role of school psychologists?
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What is the Problem?

The Problem
The percentage of students of diversity in gifted programs is not proportional to their percentage of representation in the school. Consequently-underrepresentation in gifted programs. Ethical violations in daily practice of educators that has perpetuated this problem.
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The Problem: Show me the numbers


(Ford & Whiting, 2007) (Pierce et al, 2007)

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Percentage in population

90% 78% 57% 44% 22% 10% 1972 2004 high level

Diverse

European American

The Problem: Show me the numbers


(US Dept of Educ, 2004)

Region III States Gifted Program Enrollment (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)
Percentage enrolled
60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 49% 55% Enrolled Gifted 6% African A 2% 1% Hispanic European American
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14%

The Problem: Show me the numbers


(US Dept of Educ, 2004)

Gifted Demographics for PA


100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Percentage enrolled

87% 79% Enrolled Gifted 14% 8% 4% 2% Hispanic European American


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African A

The Problem: Show me the numbers


(US Dept of Educ, 2004)

Graduation Rate Demographics for PA


90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Percentage graduated

81%

46%

41%

African A

Hispanic

European American
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The Problem: Show me the numbers


(Rose, 2001)

Graduation Rate Comparison


120%

Percentage graduated

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

99% 77% 79% Gifted Droped Gen ed

What are the ethical considerations?

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What does Ethics have to do with it?


(NASP Code of Ethics) (Jacob-Trimm & Harshorne, 1994)

Formal principals that guide conduct of a professional school psychologist. Mandates school psychologists to protect the rights and welfare of the student while promoting improvement in the quality of their lives.
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What does Ethics have to do with it cont

(NASP Code of Ethics) (Jacob-Trimm & Harshorne, 1994)

Based on assumptions that we will act as advocates for our students/client and at the least, do no harm. Welfare of psychological patrons and maintaining public trust
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Ethical Considerations
Trimm & Harshorne, 1994)

(NASP Code of Ethics) (Jacob-

Professionals Competence Professional Relationships and Responsibilities to client Client Advocacy Responsibilities in assessment/intervention School based research/evaluation
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Professional Competence
Harshorne, 1994)

(Jacob-Trimm &

Being acquainted with ones own limitations and strengths in training and experience and engaging in activities consistent with ones competencies. Upon recognition of limitations, one should seek out continuing professional development and remain progressive in research, training, professional practice.
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Professional Relationships and Responsibilities to client


(Jacob-Trimm & Harshorne, 1994)

Practice to encourage improvement in the quality of life for client while maintaining sensitivity to mental, emotional, political, economic, social, racial, ethnic, etc characteristics. Resolve conflicting interests in a method that protects rights of all individuals involved.

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Client Advocacy

(Jacob-Trimm & Harshorne, 1994)

Concerns for protecting the rights and welfare of students is communicated to school administration and staff and is the top priority in determining services. When acting as advocates school psychologists must take into account rights of each individual involved and the duties of the school personnel.
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Responsibilities in assessment/intervention

(Jacob-Trimm et al, 1994)

Obligation to understand the nuances of assessment/intervention and maintain dignity/integrity of clients while acting as advocates for their welfare. Must be conversant in various variables involved in place of employment and establish clear roles Promote change in work place/society 17 that will benefit client/community

School based research/evaluation


Take responsibility for all facets of their research from topic to reporting.
Communicate findings in a manner that is easily understood by audience.
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(Jacob-Trimm et al, 1994)

What factors comprise the problem?

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Factors to ponder
Definitional disagreements of intelligence Statistical disparities in school population (staff vs. students). Conflicts of cultural values/behaviors Break between Research and Practice

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Definitional disagreements of intelligence


(Plucker, 2001); NAGC, 2007 p. 2)

Spearman-Two factor theory and g Thurstone-7 Primary Mental abilities Cattell-Fluid vs. Crystallized Guildford-Divergent thinking and Structure of the Intellect Model Gardner-Multiple Intelligence Sternberg-Triarchic Theory
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Definitional disagreements of giftedness


(NAGC, 2007 p. 2)

Gagne-uses untrained/spontaneous natural ability in at least one domain thats in top 10% for his/her age. Renzulli-interaction among AA general and/or specific abilities, high levels of task commitment and high levels of creativity. Sternberg & Wagner- mental management of life in a constructive, purposeful way using adaptation to ones environment, selection of new environment and shaping of an environment 22

Definitional disagreements of giftedness by state/political


PA-A child with an outstanding intellectual or creative ability that requires specially designed programs and/or support services not ordinarily provided in the regular education program MA-no gifted definition
(22 Pa. Code16.1) (NAGC, 2007 p. 2)

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Definitional disagreements of giftedness by state/political cont..


Identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance
(Former U.S. commissioner of Education Sidney Marland) (NAGC, 2007 p. 2)

Outstanding talent perform/shows potential for performing at remarkably high levels when compared to same age, experience, envirexhibit high performance in intellect, creative, artistic..
Gubbins, 2005)

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Definitional disagreements of giftedness by culture

(Sternberg, 2007)

Taiwanese Chinese-add inter/intra personal skills. Africa-emphasize on skills that maintain harmony of intergroup relations Chewa in Zamiba-emphasize social responsibilities, cooperativeness and obedience Zimbabwe-word intelligence means prudent/cautious
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Statistical disparities in school population


(National Center for Education and Statistics, 2004)

Teacher vs. Student ethnic comparison


Percent represented in Public schools

100% 80%

83% 61% Cau Teac Min. st Cau st

60% 40% 20% 0% Demographics 40%

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Statistical disparities in school population


(National Center for Education and Statistics, 2004)

Teacher vs Student ethnic comparison


Percentage represented
70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Demographic
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61% 40%

17%

Min Teac Min. st Cau st

Statistical disparities in school population


(Lopez)

NASP School Psychologist vs. Student comparisons


100% 91% 61% 40% Cauc Psych Min St Cauc st

Percentage represented

80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Demographic

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Implications of this population disparity


Most districts rely on educator referrals before formally assessing for gifted program Educators who make referrals find it difficult to determine minority students potential since they are of a different ethnic group.
(McBee, 2006) (Matthews & Matthews, 2006)

Deficit Thinking-having negative and stereotypic views about students who are culturally diverse
(Ford et al, 2003)

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Implications of this population disparity cont


In fact, a study concluded that teacher referral was a poor manner for gifted screening.
(Matthews & Matthews, 2006)

A study found that teacher judgment was only 27% efficient in identifying gifted students. A study found that teachers rated Hispanic students lower.
(McBee, 2006) (McBee, 2006)

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Implications of this population disparity cont


A study found that 2nd grade teachers were still hesitant, in some cases, to refer even after they had all answer correct on a CBM. A study found that teachers in Alaska thought Eskimo children to not be as bright
(Pierce et al,, 2006) (Sternberg, 2007)

Few teachers exposed to a multicultural curriculum or have experience with students of diversity in their training so they are ignorant of cultural nuances regarding learning styles, communication patterns, behavioral approaches, etc
Sternberg, 2007)

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Conflicts of cultural values/behaviors


The body is the hardware and culture is the software. Manifestations of giftedness reflect the interaction of culture, language, world-view, conceptual style, values, personality
(Ford et al, 2005) (Harris et al, 1991)

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Conflicts of cultural values/behaviors


Native Americans Interdependence Community Slower/delayed responses Nonverbal communication/direct verbal comm. Present orientation Participate after observation

(Knutson et al, 2005)

European Americans Independence Competition Faster/immediate responses Verbal Communication/indirect verbal comm Future orientation Initiative
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Conflicts of cultural values/behaviors


Keresan Pueblo Giftedness-global quality that shows by contributing to society Inter-relationships cooperation

(Knutson et al, 2005)

European Americans Giftedness-Superior abilities Competition Self-promotion

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Conflicts of cultural values/behaviors


Hispanic Americans Work together with family to solve problem Speak after spoken to Collateral (extended family) Obedience to authority Harmony with nature Direct verbal comm.

(Cohen, p2)(Sue & Sue, 2003)

European Americans Competition, selfdirection, Initiative in speaking first Individual (nuclear family-bio necessity) Independence and questions Subjection of Nature Indirect verbal comm.
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Conflicts of cultural values/behaviors


African Americans Present orientation Collateral (extended family) Collective orientation Harmony with nature

(Sue & Sue, 2003)

European Americans Future orientation Individual (nuclear family-bio necessity) Individualistic orientation Master of nature

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Other Conflicts Involved

(Morris, 2002)

Some schools African Americans experience second-generation discrimination In order to succeed may African Americans feel pressure to acculturate into European culture instead maintaining both. Self sabotage success b/c friends not in gifted program. Language minority students are disadvantaged b/c of background.
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Break between Research and Practice


(Cohen p2)

Divergence in intellectual assessment practices Practice often reflects misconceptions, budget, habit, etc instead of research based theories. Cognitive expression often tempered by context Minorities do better on performance based assessments
(Cohen p2) (Sternberg, 2007). (Ascher, 1990)

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Break between Research and Practice cont


Identification process varies even within the same district. Identification often consists of only a standardized test or weights it heavily. Context and SES affect expression of intelligence.
(Sternberg, 2007)

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What are the solutions?

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Solutions to Consider
Adopting a pluralistic perspective
et al, 1991) (Harris

Educating all staff members and seeking professional development on diversity issues related to gifted identification
(Romero, 1994)

Using a multiple-criteria method


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Adopting a pluralistic perspective


(Harris et al, 1991)

Means assimilating the definitional disagreements into one cohesive perspective that uses a multimodal/multidimensional view that accounts for the variability in gifted expression. This allows for definition based on strengths and research instead of relative to European American middle class students. Allows for more flexibility This perspective forces us to see both the individual and environmental factors of each student.

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Adopting a pluralistic perspective- Example


Characteristics of giftedness Breath of information Strong Memory High Verbal Proficiency High Abstract thinking Creativity Diverse interests, abilities

(Romero, 1994)

Cultural Expression in Keresan People Geographic knowledge about environment, cultural history, storytelling Remembering songs, speeches, traditions, legends Native speech, song composition, etc
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Educating all staff members and ourselves


Educating staff members/yourself so they/you are sensitive to a variety of gifted characteristics related to culture, race, etc School staff members should encourage attitudes, practices and polices in school consistent with a multicultural classroom. All students profit from an integrated culturally responsive setting not just diverse learners. Attend minority events and collaborate with diverse communities(Grantham et al--)
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(Romero, 1994)

Being Supportive
Encourage students to balance b/w both cultures via education and sensitivity
1994)
(Romero,

(Romero,

Acknowledge value of being competent in both cultures Understand nature and needs of diverse learners in your school
1994)
(Romero,

1994)

Clarify educational goals and practices


Romero, 1994)

Re-examine educational paradigms


al--)

(Grantham et

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Being Supportive cont.


Encourage diverse learners and their families to collaborate with their school in educating staff members about cultural considerations. Encourage parents to advocate for their right and for a multicultural curricula and policy Encourage diverse learners parents to volunteer
(Daniels, 1998) (Daniels, 1998)

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Being Supportive cont.


Encourage communication b/w home and school regarding diverse issues Let parents know of the gifted program
(Grantham

et al--)

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Using a multiple-criteria method


(Flanagan et al,--)

Student interview Permanent products GATES (Gifted and Talented Evaluation Scales) Sociometric questionnaire Parent Interview Teacher interview Observations 48 Performance based assessments

Using a multiple-criteria method


(Thomas & Grimes, 2002)

Cognitive Assessments CHC cross battery approach Dynamic assessment (pretestintervention-posttest for acquisition of skills) DISCOVER (Discovering Intellectual Strengths and Capabilities through Observation while allowing for Varied Ethnic Responses) Project CLUE (Clustering Learners Unlocks Equity)
(Lidz & Macrine, 2001)
(Sarouphim, 2004) (Pierce et al, 2007)

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Before using a cognitive assessment remember


Administration of intelligence tests in English are appropriate when used with students who are English dominant Bilingual-Assessment should measure task performance across two languages
(Ascher, 1990) (Bainter et al, 2003)

Minorities perform better on performance based assessment than on standardized assessments.


(Sarouphim, 2004)

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Before using a cognitive assessment remember


Scientific theory in test development is mitigated by cultural values, societal beliefs, sociopolitical climate Lack of support for profile analysis
(Thomas & Grimes, 2002)
(Thomas & Grimes, 2002)

Cognition and language are so interrelated that it can be difficult to distinguish the two
(Thomas & Grimes, 2002)

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Before using a cognitive assessment remember


Cognition is a continuum with abilities related to formal education and learning on one end and less related to formal education on the other end
. (Thomas & Grimes, 2002)

Decision to use an assessment should be based on purpose, case history, psychometrics, etc. Always present test scores in ranges
(Thomas & Grimes, 2002) Grimes, 2002)

(Thomas &

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Cognitive Assessments
Kauffman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) Mental Processing Composite Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT/DA) Ravens progressive Matrix System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment (SOMPA) Cattell Culture-Fair Intelligence Series
(Lidz et al, 2001)

(Lidz et al, 2001)

(Castellano, 1998))

(Harris et l, 1991)

(Harris

et l, 1991)

Guldford Structure of Intellect Test

(Harris et l, 1991)

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Cognitive Assessments

(Tomas et al, 1995)

Escla de Inteligencia Wechsler para Ninos-R (WISC-1982) Differential Ability Scales for Children5th Ed. Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence2 (TONI) Language Assessment Scales-OralSpanish and English.
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What is the role of school psychologists?

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What is the role of school psychologists?


(Thomas & Grimes, 1995 p.1084)

Consultation with teachers, parents, administrations, etc to assistant with identification and interpretation of gifted Advocating for Best Practice using research. Using effective models of systematic problem solving Productive member of the gifted identification team
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What is the role of school psychologists?


(Thomas & Grimes, 1995 p.342)

Help teachers and administers to reframe their own perspectives and biases. Understand relationships b/w culture, ethnicity, SES and acculturation.

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References
Ascher, C. (1990). Assessing bilingual students for placement and instruction (Report No. 65) New York, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Services ED322273). Bainter, T.R., & Tollefson, N. (2003). Intellectual assessment of language minority students: what do school psychologists believe are acceptable practices. Psychology in the Schools, 40(6), 599-603. Cantu, L. (1998) Intercultural Development Center. http://www.idra.org/IDRA_Newsletter/June_-_July_1998_Gifted_and_Talented_Students Castellano, J.A. (1998). Identifying and assessing gifted and talented bilingual hispanic students. Davidson Institute for Talent Development. http://www.gtcybersource.org/ArticlePrintable.aspx?rid=14056 Cohen, L.M (1990). Meeting the needs of gifted and talented minority language learners New York, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Services ED321485). http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content/gifted_and_minority_lang.html. Daniels, V.I. (1998). Minority students in gifted and special education prorams: a case for educational equity. The Journal of Special Education, 32(1), 41-43. Education Commission of the States. State Gifted and Talented Definitions 2004. http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse.

Fagan, T.K,, & Wise, P.S. (2000). School Psychology: Past, Present and Future. Bethesda, MD: NASP publications. Ford, D.Y., & Gilman, W.W. (2007). Another perspective on cultural competence: preparing students for an increasingly diverse society. Gifted Child Today, 30(2), 52-55. Ford, D.Y., & Grantham, T.C. (2003). Providing access for culturally diverse gifted students: from deficit to dynamic thinking.Theory into Practice, 42(3), 217-225.
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References cont
Ford, D.Y., Moore, J.L III., & Milner, H.R. (2005). Beyond culturalblindness: a model of culture with implications for gifted education. The Roeper School. http://www.accessmylibrary.com Grantham, T.C., Frasier, M.M., Roberts, A.C., & Bridges, E.M.(2005). Parent advocacy for culturally diverse gifted students. Theory into Practice, 44(2) 138-147 Gubbins, E.J. (2005). Snapshot of intelligence. National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/newsletter/winter05/wintero51.html

Harris, J.J., & Ford, D.Y. (1991). Identifying and Nurturing the Promise of

Gifted Black American Children. Journal of Negro Education 60(1), 3-18. Jacob-Trimm, S., & Hartshorne, T. (1994). Ethics and Law for School Psychologists. Brandon, VT: Clinical Psychology Publishing Co., Inc. Knutson, K.A., & McCarthy-Tucker, S.N. (1993). Gifted education for native american students, a state of affairs. Arizona State University Roundtable Presentation: Atlanta, GA: American Educational Research Association. Lidz, C.S., & Macrine, S.A. (2001). An alternative approach to the identification of gifted culturally and linguistically diverse learners. School Psychology International, 22(1) 74-96. Lohman, D. The Role of Nonverbal Ability Tests in Identifying Academically Gifted Students.http://faculty.education.uiowa.edu/dolman Lopez. E.C. Practicing the Three Cs cross-cultural competence in school psychological services. www.nasponline.org/resources/culturalcompetence
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References cont
Matthews, P.H., & Matthews, M.S. (2004). Heritage language instruction and giftedness in language minority students: pathways toward success. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 15(2), 50-55. McBee, M.T. (2006). A descriptive analysis of referral sources for gifted identification screening by race and socioeconomic status. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 17(2), 103-111. Morris, J.E. (2002). African american students and gifted education: the politics of race and culture. Roeper Review, 24(2), 59-62. National Association for Gifted Children. What is Gifted? http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=574 National Center for Education and Statistics. http://nces.edu.gov/pubsearch

Pierce, R.L., Adams, C.M., Speirs, K .L., Casseady, J.C., Dixon, F.A., &
Cross, T.L. (2007). Development of an identification procedure for a large urban school corporation: identifying culturally diverse and academically gifted elementary students. Roeper Review, 29(2), 113-118. Plucker, J. (2001). Intelligence theory and gifted education. Roeper Review, Romero, M.E. (1994). Identifying giftedness among keresa pueblo indian, the keres study. Journal of American Indian Education, 34(1). http://jaie.asu.edu/v34/V34Slide.htm. Rose, E.A. (2001). A longitudinal study of the course of academic achievement of urban and minority gifted and general eduation students. Seattle,WA: Paper presented at the 82nd annual meeting of the American educational research association. 60

References cont
Sarouphim, K.M. (2004). DISCOVER in middle school: identifying gifted minority students. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 15(2), 61-69. Sternberg, R.J. (2007). Cultural concepts of giftedness. Roeper Review, 29(3), 160-165. Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2003).Counseling the Culturally Diverse Theory and Practice 4th Edition. New York: Wiley & Sons, inc. Thomas, A & Grimes, T, (1995). Best Practices in School Psychology III. Washington, DC: NASP Publications. Thomas, A & Grimes, T, (2002). Best Practices in School Psychology IV. Washington, DC: NASP Publications.

U.S. Department of Education. Office for Civil Rights. The MidAtlantic Equity Center. http://www.nswagtc.org

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Good Bye and Thanks for your patience.

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