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WISC-IV vs WJIII

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 02, 2005 at 2:35:40 PM
Subject: WISC-IV vs WJIII

In our school district, our school psychologist is currently using the WISC-IV to assess ability. I've heard that the ability portion of the WJIII provides a lot of good information regarding learning when compared with the WJIII achievement tests. Is there anyone out there who knows where there is a good comparison of the two tests (WISC-IV and WJIII)? In our district, our special ed students are testing lower on the new WISC-IV that the old WISC-III. I've been told that the WJIII ability scores are more in line with the old WISCIII. Does anyone have any insight or know where I can find answers?

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:Feb 05, 2005 2:26:10 PM

Here is some info for you:

http://alpha.fdu.edu/psychology/WISCIV_Index.htm

Janis

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 29, 2014
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Posted:Feb 08, 2005 2:30:25 PM

Janis,
Thanks for the reply. That information was very helpful in explaining the lower IQ scores we have been obtaining.

If there is anyone out there who has information/comparisons between the WJIII Ability portion and WISC-IV, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
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Posted:Feb 08, 2005 4:49:14 PM

Are you sure you're not thinking of the WJ ability tests? Those are supposed to have a good correlation with the WISC; achievement is a different animal than ability, though.
If the scores run lower, then it would be harder to get a discrepancy, of course :-(

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 29, 2014
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Posted:Feb 09, 2005 12:34:03 PM

Sue,
My question is how does the WJIII cognitive ability portion compare with the WISC-IV. We are using the WISC-IV in my district. Many of our kids are testing 5-10 points lower on their fullscale IQ's during their reassessments using the new WISC IV. I am wondering if there are people out there who are using the WJIII cognitive Ability portion to assess students. If they are, how does it compare with the WISC-IV? Is the WJIII cognitive also giving lower fullscale scores? I have heard that the scores are more comparable to the old WISC-III. What information are they getting from the WJIII that makes it worthwhile to switch? I am interested in getting input from people who have used the WJIII and WISC-IV.

I teach in MN and either the WISC-IV or WJIII Cognitive portion may be utilized to test ability. I am questioning whether or not we should switch to the WJIII.

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
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Posted:Feb 14, 2005 7:15:26 PM

Okay... that's what I thought -- and I don't know. The WJIII website is where I would go to look though, since they are the side with the vested interest in people going to their teacher-administratable test rather than the gotta-have-a-psych-to-do-it WISC.

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:Mar 14, 2005 1:27:19 PM

I attended our state IDA conference this weekend and went to a session on assessment. They did verify the problem that LD students are scoring much lower on the new WISC VI than the WISC III.

Here's the important news. Harcourt Assessment has responded to this by providing a General Ability Index which gives an alternative score that supposedly eliminates bias (from the working memory or processing speed sections pulling the fullscale score down).

http://harcourtassessment.com/hai/Images/pdf/wisciv/WISCIVTechReport4.pdf

Janis

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KTJ
Joined Jun 16, 2003
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Posted:Mar 14, 2005 8:16:56 PM

Janis,
Thank you for that great resource! It's extremely helpful.
Karen

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:Mar 16, 2005 7:52:27 PM

Karen,

You are welcome. I am just hoping that information will spread, because I am sure in the last few months there have been MANY LD kids who failed to qualify because of the WISC IV, and I think that is terrible.

Janis

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Kell
Joined Jun 28, 2004
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Posted:Apr 02, 2005 9:55:34 AM
Subject:Thank You!!

Janis,
Thank you SOOOO much for this link to Harcourt. My son's FIQ dropped by 10 points! I showed this to our psychologist and he DIDN'T EVEN KNOW about this GAI. Unbelievable...time to get a new psychologist. Anyway, when I used the alternative scoring my son's FIQ is back up to where it should be. Now the school can't tell me that he's just "average" intellectually
and that I should be happy with "average" performance in school. Thank-you, Thank-you. I've posted this info over at the Schwab learning site, too. :D

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:Apr 02, 2005 9:09:30 PM

Kell,

You know, that is maddening isn't it when the psychologists don't keep up with the test notifications??? I emailed our special ed. director with the info since I didn't know if our psychologist knew it either!

Janis

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Kell
Joined Jun 28, 2004
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Posted:Apr 03, 2005 7:50:09 PM
Subject:Yep!

LOL...It's especially maddening when you're paying big $$'s to these guys for their "expertise"!

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bellis
Joined Apr 25, 2005
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Posted:Apr 25, 2005 3:01:56 PM

I have used the WCJ Cognitive with several of the students I have tested with the WISC IV. Scores on the WCJ Cognitive were higher. My concerns with the WCJ Cog is that the verbal reasoning is higher due to the nature of tasks requested. Most of the responses are one word. When I am assessing a student with lower verbal reasoning abilities, the Voc and Com subtests of the WISC IV give me a good indication of the examinee's ability to use language. Examineee's with lower verbal reasoning abilities are often good at one word answers, but this is not indiciative of the skills needed in the classroom. Nonverbal reasoning abilities appear to be similarly developed. Special Educcation teachers have requested the WCJ Cog as the higher intellectual score can then be used for meeting the criteria of SLD.

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A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
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Posted:May 13, 2005 5:32:24 AM
Subject:.

I hate to go off topic, but has the WAIS-III been updated?

If children are producing lower tests scores on the WISC IV, I would imagine adults are producing lower test scores on the WAIS, that ofcourse being if it has been updated.

WAIS is "Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale"

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:May 15, 2005 10:25:58 PM

I do not know when the adult test was updated, but I don't think it would have any relationship to how the WISC IV is scoring.

Janis

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Shoshie
Joined Feb 24, 2005
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Posted:May 21, 2005 8:56:23 PM

I work in LAUSD, and we don't use either test -- our psychs use "alternative measures" whatever that means! They use a bunch of tests I've never heard of, like the MAT (Matrix Analogies Test) for one. What it usually means is that no matter who the student is, they will be found "average" in intelligence, and since we don't use a specific score, they have to be below average range in achievement (usually agreed to be &lt;85) in order to qualify.

Our psychs now have a new wrinkle: in order to qualify as a processing disorder, the score on processing skills tests must fall into the 70s on the standard scores, and that is the only measure they will accept (no age or grade equivalents, which they don't even quote). They also want to see it in more than one subtest, so that makes it even harder. Our psychologist this year insisted that it had to be at least 3 subtests, and all in the same area (i.e. auditory or visual) in order to constitute a processing disorder. When I said, "where does it say that?" she cited special ed law. I almost laughed in her face! In other words, a kid could have a whole bunch of scores in the low to mid-eighties in auditory processing, but that would not constitute a processing disorder according to her. This has ruled out at least five kids this year alone from receiving special ed services, and most of the parents didn't know enough to fight it, or I think they would have won. Where they are coming up with this stuff, and where they are finding these psychs, I don't know, but this is the first psych I ever had a problem with in my twenty years in special education. She's all "head" and no "heart" among other complaints I have...

Anyway, it is my understanding that the new IDEA completely does away with the requirement to show a discrepancy, so the issue about discrepancy may be a moot point after this July. Maybe that is why they are suddenly being more picky about what constitutes a "processing disorder" -- they're worried this will "open the floodgates." No one really knows what the long-term implications are, but one person I spoke to in Special Ed. administration in our district felt that it means we will be shifting the focus from "corrective" to "preventive" interventions; in other words "catch them before they fail." I, for one, would welcome this development, if it turns out to be true, though it will change my job (as an RSP) rather radically. The NICHD study showed long ago that you could help the most students if you gave them "early intervention," that is, up to about 2nd grade. With the discrepancy requirement, they usually don't end up qualifying until at least grade 3, so we've had it backwards for a long time. I welcome the chance to help the younger students to make sure they don't end up in special ed, but it will require some serious rethinking of how we do things in school, at least up until now! In the meantime, though, my numbers are dropping every year, and there are lots of kids not getting services who need it, and no one seems to know what to do about it. Anyone have any similar experiences in other districts?

See my informational website, Solving the Puzzle of Learning Disorders at www.angelfire.com/on2/thepuzzle

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anla
Joined Oct 01, 2003
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Posted:May 23, 2005 11:30:36 AM
Subject:Testing

Yes, our numbers are dropping as well, for the older elem students.
But, for the younger, numbers are increasing.

Older students do not qualify because they are not testing high enough iq to find a discrepancy.

It will be interesting to see what happens because of the discrepancy law change. A law expert is saying that, even if the states want to argue with that change, they will have to follow it, since fed law supercedes state law.

Interesting...

Anita

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:May 23, 2005 7:55:45 PM

Shoshie,

Three processing scores in the 70's???? My gosh. They are eliminating an awful lot of LD kids if they are going that low (70 is the 2nd percentile!!!). My child is definitely LD with diagnosed APD with most language and reading comp scores in the 80's. I'd hate to think about all the suffering kids that psychologist is missing.

I agree with all your thoughts on early intervention. But from what I read, states can still choose to use a discrepancy model, it's just no longer required. And with the new WISC IV, it really is harder than ever to get a discrepancy.

Janis

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Shoshie
Joined Feb 24, 2005
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Posted:May 24, 2005 3:40:30 AM

It's true that the psychologist is missing a lot of kids with these scoring guidelines, I can count at least five that I believe would have qualified in any other circumstance. They have even redrawn the "bell curve" diagram used to explain the scores to parents. The one the psychologist uses now shows 80 at the bottom edge of "average range" and 119 on the top. So the psychologist can say with a straight face that the student's scores fell "within average range" in all these areas. She doesn't even tell them whether they were "well within average" or toward the low end, though I notice she does tell them when they were on the high end. She doesn't use percentile scores, because I think parents would be very alarmed if she told them that these scores mean the student is in the lowest 2% of the population. And what about those kids who are "only" in the lowest 10% or 15%? The parents will never even know, I suppose. She never gives me a copy of these reports, either, probably afraid I will pick them apart...

One child we tested this year happened to have been tested at our school three years ago, when he was an early 2nd grader, and I still had a copy of the psychologist's report. As so often happens at that age, he didn't qualify because there was no discrepancy, although the psychologist who tested him then did find processing issues. Well, he left the district for a couple of years and just came back. Now, there's a huge discrepancy, he's made hardly any progress in the last three years, but this new psychologist, with these new standards, couldn't find the auditory processing disorder! I was like, incredulous! So you're trying to tell me this kid who had an auditory processing disorder three years ago doesn't have one now? And how else do you explain the lack of progress?

Well, luckily, we were able to use attention as a processing issue and we did qualify him. Everyone knows that auditory processing is the number one reason for being behind in reading and writing, so I shudder to think how many kids are being missed, especially in a district as big as ours. I have to say, I no longer have any respect for this psychologist's testing or opinions, and I've never ever felt that way about a psychologist before this. She is very young, however, and I suspect that she is just doing what the district is telling her to do. To me, that is not very smart, but then psychologists do have to pay attention to which side their bread is buttered on, maybe even more than us teachers, since they don't have tenure to rely on!

Anyway, it looks like my once full-time job is going to become half-time next year, thanks to this politicking, and I'll be shuttling to at least one other school, which dilutes my effectiveness still further... what a dilemma! Anyone know of another school district in SoCal in need of Resource Teachers?

Sharon

See my informational website, Solving the Puzzle of Learning Disorders at www.angelfire.com/on2/thepuzzle

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anla
Joined Oct 01, 2003
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Posted:May 24, 2005 8:31:00 AM
Subject:Discrepancy

Hi again,

States can use a discrepancy to identify SLD. However, they are being required to no longer require a discrepancy. SLD intervention is to be attempted if the child study team feels it would be helpful.

This is a good move for students and their parents, because without the required discrepancy, students will be able to get intervention for their problems. Hopefully.

And I know all about splitting teachers between schools. I have played that game all year. It does not benefit anyone, and too much time is wasted on travel between schools. I told my school system--please no more for me next year. One school only--and with young students so I can teach them to read, write, and do math.

I am one of NCLB's "highly qualified" SLD teachers. And I have continuing contract status. So I am waiting for a good placement next year.

Anita

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Shoshie
Joined Feb 24, 2005
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Posted:May 26, 2005 2:13:12 AM

Hi Anita,

How do you find out if you meet the NCLB requirements? I haven't heard about this yet, but I do have K-12 credential, LH Specialist and RSP certification, as well as a Masters... is it possible I wouldn't qualify? Just wondering if there is some way to find out...

Shoshie

See my informational website, Solving the Puzzle of Learning Disorders at www.angelfire.com/on2/thepuzzle

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