Ganguly, R. (2010). Testing accommodations for students with emotional or behavioral disorders: A national survey of special education teachers (Publication No. 3430863) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/787893086
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana-Champaign, IL); ProQuest document ID: 787893086; also available on UI webpage at: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/15541/Ganguly_Rah…
The accommodations typically offered to students with emotional-behavioral disabilities were investigated; various sets of accommodations in presentation, scheduling, and setting categories, as reported by study participants, were examined.
A nationwide (U.S.) sample of 290 special education teachers of students with emotional-behavioral disabilities (along with other disabilities) who were in elementary or middle school completed surveys in stage one. A subset of those teachers, totaling 30 in all, participated in interviews generating qualitative data. Demographic data about the participants, as well as professional training and experience, were also reported.
This study was non-intervention, and the data were generated by a teacher survey and subsequent interviews, whereby study participants reported on their experiences of teaching students with EBD. Teachers reported about their decision-making processes about accommodations on mathematics and reading state assessments.
Many of the results were drawn from data analysis of the teacher surveys. Most students with EBD using test accommodations were White, male, and used medications to assist them with their emotional difficulties. They performed in mathematics and reading below grade-level standards, and their emotional difficulties were reflected in externalized problem behaviors. Typically, students with EBD used multiple accommodations on state reading tests, drawn from three or four accommodation categories. Sets of accommodations from four categories—setting, scheduling, presentation, and equipment/materials—were used by about 43% of students, and sets from three categories—setting, scheduling, and presentation—were used by about 29% of students. The most common accommodations, used by at least half of students, were (in descending order of frequency): extended-time (88%), small group (72%), frequent breaks (66%), and read-aloud directions (58%). Similar use patterns were reported for accommodations on state math tests. The 19 identified accommodations were also described by function, with frequency of participant endorsement, according to academic/cognitive function and social/behavioral function; most accommodations were more frequently indicated to be used for social/behavioral functions. Additional results were reported from the interviews, including accommodations decision-making processes. For instance, interview respondents reported several considerations about academic/cognitive functions, including low reading and computation skills, organization difficulties, and concentration difficulties. Respondents also indicated underlying aspects of social/behavioral functions, including low frustration tolerance, high anxiety/stress in test setting, distractedness, and motivation difficulties. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research possibilities were suggested.