Spurlock, C. D. (2020). The impact of class accommodations for inclusion students on common core aligned math assessments (Publication No. 28022417) [Doctoral dissertation, Trevecca Nazarene University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2451752109
Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, TN), Department of Leadership and Professional Practice; ProQuest document ID: 2451752109
Keyword lists were provided during classroom instruction and multiplication charts were provided during instruction and for math classroom assessments. The impact of these accommodations was measured, and the perceptions of accommodation effectiveness and other practices was gathered from general education and special education teachers.
Teachers (n=11) and their students (n=162) in grades 3, 4, and 5 participated; the setting was an urban elementary school in a West Tennessee school district (U.S.) with team-taught inclusion classes for students with and without disabilities. The specific numbers of students with and without disabilities were not reported. The focus group interview stage included 9 out of 11 teachers: 4 special education and 5 general education teachers.
The students were assessed on the Mastery Connect common assessment (CA) for the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 administrations. The first set of test scores served as baselines, and data were compared at the classroom level. The second CA scores were analyzed as the post test, for comparison between classrooms receiving and not receiving the accommodations. Teachers kept reflective journals to record their thoughts on instruction in the inclusion classroom, teaching students with disabilities, and providing accommodations. A focus group interview protocol was implemented to gather teachers' perceptions.
Inclusive team-taught math classes with similar fall test performance scores were paired, and classrooms were assigned to either receive or not receive the accommodations of keyword lists and multiplication charts during instruction, and multiplication charts during classroom math common core assessments. Students in classrooms receiving these accommodations showed significantly higher mean performance (by about 20%) than students in classrooms not receiving accommodations. Analyses of focus group data, including teachers' reflections from their self-journaling, yielded that most teachers expressed positive views of their inclusion math class experiences, including team-teaching and providing accommodations. Teachers reported that providing accommodations also helped them think about how to support other populations performing below grade level. Teachers’ concerns about effective implementation of accommodations (and effective instruction for students with disabilities in the inclusive classroom) pertained to student factors and system factors. Student factors included students' distractibility, grasping the curriculum at the pace of their peers without disabilities, behavioral issues, individual needs, skill maintenance, and the impact of reading difficulties on math skills and progress. Teachers were also concerned about negative attention towards students using accommodations. System factors included a lack of training on effective inclusion and the misalignment between accommodations provided in the classroom and on classroom assessments and those allowed on state standardized tests. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.