Klehm, M. (2014). The effects of teacher beliefs on teaching practices and achievement of students with disabilities . Teacher Education and Special Education , 37 (3), 216–240. https://doi.org/10.1177/0888406414525050

Journal Article

Klehm, M. (2014). The effects of teacher beliefs on teaching practices and achievement of students with disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education, 37(3), 216–240. https://doi.org/10.1177/0888406414525050


No age; No disability; Teacher survey; U.S. context





This study examined teacher participants' attitudes and perceptions of various aspects of the schooling of students with disabilities; this summary emphasizes details about assessments and especially accommodations. Specific accommodations were not examined, but rather the participants' perspectives in general about accommodations as a whole.


Participants (n=218) were middle school general (n=178) and special education (n=32) teachers from six schools throughout Rhode Island; participants' schools were selected to represent the socioeconomic range (high, middle, and low) of its students' families. The schools' demographics such as racial/ethnic composition, socioeconomic status of students, special education proportion and achievement proficiency, and other factors, were also reported.

Dependent Variable

Participants completed a survey called the High-stakes Testing and Students with Disabilities: A Teacher Attitude Survey (HST-SWD), including reporting professional preparation and practices, their views of the learning capacities of students with disabilities, their ability to meet proficiency on state assessments, fairness and validity of testing students with disabilities—including four items explicitly about accommodations, and other survey subscales. Performance data for teacher participants' students on the state mathematics, reading, and science assessments were also reported.


Several findings were reported for several research questions. Most relevant to current use of accommodations, a slight majority of respondents (55%) indicated agreement that assessment accommodations are individualized to each student, but a slight majority (56%) disagreed with the statement that accommodations are designed to remove disabilities' impact on knowledge and skills tested, and a slight majority (54%) disagreed with the statement that all IEP accommodations are clear and implemented precisely. A larger majority (80%) disagreed with the statement that the actual effect of accommodations have been to eliminate the impact of disabilities on test results. Finally, there was an even agreement and disagreement (50-50) in response to the statement that accommodations permit more accurate test results due to removing disabilities' impact while not allowing the intended test constructs to change. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.