Reed, E. D. (2002). Wrong for the right reasons: Appropriate accommodations for students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) (Publication No. 3067927) [Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/305583841
Stanford University (Stanford, CA); ProQuest document ID: 305583841
According to a screening survey, participants had previous experience during district/state tests with the following accommodations: extended time, small group or individual test setting, oral directions, oral reading of test items (but not on reading test), and oral responses to questions. They also had additional experience during in-class instruction with these accommodations: calculator, tape recorder/handouts/designated notetakers, books on tape, electronic dictionaries, scribe/computer response, and modifications in assignments or curriculum.
Thirty-six (36) grade 8 students from among at least five schools across a metropolitan region in the northern part of California (U.S.) during the 2000-2001 academic year participated. Of these, 10 students had been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), 9 with a learning disability (LD), and 9 with both conditions; 8 participants did not have either diagnosis. Demographic data such as age, sex, ethnicity, and family income and intactness were also reported.
The dependent variable was answers on grade-level mathematics problems drawn from the NAEP 1996 assessment. Students were asked to 'think aloud' while solving problems, and test items were examined to see if students who got them wrong were 'wrong for the right reasons'—that is, if they actually did not have mastery of the content being tested. Scores from participants' (California) Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) examinations in reading and mathematics were also compiled based on norm-referenced rankings of achievement; as well as a battery of cognitive testing such as the WISC-III tests and the Woodcock-Johnson Revised Tests of Achievement (WJ-R), among others. These scores were statistically analyzed for significant differences among the participant groups.
The majority of the item responses of students with disabilities were demonstrated to be wrong for the right reasons—that is, these students did not seem to understand the relevant academic content. Approximately 7% of the items in the first math assessment were deemed problematic. Accommodations supported these students in the second assessment administration, according to the think-aloud study. The researcher identified a set of recommendations to improve test items. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research possibilities were suggested.