ERIC Number: EJ1110657
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Cross-Battery Assessment? XBA PSW? A Case of Mistaken Identity: A Commentary on Kranzler and Colleagues' "Classification Agreement Analysis of Cross-Battery Assessment in the Identification of Specific Learning Disorders in Children and Youth"
Flanagan, Dawn P.; Schneider, W. Joel
International Journal of School & Educational Psychology, v4 n3 p137-145 2016
When education works, it creates productive, innovative citizens eager to contribute to a well-functioning democracy. In contrast, educational failure has lifelong consequences, with some individuals experiencing decades of preventable hardship. Dawn Flanagan and Joel Schneider write in this response that, like Kranzler, Floyd, Benson, Zabowski, and Thibodaux (this issue), they too have dedicated their lives to finding better ways of identifying children who are falling behind in school and need additional help. In a world of finite resources, every diagnostic error is a misallocation of time, effort, and money with predictably damaging consequences for individuals, families, and society. Flanagan and Schneider believe that science thrives when all ideas are subject to scrutiny including those that are long standing and influential. Criticism of current practices may be difficult for advocates to hear but free and open exchange of opinion is essential for progress. Flanagan and colleagues have presented a set of systematic procedures for identifying specific learning disabilities (SLDs; Flanagan, Ortiz, & Alfonso, 2013). Because the procedures have been widely adopted by school psychologists, they agree that those procedures should be carefully scrutinized and rigorously evaluated. They also agree that the procedures should be adjusted, reformed, or set aside for something better if they are proved to be suboptimal. This does not necessarily mean that they were missteps. Some previously popular but now abandoned ideas were essential stepping stones on the path to progress. Indeed, the procedures that Flanagan and colleagues currently advocate have undergone many revisions since they were first proposed, often in response to critical feedback. Revisions that take into account valid criticism are quite likely needed to optimize SLD identification. Kranzler et al. (this issue) present evidence that they believe casts doubt on the validity of Flanagan and colleagues' procedures. Flanagan and Schneider respond that because of their great respect for those scholars' previous work they were puzzled by conceptual errors in the opposing arguments. Flanagan and Schneider found Krantzleer et al's evidence to be neither persuasive, nor relevant to the question of the accuracy of SLD identification. This article discusses the differences between what Krantzler et al. (this issue, p. 125) call "XBAPSW" and what Flanagan and colleagues advocate are stark, and in many important ways diametrically opposed.
Descriptors: Learning Disabilities, Identification, Diagnostic Tests, Criticism, School Psychologists, Validity, Evaluation Methods, Evidence, Accuracy, Error of Measurement, Classification, Reader Response
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A