2008 Summer Institute on Addressing Disproportionality

August 4-6, 2008
Presentations and Handouts


Pre-Conference Session for New Districts

PRESENTATION: Responding to Special Education Disproportionality - Newly Identified Districts
Dr. Jack Jorgensen
As newly identified school districts having special education disproportionality, this presentation will provide a foundational understanding of what disproportionailty means, provide a context for addressing this concern, illustrate how one urban school district responded to their disproportionality, and lastly examine how data becomes critical to informing discussions and decisions regarding the disproportionate representation of certain groups of students in special education. Information will also be shared on one district's use of data to change practices and initiate professional development activities to reduce the over representation of targeted groups of students in special education. PowerPoint Presentation-Part I - PowerPoint Presentation-Part II

PRESENTATION: Racial Disproportionality in Special Education Checklist: Diagnosing Contributing Factors, Designing Interventions and Evaluating Progress
Dan Losen
Dan Losen will review a diagnostic checklist designed for helping districts identify likely sources of racial disproportionality in identification, placement and discipline. The diagnostic checklist is really three checklists that cover resources; policies, practices, and procedures; and internal versus external factors. The workshop will lead participants through the multiple uses of each diagnostic checklist to both identify issues, design early interventions, and evaluate efforts to date. After the highlights of each checklist are presented, participants will have an opportunity to put the diagnostic tool to work in their district teams with further consultation with Mr. Losen. The workshop will be provided for teams from newly identified districts on Monday and districts currently identified and engaged in interventions on Tuesday. PowerPoint Presentation - Checklist-No End Notes - Checklist-With End Notes

Regular Conference Session

KEYNOTE: What’s So “Special” About Special Education? Hard questions about identification, placement and results in special education
Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings
Most discussions about special leducation and diverse populations focus on disproportionality and mis-diagnosis. This talk will look at the deeper epistemologial questions of how we determine what constitutes "special needs" when students do not have obvious exceptionalities. The talk is designed to have participants question the underlying thinking attached to special education placement and focus on the kinds of instructional practices we should employ for all students to insure their academic success. PowerPoint Presentation

SECTIONAL: What We Know, What They Need
J P Leary
Critical reflections on professional preparation and educational decision making. PowerPoint Presentation - Personal Reflection Worksheet - Tippeconnic and Faircloth Article

SECTIONAL: Setting the Stage for Courageous Conversations
Dr. Deanna Hill
Compliance with IDEA often leads educators to focus on technical aspects of policies, procedures, and practices. This focus on technical aspects allows us to avoid talking about race and the ways that race matters in education. In this interactive session, participants will be introduced to the Consortium for Racial Equity in K-12 Education's protocol for conducting courageous conversations about race and the elements of the consortium's framework that empower us to analyze our systems and to exercise leadership toward eliminating racial disparities in K-12 education. PowerPoint Presentation

SECTIONAL: Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms through Intentional Professional Development
Dr. Shelley Zion
In response to dramatic demographic changes and a pattern of under achievement and disengagement of large numbers of students, there is a national movement underway to support teachers to critically examine, reflect on, and respond to practices for learners with diverse needs and from diverse backgrounds. The Council for Exceptional Children (2006) calls for the development of programs that promote educational practices that appropriately identify students who are culturally and linguistically diverse for special education services; assessment practices that accurately reflect cultural influences; education services that provide effective interventions for students from diverse cultures; and professional development to improve the cultural responsiveness of all educators. In this session, we will explore a professional development program aimed at engaging practitioners, over a school year, in deep learning, reflection, and changes in their practices to create culturally responsive classrooms. PowerPoint Presentation

SECTIONAL: Emotional Behavioral Disability File Review Process
Green Bay School District - Jerry Wieland
The Green Bay District conducted a thorough review of 255 files of American Indian and African American students identified with a disability in the area of EBD. A review checklist was used, and multiple data elements were gathered. Although over 50% of all students had transferred into the district, many students had been originally identified by the Green Bay District. The file reviews yielded a number of surprising findings and have implications for current district practices. PowerPoint Presentation - Handout

SECTIONAL: "She tells me all the right things": African American Boys' Views of Family as Support for School
Dr. Jeffrey Lewis and Amy Hilgendorf
Social relationships and supports are key to the educational success of children from low-income homes. Every child brings to school a family, a social network, and a culture as integral parts of the child’s psychological makeup. Although we do not always see those parts of the child’s social world, they have an inevitable impact on every aspect of the child’s education. In the last two decades, researchers and educators have made progress in reaching out to parents and incorporating cultural elements into educational settings. However, we rarely view the families of low-income African American children as resources for Black children. This presentation challenges some of our basic assumptions about low-income and working class African American families by presenting a view of support for school from the perspective of African American boys. In addition, we provide a methodology for identifying the structure and content of the boys' support networks. PowerPoint Presentation

Topical Work Session: Responding to Special Education Disproportionality - Districts Continuing to Address this Concern
Dr. Jack Jorgensen, Dani Scott, Nancy Fuhrman
This presentation is targeted for school districts that are continuing their work to address special education disproportionality and seeking additional strategies and tools to assist in this effort. This presentation will establish a foundational understanding of what disproportionailty means, provide a context for addressing this as an area of concern, illustrate how one urban district responded to this concern over a period of 10 years, and lastly examine how data becomes critical to informing discussions and decisions regarding disproportionality. Information will also be provided on how a district went deeper into their data to help understand underlying contributing factors and subsequently change practices to address these factors. District improvement activities will be shared including the initiation of a comprehensive, multi-year professional development plan, partnerships with other agencies to reduce the over representation of targeted groups of students in special education, and the relationship of these activities to other major district improvement priorities including Response to Intervention and Early Intervening Services. PowerPoint Presentation-Part I - PowerPoint Presentation-Part II

Topical Work Session: Racial Disproportionality in Special Education Checklist: Diagnosing Contributing Factors, Designing Interventions and Evaluating Progress
Dan Losen
Daniel Losen will review a diagnostic checklist designed for helping districts identify likely sources of racial disproportionality in identification, placement and discipline. The diagnostic checklist is really three checklists that cover resources; policies, practices, and procedures; and internal versus external factors. The workshop will lead participants through the multiple uses of each diagnostic checklist to both identify issues, design early interventions, and evaluate efforts to date. After the highlights of each checklist are presented, participants will have an opportunity to put the diagnostic tool to work in their district teams with further consultation with Mr. Losen. The workshop will be provided for teams from newly identified districts on Monday and districts currently identified and engaged in interventions on Tuesday. PowerPoint Presentation - Checklist-No End Notes - Checklist-With End Notes

Topical Work Session: A system of resources for addressing disproportionality at the classroom, school and district levels
Dr. Shelley Zion
Our ability to address issues of disproportionality relies on the quality of professional development and other tools available to techers, administrators, and district leaders. In this session, we will look at the series of tools developed by NCCRESt over the past 6 years to assist educators in addressing issues related to the disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Tools include needs assessments, planning tools, resource and discussion guides, and professional development modules. PowerPoint Presentation

Showcase Presentation: Developing Community Resources to Address Disproportionality
Fond du Lac School District - Laurice Freeman, Stan Kocos, John Von Tish
This showcase presentation will focus on the Fond du Lac School District's collaborative approach to addressing issues of disproportionality. The partnership between the Fond du Lac School District and the Boys and Girls Club will be described. The emphasis on full service community schools and the district's efforts to support and expand community involvement will also be described. PowerPoint Presentation

Showcase Presentation: Walking in Two Worlds
Wisconsin Dells School District - Lance Tallmadge
Many of today’s native youth must function in two worlds: One world in which they form their identity through their cultural heritage and teachings; the other world dominated by a Eurocentric mindset that doesn’t fully understand and value their cultural traditions. Hear one district’s efforts to increase cultural sensitivity and awareness among staff and administration to better assist the native students reach their full potential as they walk this unique path. PowerPoint Presentation

Showcase Presentation: Sharing Kenosha’s Disproportionality Improvement Practices
Kenosha Unified School District - Joe Kucak and Melissa Werner
From Drowning --- to Treading Water --- to Dog Paddling, this presentation highlights the District's move from that of a survival mode of early intervening practices to that of slow-going initial success. With the onset of Disproportionality mandates, Kenosha Unified chose to embed Disproportionality Improvement Planning into all aspects of the District's Strategic Plan, used Data-Driven elements to guide all district- and building-level change, and "broke down interdepartment walls" to skillfully collaborate in all that we do with RTI and Intervention development. In this practical presentation, you'll learn about connecting Disproportionality Planning to your District's mission. We'll provide you with a data format that clearly defines building- and district-wide patterns of Disproportionality. You'll gain insights into creating interdepartmental teams (Title 1, Educational Accountability, Curriculum and Instruction, Professional Development) that work through challenges together, and you'll walk away with a methodology for graphing data using a simple EXCEL method, all within the construct of what we've learned through three years of district-wide Cultural Competence Training and intensive professional development. PowerPoint Presentation

Early Intervening Services-IDEA Flow-through Budget Training
Rachel Zellmer, DPI Grants Specialist
The Special Education Team's grants specialist will provide an overview of coordinated early intervening services (CEIS) as they relate to IDEA Part B flow-through budgets. Included in the overview will be allowable and non-allowable budget activities and the required coordinated early intervening services plan narrative. The Special Education Team review process of submitted CEIS budgets and narratives will be shared with school districts.

For questions about this information, contact Courtney Reed Jenkins (608) 267-9183