Brackenreed, D. G. (2006). English teachers’ perceptions of standards tests, the efficacy of testing accommodations and appropriateness for students with special needs (Publication No. NR20280) [Doctoral dissertation, The University of Regina (Canada)]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/305282259
The University of Regina (Regina, Saskatchewan, CANADA); ProQuest document ID: 305282259
The perspectives of educators were investigated regarding their experiences providing various accommodations during a large-scale language and communication assessment.
Ninety-eight (98) grade 9 and grade 10 English teachers and teaching administrators, with or without special education experience, in northeastern Ontario, Canada, responded to and completed surveys. Of these respondents, 20 participated in interviews, providing additional explanations about the survey results.
The survey inquired about educator-respondents' perceptions about the use of accommodations when administering the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) for students with special needs. Most survey items used a 5-point Likert-scale, and one item invited open-ended responses. Subsequent to the survey, additional data were generated from individual interviews which served to elaborate and explain the survey findings; these interview data were analyzed for content, related to the survey items.
Teachers mostly perceived that test results on the OSSLT using presentation and response accommodations for students with disabilities were not comparable to unaccommodated OSSLT scores for students without disabilities. An exception was made to this perspective for sensory-based presentation accommodations being provided for students with visual or hearing impairments, including signed administration. An exception was made for students with learning disabilities (LD) using response accommodations, which were also deemed comparable. When comparing responses from educators with various amounts of working experience (from less than one year to over 11 years), there were no discernible patterns about their perceptions about accommodations overall. However, in comparison with educators with 6-10 years of experience, educators with 0-5 years indicated more positive perceptions of the comparability of scores when considering use of scribes for recording verbal responses, use of administrators for reading the test items aloud, and reduced items per page, among others. When comparing responses from general education teachers, special education teachers, and school administrators, there were some differences in their survey responses. Special educators indicated views of more comparability between OSSLT scores with and without accommodations, such as scribed responses. Alternately, school administrators tended not to perceive comparability for large-print or braille test materials, as well as brailled responses. Special educators also viewed accommodations as more effective and fairer to students without disabilities; they also perceived that scores of tests with accommodations were more equivalent to standard test scores.