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COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, AND ANSWERS Alan B. Crammatte Editor 897 Windsong Drive Arnold, Maryland 21012 The Comments, Questions, and Answers department is published as a service to professional readers and parents of deaf children. It is an attempt to provide practical information on the basic aspects of deafness, particularly in relation to education. Although all questions submitted cannot be used, those considered to be of greatest interest to readers will be published. Answers are prepared by competent authorities. Material submitted must contain the writer's name and address. COMMENT—"Removing the Writing Barrier: A Dream?" a national conference on writing programs for deaf and hearing impaired students, was held in Lehman College earlier this year. Robert Panara, professor of English and drama for deaf and hearing impaired students at the the Rochester Institute of Technology, was the keynote speaker at the daylong conference. The conference, sponsored by the Program for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Students and The Writing Center at Lehman, featured educators and researchers presenting innovative methods for teaching writing to the deaf. A panel discussion with deaf students, educators and professional writers—all of whom are deaf—was held in the afternoon . Bruce Hlibok performed "The Deaf-Mute Howls," at 7:15 p.m. The one-man play was interpreted for both hearing impaired and hearing members of the audience. CORRECTION The authors of "Postsecondary Programs for Deaf Students at the Peak of the Rubella Bulge" were listed in the incorrect order in the March 1987 edition of the Annals. The correct listing should read: Brenda W. Rawlrngs, Michael A. Karchmer and James J. DeCaro . The Annals deeply regrets the error. TOTHEEDITOR: The December, 1986, issue of AAD contained an article by Serwatka, Anthony and Simon entitled "A Comparison of Deaf and Hearing Teacher Effectiveness". It is unfortunate that an article of such importance would be accepted for publication when obvious misuse of statistical tests of significance has occurred. The authors conducted a seemingly well-designed study using paired subjects—deaf and hearing teachers paired according to subject and ability level taught. The instruments used to measure teacher effectiveness appeared more than adequate. It was, therefore, disappointing to see the data presented using the chi-square test. This test is appropriate when comparing discrete variables. When means are presented, the underlying variable is a measurement on a scale (i.e test results). The correct test of significance to use when comparing means of paired subjects is the paired f-test. The authors' conclusions must be viewed as questionable because of this error. Pamela Griffin TOTHEEDITOR: While my colleagues and I greatly appreciate the comments Ms. Griffin makes concerning the topic and design of our study, "A Comparison of Deaf and Hearing Teacher Effectiveness" which appeared in the December issue of the Annals; we respectfully suggest that her observation concerning the appropriateness of our statistical analyses may fail to take into account two factors. While we were using matched pairs, as Ms. Griffin points out, it needs to be noted that there is strong reason to believe that the observation instrument we used would fail to yield scores in the form of a normal distribution even if employed with a large number of subjects. Failure to yield such a distribution requires that parametric statistics not be used and that some form of nonparameteric statistical analysis be employed . Secondly, the data collected are in the form of frequency data. This suggests the use of chi square as the nonparametric test to be used. Because of these two factors we felt that the nonparametric chi square was to be preferred over any form of f-test. We hope that given this information Ms. Griffin and other readers will feel more comfortable using our study as a basis for discussion on the issues we hoped to raise in this article. We welcome further comment on this study and on the topic in general. Thomas S. Serwatka University of North Florida A.A.D. /July 1987 183 ...


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