Diana v. State Board of Education Steven Malm Diana v. State Board of Education California, 1970 Class action law suit filed on behalf of 9 Mexican American students ◦ Classified as EMR ◦ Placed in special education on the basis of Stanford-Binet and WISC scores (Jacob, Decker, Hartshorne, 2011) ◦ The children were bilingual (Spanish/English) and it was claimed that the language barrier of the tests made the scores invalid (Klein, 1978) Diana (cont.) Original test scores ranged 30-72 (mean=63) ◦ Cutoff for EMR in 1970 = 85 (MacMillan et al., 1988) After bilingual retesting ◦ Average gain of 15 IQ points ◦ 7 of 9 no longer classified as EMR (Olmedo, 1981) Diana (cont.) Settled out of court. Consent decree had several effects on assessment(Ramage, 1981) ◦ If a child’s primary language is not English, he/she must be tested in both their primary language and English ◦ These children should only be tested with measures that do not depend on unfair verbal items or knowledge of English ◦ All bilingual children in EMR classes were to be re-evaluated (Ramage, 1981; Klein, 1978) Specific Stipulations in Diana (Diana v. State Board of Education, 1973) Districts with significant variance between the percentage of Chicano students in EMR vs. general school population must submit a plan to eliminate the variance “The percentage of Chicanos placed each year will not exceed the percentage of Chicanos in the general district population” If variance continues after a 3-year period, the State Department must audit the district’s program ◦ Re-evaluation of pupils done as necessary Overrepresentation since the case “Overrepresentation of Hispanic students in classes for the mentally retarded no longer exists on a state level in California” (Brosnan, 1983) However, re-evaluated students who were subsequently placed in general education achieved significantly lower than a sample of low-achieving general education students (MacMillan et al., 1988) A study by Hosp and Reschly (2003) found ◦ More African American students and a similar number of Hispanic students are referred for special education ◦ More African American but fewer Hispanic students than Caucasian students are found eligible for special education Issue: Have the effects of Diana actually limited the educational opportunities for Mexican American students who may qualify? Related Cases Larry P. v Riles (1972) Guadalupe v.Tempe Elementary School (1972) ◦ IQ tests should be administered in child’s language ◦ Other assessments should be used in addition to IQ tests for placement PASE (Parents in Action on Special Education) v. Joseph P. Hannon (1980) ◦ IQ tests found to be nondiscriminatory ◦ Use of IQ tests is acceptable as long as it follows procedures outlined by federal law Diana’s Effect on Federal Law “Many of the points…were ultimately incorporated into Public Law (P.L.) 94-142 (1975)” (MacMillan et al., 1988) ◦ Education for All Handicapped Children Act ◦ Now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ◦ IDEA requires all assessments to be nondiscriminatory. Testing should be done in the child’s native language or using tests that do not require knowledge of English (Jacob, Decker, & Hartshorne, 2011) Testing Linguistic Minorities Linguistic minority groups are rapidly growing in the American population ◦ 40% of California’s students speak a language other than English, 25% are identified as ELL (Rumberger and Gandara, 2004). Linguistic factors strongly determine performance on many standardized tests (Olmedo, 1981) Testing Linguistic Minorities (Bilinguals) Bilinguals differ in their receptive and expressive language dominance. Just because a child can speak a second language, it does not mean they are proficient enough to be tested in that language. Bilingual students should be tested in both their native language and English. (Olmedo, 1981) Testing Linguistic Minorities (Acculturation) The student’s level of acculturation needs to be taken into account ◦ The degree to which the individual’s cultural values, customs, and cognitive styles match the majority culture Verbal items on several standardized tests may be culturally-bound (content bias) ◦ “The famous “fight” item on the Wechsler Comprehension Subtest is perhaps the most frequently cited example of content or item bias” (Reschly, 1981) Trying to Achieve Fairness in Testing CURRENT ASSESSMENT TOOLS Nonverbal Assessment ◦ Assessments should be done in the child’s native language or using items that do not require knowledge of English. ◦ Due to the relatively unsuccessful attempts to use language-reduced tests, many psychologists have taken to using nonverbal tests for students with limited English proficiency ◦ “Nonverbal tests of intelligence have been available for decades, but the 1990s have marked a resurgence in the development and improved quality of these instruments” (McCallum, Bracken, & Wasserman, 2001) Nonverbal Assessment (cont.) The Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT) ◦ 6 subtests with instructions given in pantomime ◦ “By requiring no spoken or written language by the examiner or the examinee, the UNIT is appropriate for examinees who have limited English proficiency, examinees for whom English is a second language, and examinees who are eligible for bilingual education” (Bracken & Mccallum, 1998) The KABC-II Contains a nonverbal scale ◦ Composed of subtests that can be administered in pantomime ◦ Provides a well-normed, reliable, and valid measure of cognitive abilities for children who are not fluent in English KABC-II includes Spanish translations for teaching texts/scoring keys for verbal subtests to assist in assessing bilingual (Spanish/English) students. Overall, KABC-II scores are found to be only modestly effected by children’s ethnic backgrounds (Kaufman & Kaufman, 2004) Choosing a Test The psychologist should conduct an assessment of the child’s language proficiency to determine what type of test is most appropriate. ◦ (Nonverbal tests are not always the most appropriate option) Reflection It’s easy to assume that IQ tests operate the same way for everyone. ◦ It’s clearly not the case, especially for linguistic minorities. ◦ Also, simply translating the test doesn’t work It is important to look more critically at standardization samples of current tests ◦ Will this test fairly test a given child? ◦ Determine which are best to use when working with linguistic minorities. Challenged assumptions about bilingual students References It’s Academic Tutoring.com (2011). Landmark cases in special education. It’s Academic Tutoring.com. http://itsacademictutoring.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=58&Itemid=28. Accessed November 10, 2011. Brosnan, F.L. (1983). Overrepresentation of low-socioeconomic minority students in special education programs in California. Learning Disability Quarterly 6(4), 517-525. Bracken, B.A. & McCallum, R.S. (1998). Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test. Riverside Publishing: Itasca, IL. Diana v. State Board of Education, Civ. Act. No. C-70-37 (N.D. Cal., 1970, further order, 1973). Hosp, J.L. & Reschly, D.J. (2003). Referral rates for intervention or assessment: A meta-analysis of racial differences. The Journal of Special Education 37(2), 67-80. Jacob, S., Decker, D.M., & Hartshorne (2011). Ethics and Law for School Psychologists, Sixth Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc: Hoboken, NJ. Kaufman, A.S, & Kaufman, N.L. (2004). Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children Second Edition. AGS Publishing: Circle Pines, MN. Klein, N.K. (1978). Special education: Implementation of new rules. Theory into Practice 17(4), 348-360. MacMillan, D.L., Hendrick, I.G., & Watkins, A.V. (1988) Impact of Diana, Larry P., and P.L. 94-142 on minority students. Exceptional Children 54(5), 426-432. McCallum, S., Bracken, B., & Wasserman, J. (2001). Essentials of Nonverbal Assessment. John Wiley & Sons: New York, NY. Olmedo, E.L. (1981). Testing linguistic minorities. American Psychologist 36(10), 1078-1085. DOI: 0003066x/81/3610-1078$00.75 Ramage, J.C. (1981). Litigation and legislation effects on school psychologists’ role. Journal of Learning Disabilities 14(7), 380-382. Reschly, D.J. (1981). Psychological testing in educational classification and placement. American Psychologist 36(10), 1094-1102. DOI: 0003-066x/81/3610-1094$00.75 Rumberger, R.W. & Gandara, P. (2004). Seeking equity in the education of California’s English Learners. Teachers College Record 106(10), 2032-2056.