Jones, A. K. F. (2006). The effects of accommodations on standardized test scores in mathematics for students with special needs and English language learners (Publication No. 3214047) [Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Irvine and University of California, Los Angeles]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/304913574
University of California, Irvine & University of California, Los Angeles; ProQuest document ID: 304913574
A package of accommodations was examined, as they were consistent with district policy to be provided to students with auditory processing disorder; the package included paraphrasing, read-aloud, and repetition. Two groups, one each of students with learning disabilities and students without disabilities, were provided with the accommodations, while two groups, one each of students with learning disabilities and students without disabilities, were not.
Participants were 75 grade 6 students—including 43 students with learning disabilities (LD) and 32 students without disabilities—from a suburban middle school in California (U.S.). Of the students with disabilities, 98% were English language learners (ELLs); of the students without disabilities, 60% were ELLs. Demographic data including sex, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status were also reported.
Test items were drawn by the school's teachers from a math item bank published by McGraw-Hill. Grades and past test scores were reviewed, and participants without disabilities were purposively sampled to have average math achievement, and participants with disabilities were identified with low math achievement. The language proficiency scores of ELLs were also included for comparison on the benefits of accommodations.
Neither of the participant groups (one group with LD and one group without disabilities) receiving the accommodations package scored higher than their equivalent groups not receiving accommodations. Students without disabilities receiving accommodations scored lower than students without disabilities not receiving accommodations, and students with LD receiving accommodations scored about the same as students with LD not receiving accommodations. The ELL students with LD had a range of achievement on the math test, in that students who had lower English proficiency also scored lower on the math test, and students who had higher English proficiency also scored higher on the math test, at a level approaching significance. When comparing the students with LD who had lower English proficiency who received accommodations to the students with LD who had lower English proficiency who did not receive accommodations, the first group scored lower on the math test than the second group. In other words, the accommodations package did not differentially benefit ELL students with LD and low English proficiency.