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Section 3: Overview and Exam Framework
Educational Diagnostician (153)

Exam Overview

Table outlining the test format, number of questions, time, and passing score.
Exam Name Educational Diagnostician
Exam Code 153
Time 5 hours
Number of Questions 100 selected-response questions
Format Computer-administered test (CAT)

The TExES Educational Diagnostician (153) exam is designed to assess whether an examinee has the requisite knowledge and skills that an entry-level educator in this field in Texas public schools must possess. The 100 selected-response questions are based on the Educational Diagnostician exam framework. Questions on this exam range from grades EC–12. The exam may contain questions that do not count toward the score. Your final scaled score will be based only on scored questions.

The Standards

Standard I

The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of the purpose, philosophy and legal foundations of evaluation and special education.

Standard II

The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethical and professional practices, roles and responsibilities.

Standard III

The educational diagnostician develops collaborative relationships with families, educators, the school, the community, outside agencies and related service personnel.

Standard IV

The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of student assessment and evaluation, program planning and instructional decision making.

Standard V

The educational diagnostician knows eligibility criteria and procedures for identifying students with disabilities and determining the presence of an educational need.

Standard VI

The educational diagnostician selects, administers and interprets appropriate formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

Standard VII

The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethnic, linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic diversity and the significance of student diversity for evaluation, planning and instruction.

Standard VIII

The educational diagnostician knows and demonstrates skills necessary for scheduling, time management and organization.

Standard IX

The educational diagnostician addresses students’ behavioral and social interaction skills through appropriate assessment, evaluation, planning and instructional strategies.

Standard X

The educational diagnostician knows and understands appropriate curricula and instructional strategies for individuals with disabilities.

Domains and Competencies

Table outlining test content subject weighting by domain.
Domain Domain Title Approx. Percentage of Exam Standards Assessed
I Students with Disabilities 22% Educational Diagnostician V, VII
II Assessment and Evaluation 33% Educational Diagnostician IV, VI
III Curriculum and Instruction 22% Educational Diagnostician IX–X
IV Foundations and Professional Roles and Responsibilities 22% Educational Diagnostician I–III, VIII
Pie chart of approximate test weighting, detailed in the table above.

The content covered by this exam is organized into broad areas of content called domains. Each domain covers one or more of the educator standards for this field. Within each domain, the content is further defined by a set of competencies. Each competency is composed of two major parts:

Domain I—Students with Disabilities

Competency 001—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of federal and state disability criteria and identification procedures for determining the presence of an educational need.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Recognizes and applies knowledge of the cognitive, academic, communicative, physical, social and emotional characteristics of individuals with disabilities, including those with different levels of severity and with multiple disabilities.
  2. Knows how to access information on the cognitive, academic, communicative, physical, social and emotional characteristics of individuals with various disabilities.
  3. Demonstrates awareness of the variation in ability among individuals with particular types of disabilities.
  4. Analyzes the educational implications of various disabilities.
  5. Knows how to use various types of assessment and evaluation procedures to identify students with disabilities and determine the presence of an educational need.
  6. Knows how to gather and use background information regarding the educational/developmental (e.g., behavioral, social, academic), medical and family history of individuals with disabilities.
Competency 002—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity and the significance of individual diversity for evaluation, planning and instruction.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of issues related to the identification of disabilities in individuals from ethnically, culturally, linguistically and/or socioeconomically diverse backgrounds.
  2. Recognizes how the ethnic, cultural and environmental background of students and their families, including linguistic and socioeconomic diversity, may affect evaluation, planning and instruction.
  3. Applies knowledge of cultural and linguistic factors to make appropriate evaluation decisions and instructional recommendations for individuals with disabilities.
  4. Uses strategies and procedures that are responsive to the diverse backgrounds and particular disabilities of individuals in relation to evaluation, programming and placement and that ensure nonbiased results.
  5. Demonstrates awareness of issues related to the representation in special education of populations that are culturally and linguistically diverse.

 

Domain II—Assessment and Evaluation

Competency 003—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of student assessment and evaluation program planning and instructional decision making.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of the characteristics and needs of individual students in relation to assessment and evaluation for their least restrictive placement within a continuum of services.
  2. Knows the rights of parents/guardians and students (i.e., procedural safeguards) in relation to assessment and evaluation.
  3. Applies knowledge of the links between evaluation, goals and objectives and placement decisions.
  4. Uses assessment and evaluation information to assist in identifying realistic expectations for educationally relevant behavior (e.g., vocational, functional, academic, social) in various settings.
  5. Interprets and uses assessment and evaluation information to plan individualized programs, make instructional decisions and support ongoing review.
  6. Knows the roles of team members, including the student when appropriate, in planning an individualized program.
Competency 004—The educational diagnostician selects and administers appropriate formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Applies knowledge of basic terminology and statistical concepts (e.g., standard error of measurement, mean, standard deviation) used in assessment and evaluation.
  2. Demonstrates knowledge of standards for test norming, reliability and validity; procedures used in standardizing assessment instruments; and sources of measurement error.
  3. Demonstrates knowledge of how to select and use assessment and evaluation materials based on technical quality and individual student needs (e.g., communication, physical and other disabilities).
  4. Demonstrates knowledge of how to select or modify assessment procedures to minimize bias in results.
  5. Applies knowledge of the uses and limitations of various types of assessment instruments (e.g., norm-referenced, criterion-referenced) and observation techniques (e.g., anecdotal, frequency, temporal).
  6. Applies knowledge of methods used for academic and nonacademic assessments (e.g., vocational, developmental, assistive technology, motor skills).
  7. Applies knowledge of procedures for screening, prereferral, referral and eligibility.
  8. Demonstrates the ability to score assessment and evaluation instruments accurately and to create and maintain evaluation reports according to federal and state guidelines.
  9. Knows how to collaborate effectively with families and with other professionals in assessing and evaluating individuals with disabilities.
Competency 005—The educational diagnostician applies skills for interpreting formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Analyzes the uses and limitations of various types of formal and informal assessment and evaluation data.
  2. Demonstrates knowledge of the appropriate application and interpretation of derived scores (e.g., standard scores, percentile ranks, age and grade equivalents, stanines, T-scores, z-scores).
  3. Applies skills for evaluating and interpreting information derived from formal and informal instruments and procedures in the areas of cognitive ability, adaptive behavior and academic skills.
  4. Recognizes when a student needs further assessment and/or evaluation, including that conducted by other professionals, in specific areas (e.g., language skills, physical skills, social/emotional behavior, assistive technology needs).
  5. Uses assessment and evaluation results to determine a student’s needs in various curricular areas and to make recommendations for intervention, instruction and transition planning.
  6. Uses performance data and information from teachers, other professionals, the student and the student’s parents/guardians to recommend appropriate modifications and/or accommodations within learning environments.
  7. Recognizes the need to monitor the progress of individuals with disabilities.

 

Domain III—Curriculum and Instruction

Competency 006—The educational diagnostician understands appropriate curricula and instructional strategies for students with disabilities.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of curricula for the development of motor, cognitive, academic, social, language, affective, career and functional skills for students with disabilities.
  2. Demonstrates knowledge of individualized assessment strategies for instruction (e.g., authentic assessment, contextual assessment, curriculum-based assessment).
  3. Applies skills for interpreting assessment and evaluation data and using data for instructional recommendations.
  4. Demonstrates knowledge of a variety of instructional strategies, technology tools and curriculum materials to address the individual needs and varied learning styles of students with disabilities within the continuum of services.
  5. Knows how to modify curriculum content for individuals with disabilities.
  6. Knows how to select and adapt instructional methods, strategies and materials to provide accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
  7. Applies knowledge of functional skills instruction for transitioning across environments (e.g., preschool to elementary school, school to work) and the supports needed for transition and integration into various program placements.
Competency 007—The educational diagnostician understands the use of appropriate assessment, evaluation, planning and instructional strategies for developing students’ behavioral and social skills.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of requirements and procedures for functional behavioral assessments and manifestation determination reviews.
  2. Knows applicable laws, rules and regulations and procedural safeguards regarding the planning and implementation of behavioral intervention plans for students with disabilities.
  3. Demonstrates knowledge of ethical considerations in all aspects of behavior intervention.
  4. Demonstrates knowledge of social skills needed for school, home, community and work environments.
  5. Demonstrates knowledge of the effects of antecedents and consequences, including teacher attitudes and behaviors, on the behavior of students with disabilities.
  6. Demonstrates knowledge of strategies for preparing students to live productively in a multiclass, multiethnic, multicultural and multinational world.
  7. Knows strategies for crisis prevention, intervention and management for students with disabilities.
  8. Applies knowledge of key concepts in behavior intervention (e.g., least intrusive intervention within the learning environment, reasonable expectations for social behavior, social skills curricula, cognitive behavioral strategies).

 

Domain IV—Foundations and Professional Roles and Responsibilities

Competency 008—The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of professional practices, roles and responsibilities and the philosophical, legal and ethical foundations of evaluation related to special education.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of models and theories that provide the basis for special education evaluations and knows the purpose of evaluation procedures and their relationship to educational programming.
  2. Applies knowledge of state and federal laws, rules and regulations related to the roles and activities of the educational diagnostician, including the assessment and evaluation of individuals with educational needs.
  3. Knows how to comply with local, state and federal monitoring and evaluation requirements.
  4. Applies knowledge of issues, assurances and due process rights related to evaluation, eligibility and placement within a continuum of services.
  5. Demonstrates knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians, schools, students, teachers and other professionals in relation to individual learning needs.
  6. Applies knowledge of ethical practices (e.g., in relation to confidentiality, informed consent, placement, state accountability measures).
  7. Knows how to create quality educational opportunities that are appropriate for individuals with disabilities and reflect respect for their culture, gender and personal beliefs.
  8. Knows qualifications necessary to administer and interpret various instruments and procedures.
  9. Knows organizations and publications relevant to the field of educational diagnosis and demonstrates awareness of the importance of engaging in activities that foster professional competence and benefit individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families and/or colleagues.
Competency 009—The educational diagnostician develops collaborative relationships and demonstrates skills for scheduling, time management and organization.

The beginning teacher:

  1. Applies skills and strategies for engaging in effective communication, collaboration and consultation with others (e.g., students with disabilities, parents/guardians, classroom teachers, other school and community personnel) to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in a culturally responsive manner.
  2. Demonstrates knowledge of family systems and the role of parents/guardians in supporting student development and educational progress and applies strategies for encouraging students’ and families’ active participation in the educational team, addressing families’ concerns and fostering respectful and beneficial relationships between families and education professionals.
  3. Applies skills for effective communication and collaboration in a variety of contexts (e.g., conducting conferences with students and families, working with other professionals to include students in specific learning environments, communicating about characteristics and needs of students with disabilities, reporting and interpreting assessment results to professionals and parents/guardians).
  4. Knows the roles of students with disabilities, parents/guardians, teachers and other school and community personnel in planning educational programs and knows strategies for collaborating with team members to develop appropriate educational programs for individuals.
  5. Knows how to keep accurate and detailed records of assessments, evaluations and related proceedings (e.g., Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD)/ Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, parent/guardian communications and notifications).
  6. Demonstrates knowledge of time management strategies and systems appropriate for various educational situations and environments, including the selection, modification and design of forms to facilitate planning and scheduling.
  7. Knows how to use technology appropriately to organize information and schedules.
  8. Applies knowledge of legal and regulatory timelines, schedules, deadlines and reporting requirements and methods for maintaining eligibility folders and for organizing, maintaining, accessing and storing records.

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