Mark R. Shinn, Ph.D. And His Current Webinar Offerings

A picture of a person with text that says " cognitive testing, social justice and situational practice : talking on both sides of one 's mouth

Cognitive Testing, Social Justice and Educational Practice: Talking Out of Both Sides of One's Mouth

Social justice has justly received increased attention in education, particulary in school psychology where current and future practices have been fleshed out in recently released professional practice standards and special journal issues. However, in many ways, school psychology practice and educators who are influenced by those practices are still trapped in the "prison" of the intelligence (or cognitive) test it was "born" in as identified by Seymour Sarason in 1976. This  webinar will identify how common uses of cognitive tests (e.g., SLD identification) are inconsistent with social justice, promoting myths of learning rate, slow learners (sic), and discriminatory practices. The content of journals, textbooks, and some graduate courses has changed, but have training programs changed what they teach--or if--about cognitive testing.

The webinar identifies the inconsistencies in one's personal belief systems and professional practice and how school practices have remedied these conflicts before and after IDEA 2004 when the law provided a legal remedy, RTI.

Opportunities for Questions and Discussion Will Be Provided:
12:00 PM – 2:30 PM Central October 30th, 2023 Individual Purchase- $49 

Teams, Schools, District or Organization Purchase (3 or More)-$99

Secondary MTSS That Makes Sense

MTSS/RTI as typically described and even implemented often doesn't make sense to secondary teachers. The ideas of screening, Tiers, and progress monitoring are very unlike what secondary content teachers do every day. This webinar presents a practical and compelling model of how some middle and high school students still lack the basic skills they need for content area success and require intensive basic skill intervention (i.e., treatment), and other students still require support for content area success. MTSS is ideal for not only providing students with the treatment and support they need but also the support content area teachers need for their success. The webinar provides screening practices and cut scores to help schools identify which students (Who) need treatment and which students (Who) need Support.

Secondary schools are especially adept at providing Treatment if a commitment is made to an MTSS model because of their scheduling expertise. However, they may be less adept at systematically supporting students who struggle in content-area courses. When I poll content area teachers, I get estimates that teachers report more than a third of their students struggle (i.e., get grades of Fs or Ds) in their classes! These students must be tough to teach! Sadly, this situation is not the content area teachers’ fault. Like me, many content teachers were not taught how to meet the needs of diverse learners. This webinar will identify many of these strategies, as simple as explicit statements of “this are important to know” and “this isn’t important to know,” that have been shown to raise achievement. And not just for struggling students, but for all students. MTSS, when implemented with fidelity, can make the difficult job of teaching a little bit easier.

Opportunities for Questions and Discussion Will Be Provided:
12:00 PM – 2:30 PM Central November 10th, 2023 - Individual Registration -$49 Teams of 3, School, District, Organization or more $99

RtI As SLD Eligibility: Foundational Big Ideas and Implementation Plans

To many educators' surprise, "RtI-Like" eligibility practices have been implemented in America's schools since the early 1980s! More than 20 years later, in 2004 after accumulated research and further complaints about prevailing practices based primarily about the ability-achievement discrepancy model of SLD identification, the IDEA legally permitted RtI at the federal level. Since then, more than 20 states permit RtI and some require it. Still, many schools report struggling with RTI implementation and even more choose not to try because of fears of "difficulty."

In 2023, I even see schools backsliding or giving up in Rti as SLD "because it is too hard" to do. Often, from my own observations, I would agree! Why they are giving up is that I see is a lack of clarity in their procedures, often too much process, too much wasted time and paperwork, and a hesitancy to implement RTI unless "things are perfect." I hear "we can't implement RtI until we get a strong Tier 1 core Program" or "we don't have good progress monitoring data!" Even more frustrating is the expression of a fear of getting "caught out of compliance."

These are all "solvable problems." This webinar will identify some essential "big ideas" that key parties must understand for successful implementation of (any) SLD implementation and in particular, what is "new" in RtI, the Inclusionary Factors. How to operationalize ALL components in RtI, especially the Inclusionary Factors, will be addressed, especially in a transition to an RTI model. In addition, efforts to waylay worries of litigation will be presented, with careful attention to more likely weaknessess in other components of SLD eligibility in current practices, including RtI.

Opportunities for Questions and Discussion Will Be Provided
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM Central November 30th, 2023 - Individual Registration -$49 Teams of 3, School, District, Organization or more $99

Basic Skills Progress Monitoring: The Catch-22 of MTSS and RTI!

Isn’t it somewhat ironic that with all the recent emphasis on response to intervention in the last decade, to IEPs since 1977, and to the purpose of America’s schools since forever, having accurate progress monitoring data for immediate access is still a challenge in most schools?

In 1978, as part of a large research effort to support the implementation of the first federal disabilities acts, the All Handicapped Children’s Act of 1975, Congress awarded the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Research on Learning Disabilities and one of its researchers, Dr. Stan Deno, federal dollars to fund a special education research program for writing IEP goals and monitoring progress. Yes, 48 years ago!

The research yielded Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM), and by 1982 the first refereed journal article appeared for technology for IEP teams to write simple yet scientifically sound IEP goals and monitor progress toward them. CBM tests are now readily accessible in commercial products like aimsweb, easyCBM, DIBELS 8th Ed, FastBridge, etc., but, often, it seems that they are misunderstood as 3 times per year universal screening and diagnostic testing. Little mention is made of Benchmark’s original intent to provide Universal Progress Monitoring for growth and development.

Likewise, CBM’s use for more frequent basic skills progress monitoring and especially for annual goals for IEPs, is haphazard, making decisions about progress difficult. Should decisions about benefits from previous general education interventions be necessary for eligibility for special education? Across the country, I’ve observed teams having extreme difficulty gathering data, creating a reluctance on their part to shift the eligibility process to one based on Response to Intervention (RTI) because they lack quality progress monitoring data!

This session presents simple, inexpensive, yet scientifically sound progress monitoring solutions to the 2023 dilemma, with hopes that educators will jump on the scale of technologies that are among the most powerful and inexpensive tools to impact student achievement.

Opportunities for Questions and Discussion Will Be Provided:
Dates to be determined

A purple and pink background with the words " public skills progress monitoring " in front of it.