Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The introduction of new laws such as the amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 1997) and the No Child Left Behind Act have changed education for special education students in the United States. Students with disabilities are now more frequently being held to the same standards as those students without disabilities. These federal laws are designed to help close the achievement gap among all students regardless of race, gender, poverty, or disability status. Special education students are now required to participate in statewide high-stakes testing programs alongside their nondisabled peers. Another movement involves including students with disabilities in the general education classroom for their instruction rather than being segregated. This movement corresponds with the “least restrictive environment” that has been a part of IDEA since its inception, but whose implementation in practice has not been consistent. Research has provided evidence for the social benefits of inclusion, but little evidence exists for the academic benefits. Special education students may benefit academically from being included in the general education classroom, but variables that affect their performance need to be investigated. Evidence exists for the positive effects of certain teacher qualifications with nondisabled students, but again, little research has looked at these effects with disabled students. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the affect on disabled students’ high-stakes test performance when they are included in the general education classroom. Also, it examined certain teacher qualifications that may affect special education students’ high-stakes test scores. A value-added model was used to examine these variables.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Noell, George H.



Included in

Psychology Commons