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    #248671 - 04/19/21 09:31 AM Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing
    oop Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/15/21
    Posts: 5
    I have a 6 year old 1st grader (turning 7 in June) who was recently tested into our highly capable program. She's got 160 (99% - cutoff 95%) on Cogat screener and was invited for further testing. Our district sets a very high bar for the full time gifted program - 99% for the full Cogat, at least 98% for IOWA Math or Reading and 99% for another subject. She didn't make it to the full time program but she made it to the part time program - at least 98% for the full Cogat, and 95% for IOWA Reading or Math. She scored at least 95% on both Reading and Math and was invited for 30 min a week pull-outs in both Math and Reading. 
       
    Overall her stats are: 
    Cogat screener - 160 (99%) 
    Full Cogat - 160 (99%)
    Iowa Reading 
    Vocabulary - 75%,
    Total Reading - 95%
    Iowa Math 
    Computation - 99%
    Total Math - 96%

    Overall I think the full time placement is not for her at this point. My other child who is 2.5 year older is in this program and I don't think she will be able to keep up with the intensity of it. 
    A little bit more background information. Our kids are bilingual, we don't speak English at home and she was not exposed to any English speaking environment until roughly 2.5 years ago when she started pre-K. She was in an ELL program in K (her reading, listening, speaking and writing were all below cutoff)  and still in ELL but this year for writing only. I think that explains her relatively low score for the Vocabulary part.
    Her math score is a little bit depressed due to the fact that there were questions in the test like money/measurement she was never exposed to. She spent almost the entire year in a remote learning setting, February through March, she did great learning wise but suffered socially, so when the district transitioned to the in person learning mode, we decided to send her to school.
    She is now trying to make friends and fit in socially, so she is quite busy at school besides learning smile. But I know that in a year or so she will be in a desperate need for a more challenging curriculum. 
    We plan to retest her next year (our school district allows retesting every year). Math wise I don't have any concerns despite the fact she doesn't learn anything at school and the school doesn't do any differentiation. But she has access to Dreambox via her school and according to the reports works on the 3rd/4th grade material. We also supplement with Beast Academy at home and she is a half way through BA2. I also plan to look at Common Core standards and make sure to cover all the areas before next Iowa.
    But I'm at a loss for reading. She has a relatively low Vocabulary score and a bilingual kid. What is the way to increase and improve her vocabulary? I understand that reading itself is the best way to do that and I'm happy that her reading starts taking off, she likes Bad Kitty and Diary of the Wimpy Kid series, enjoys animals books, she also does Lexia via school account and on the last unit of the 3rd grade. Are there any other recommendations, what's about online apps or any specific books/genres? Our first child didn't seem to have any problems and scored high on the first try.
    There is one thing I want to ask. This year our district didn't provide any information regarding Cogat/Iowa levels beforehand. We know (from other parents' reports) that Cogat this year was at a grade level since 2nd graders took an untimed picture based version of Cogat vs last year when it was timed and text based for 2nd graders. There were also rumors that Iowa was given a grade ahead. I also want to know her scores breakdown for Cogat (Verbal/Quantitative/Nonverbal) and raw scores (number of the correct answers)? Can I request all this information from the school district? What is the most polite way to do that - email/phone etc.?Thank you in advance for all your suggestions.

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    #248813 - 05/07/21 03:04 PM Re: Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing [Re: oop]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3983
    Welcome!

    Sorry you didn't get any responses earlier; new members often have to wait for a bit for the first five postings to appear.

    Your DC sounds like a charming little person, and I'm glad she is busy with the social end of school.

    In answer to some of your questions:

    1. reading: Yes, reading is the best way to improve vocabulary. Based on what you are reporting now, she will probably fill in the vocabulary gaps pretty quickly over the next year just by reading what she enjoys. I wouldn't really worry about it at all. Was your older child an earlier reader than this one (for example, before K)? If so, that might explain their stronger early performance on vocabulary tests. And, of course, your first child had conventional full-time in-person learning for all of K and 1st, which this child has not.

    2. Test info: you have a right as a parent to request any information that is included in your child's permanent or temporary file, including CogAT scores. Typically, a simple written request (such as an email) respectfully requesting a copy of her score report for your records is all it should take. If you don't know where to direct your email, then perhaps a phone call to ask that question would make sense. I would probably start from whichever school administrator you have the best relationship with, and see where they direct you.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #248815 - 05/07/21 09:37 PM Re: Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing [Re: oop]
    oop Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/15/21
    Posts: 5
    Thank you aeh very much for your response.
    I've already received the scores for both of my children. 
    Iowa was given at grade level in both cases.

    Iowa Reading for the younger child is at 95%, 
    Vocabulary - 75%, 21/26 answered correctly
    Reading Comprehension - 98%, 35/35. Due to some reasons this percentile reported as 98% despite the fact all the questions in this section have been answered correctly.

    Iowa Reading for the older child is at 97%, 
    Vocabulary - 20/26 answered correctly
    Reading Comprehension - 34/35. 
    Older child was fortunate enough to get tested the year when criteria were slightly lower and got into the program.
    Another difference is the testing time frame which resulted in a different set of norms. Older child got tested in January (Midyear norms), the younger one in March (Spring norms).

    So it seems like both kids have almost identical results which surprises me a little bit. I was always under the impression that the older child was an earlier and better reader all along. The younger one did read a bit in another language before the start of K but was unable to transfer her skill to English reading initially and struggled in the beginning. She even received 1 according to her K report card for September reading which means that she was not even remotely at a grade level though I have no idea what the level of reading is expected from K students in the beginning of the school year. Then we read together mostly Bob books and she got 3 (at grade level) in December. Now she reads really well, on some days a lot, on some days just a required 20 min minimum but overall I'm satisfied with her reading. 

    Now I have a separate question. My younger child seems to be a very bright young girl and indeed Cogat score indicates that it might be the case. My impression is that she might be very gifted in math and not so much verbally. Should we pursue further testing? I understand that it might be costly but will we get any benefits from it?
    Thanks again.  

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    #248886 - 05/23/21 09:03 AM Re: Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing [Re: oop]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3983
    My usual criteria for further testing focus on two questions:

    1. Is there a current problem or question that needs a solution? For example, is the child unhappy in school, or struggling with some aspect of their development, or are teachers/parents having a difficult time offering instruction that meets the child's needs?

    2. Might it provide additional access to beneficial resources? E.g., support for enrollment in an advanced math or writing course, GT program, or particular interest.

    Think about how testing would change the answers to these two questions, especially at different stages of her education. If there are not real impacts right now, it might be better to wait until these questions begin to become significant, and also until she is a little older, when scores become more stable. (In this specific case, there is also the question of whether testing now would underestimate her ability, especially verbally, since she has not had the same English immersion experience as those on whom the test was standardized.) If you do have specific concerns relevant to the next year or two, that might be a different situation.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #248889 - 05/23/21 06:11 PM Re: Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing [Re: oop]
    oop Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/15/21
    Posts: 5
    Thank you aeh for your clarification!
    I think we are done with the testing at this point. She is so happy simply from the fact that she is at school, can interact and play with other kids that she almost never complains of boredom at school which she frequently did during remote learning. I hope that it can still be the case for at least some part of the next school year when she will be tested by our school district again and either will get in or we'll reevaluate her learning needs and take some additional steps. In the meantime we'll continue challenge her at home.
    Thank you so much again!

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    #249614 - 04/11/22 07:44 PM Re: Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing [Re: oop]
    oop Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/15/21
    Posts: 5
    Can please someone help me better articulate the position why the upper level of testing is better in distinguishing gifted student vs lower level?
    A little background. Ny child got tested this year again and didn't get in. Strange enough, our district offered the same level of IOWA testing that it was last year which resulted in a huge drop in percentiles. Last year she got 5 missed questions and ended up in 95th percentile in Reading, this year 2 missed questions resulted in 92nd percentile. A similar situation happened in Math, 7 missed questions resulted in 96th percentile last year, this year a single missed question resulted in 97th percentile.
    I want to schedule a meeting with someone from the district who is responsible for the testing, and I want to be able to explain this point. Thank you.

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    #249673 - 04/22/22 11:47 AM Re: Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing [Re: oop]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4918
    Hi oop,

    I'm not sure what you are asking, but I will talk about the difference between percentile and percentage. Maybe others who read this will be able offer a better answer, more tailored to your question.

    The percentile is a rating/ranking among others who took the test and therefore depends upon how many correct answers were given in comparison with how well others scored... not how many answers were correct as a percentage of the total number of questions asked.

    If your child gave more correct answers on the current test (higher percentage) than on a prior test, and yet their score was shown as a lower percentile, this would indicate that the group or cohort of children being compared scored somewhat higher than your child.

    To recap...

    Percentage:
    Your child's score as compared with the number of questions asked.
    For example: 99 out of 100 = 99%

    Percentile:
    Your child scored better than what proportion of students in the comparison group or cohort.
    For example: Your child scored better than 97% of students in the comparison group or cohort.

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    #249675 - 04/22/22 03:38 PM Re: Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing [Re: indigo]
    oop Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/15/21
    Posts: 5
    Thank you for clarification, but I'm well aware of the difference between percentile and percentage.
    The point was that the level of test which my child got was so low (in fact, it was 1st grade test offered to 2nd graders), that 2 missed questions out of roughly 60 in Reading resulted in 92nd percentile and a single missed questions in Math resulted in 97th percentile, while cutoffs set by our SD set to at least 98th percentile in one subject and 99th percentile in another one. This combination of extra low testing level and extra high cutoffs resulted in a situation that pretty much no one got in because there was virtually no room for errors. I plan to have a conversation with people from our SD gifted office to convince them that this a pretty bad combination and a higher-level testing will be more appropriate. Can someone help articulate those thoughts better?

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    #249684 - 04/24/22 05:49 PM Re: Thoughts on Cogat/Iowa testing [Re: oop]
    sunnyday Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/08/14
    Posts: 86
    Originally Posted By: oop
    Can please someone help me better articulate the position why the upper level of testing is better in distinguishing gifted student vs lower level?
    A little background. Ny child got tested this year again and didn't get in. Strange enough, our district offered the same level of IOWA testing that it was last year which resulted in a huge drop in percentiles. Last year she got 5 missed questions and ended up in 95th percentile in Reading, this year 2 missed questions resulted in 92nd percentile. A similar situation happened in Math, 7 missed questions resulted in 96th percentile last year, this year a single missed question resulted in 97th percentile.
    I want to schedule a meeting with someone from the district who is responsible for the testing, and I want to be able to explain this point. Thank you.


    I think you are saying that your child took the Level 7 IOWA test two years in a row. The first year, they scored better than 95% of other first graders. The second year, they scored better than only 92% of other second graders, despite answering more questions correctly.

    I am not an expert, but yes, high-ceiling or out-of-level testing is often chosen for gifted identification, because it tends to spread out the bell curve and better prise out the differences between high-level scores. A test on which your child got only two incorrect, is in my opinion a not-useful test for demonstrating your child's ability.

    But on the other hand, if the program is designed for students who score better than 98% of other students on that particular (marginally on-level) test, then it may be more geared toward the methodical and detail-oriented kiddo than the thirsty-for-knowledge intellectually gifted kiddo, you know? Is it really a value-added program for your particular child?

    Regardless, if you want to appeal the decision or advocate for a more-appropriate testing protocol for identification -- especially since you're suggesting a more-rigorous protocol that isn't guaranteed to benefit your own particular child! -- I think you definitely have standing and are justified in making this request or suggestion. Good luck!

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