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Another Severe Discrepancy Template

How did this severe discrepancy template get made?

A graduate student (Joe Salerno) on Practicum assignment in New Jersey noticed that determination of severe discrepancy that he would get from a template on this web site and similar “back of the envelope” calculations differed from the determination that his school got from their system.

What system did that school use?

The system that his school used was a computer program, called ESTIMATOR-NJ 3.0 that was developed by Richard D. Baer, Ph.D. and Brad Althouse, M.S. and published by DB Enterprises in Logan, UT, in cooperation with the Center for Persons with Disabilities of Utah State University.

Who requested that the ESTIMATOR-NJ 3.0 program be developed?

The manual that comes with the ESTIMATOR-NJ 3.0 states that “Estimator-NJ: Version 3.0 was developed at the request of the New Jersey Association of Pupil Services Administrators (NJAPSA)”

What is the NJAPSA?

Their website states, “NJAPSA is the only state-wide professional association for administrators responsible for pupil services.” About their membership NJAPSA says, “You are eligible to join if you have district-wide administrative responsibility in pupil services and provide professional leadership in public or private schools, agencies, colleges or universities.”

Are School Districts/Child Study Teams required to use the  ESTIMATOR-NJ 3.0  program to determine severe discrepancy?

Absolutely not, the district must set some standard for eligibility for special education, whether it is categorical or non-categorical. If it is categorical, as most districts have, then the district must set some standard for the determination of severe discrepancy in the category of learning disabled. That is the policy under IDEA 2004 and under current NJ regulations.

Back to the difference between the  ESTIMATOR-NJ 3.0 program and your calculations, what was it?

After seeing that a difference did exist between the severe discrepancy templates on this web site and the  ESTIMATOR-NJ 3.0 program, the manual for the  ESTIMATOR-NJ 3.0 was reviewed. The Estimator program corrects the Predicted Achievement score for unreliability and then takes the difference between this Predicted Achievement score corrected for unreliability and the Actual Achievement score and uses that as a basis for determining if there is a severe discrepancy. Other templates on this site use the difference between Predicted Achievement (without any correction for unreliability) and the Actual Achievement score as the basis for determination of severe discrepancy. 

A copy of the template for determining severe discrepancy using this method is available.

To download template press here.

Please send me an email if you download the template. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please do not distribute the template to anyone else.