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Outcomes Measurement in Deaf Education
Sponsored by the National Summit on Deaf Education

Outcomes, or performance-based measures, are used to determine the impact of services. In this time of increasing accountability and budget scrutiny it is more critical than ever that service providers are able to describe and quantify the benefits of the services they perform. Outcome measures may also be indicators of the value-added benefit that result from the services provided.

The purpose of this session is to expand the National Agenda Goals in Deaf Education by beginning to develop outcomes statements and performance measures, including benchmarks, for selected goals. The work accomplished at this kick-off session will be continued through committee assignments using wiki and other internet collaboration tools. Pennsylvania’s Agenda expanded the National Agenda into goals, outcomes and activities, and most recently Minnesota, has developed a statewide plan that add performance measures. These two states, along with the EHDI plan that describes national goals, program objectives and performance measures will provide examples and a starting place for the work that will be conducted. When completed, the expanded National Agenda will be a best practices template for states to collect and report data on performance measurements. Ideally there would be an entity that could collect and report state data to begin to develop a national database, perhaps a new role for the Gallaudet Research Institute that has traditionally reported on characteristics of students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The involvement of representatives from agencies and institutions that represent the diverse needs of students who are deaf and hard of hearing is critical to effecting systems change and the development of relevant outcomes. The Summit is dedicated to creating opportunities for vested parties to work together for information gathering, planning within states, and problem solving.To effectively plan, we strongly encourage the participation of key leaders and stakeholders including parents and representatives from State Departments of Education, State or other Special Schools and Programs for the Deaf, early childhood deaf education, local or regional deaf education programs, higher education representatives, and others who have a vested interest and potential influence in improving educational outcomes for children and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The National Agenda proposes the following goals for re-making the educational delivery system for deaf and hard of hearing children and thereby freeing them to learn:

  1. Early Identification and Intervention. The Development of Communication, Language, Social, and Cognitive Skills at the earliest possible age is fundamental to subsequent educational growth for deaf and hard of hearing students.
  2. Language and Communication Access. All children who are deaf and hard of hearing deserve a quality communication-driven program that provides education together with a critical mass of communication, age, and cognitive peers, as well as language proficient teachers and staff who communicate directly in the child’s language.
  3. Collaborative Partnerships. Partnerships which will influence education policies and practices to promote quality education for students who are deaf and hard of hearing must be explored.
  4. Accountability, High Stakes Testing, and Standards-Based Environments. Instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing must be data-driven and must focus on multiple measures of student performance.
  5. Placement, Programs, and Services. The continuum of placement options must be made available to all students who are deaf and hard of hearing, with the recognition that natural and least restrictive environments are intricately tied to communication and language.
  6. Technology. Accommodations, assistive and adaptive technologies, and emerging technologies must be maximized to improve learning for students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  7. Professional Standards and Personnel Preparation. New collaborations and initiatives among practitioners and training programs must address the serious shortage of qualified teachers and administrators.
  8. Parent Involvement. Parent perspectives must be included when addressing the critical issues in deaf education.

8:30 – 9:15: General session – Overview of goals of session and outcomes development process activities (all participants)
9:30 – 12:00: (with a break at 10:30 – 10:45): 8 working groups to develop outcomes statements according to the 8 NA goals
12:00 – 12:45: Lunch
12:45-– 1:15: "Walk About" for groups to review and offer feedback to the work of each group
1:15 – 3:45: (with a break at 2:30 – 2:45): Working groups continue
4:00 – 5:00: General session – all participants: Report back to the group and summarize info. (Start to outline “next steps” for ongoing discussion on WikiSpaces?)

NOTE: CART services and ASL interpreters will be provided to ensure complete accessibility to session activities and working groups.

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