Rudzki, D. R. (2015). The extent of programs, services, and attendance for students with reading disabilities and performance on high-stakes reading assessments (Publication No. 10109841) [Doctoral dissertation, Oakland University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1788597028
Oakland University (Rochester, MI); ProQuest document ID: 1788597028
The researcher investigated the relationship of the use of one accommodation, or a package of accommodations, to other factors and their impact on reading assessment performance. These accommodations included extended time, small group administration, alternate location/setting; other unspecified accommodations were also noted.
Students with learning disabilities related to reading in grades 3–8 in one school district in the Midwest (U.S.) comprised the 14 participants. Additional details about the nature of their learning disabilities were reported, along with other details from their individualized education program (IEP) plans [after the documents were deidentified (even to the researcher) for privacy reasons as well as to minimize potential bias]. Other factors included school attendance, program type, extent of services, and percentage of time in general education.
The researcher analyzed correlations between various factors related to their reading disabilities and IEP plans, and their uses of accommodation/s, with their performance on state reading assessments (the dependent variable). Both the students' levels of proficiency—either not proficient or partially proficient (but still below expected level of proficiency)—and their numerical scores were reported.
Analyses revealed no statistically significant relationships between students’ levels of proficiency on a high-stakes reading assessment and their specific learning disability category, the program type in which they were enrolled, amounts or types of special education services that students received on average every week, the type of accommodations the students used, or their attendance patterns. Furthermore, it was found that these variables had no statistically significant relationship to the students’ Z-scores on a high-stakes reading assessment. The use of accommodations—such as a combination of alternate setting, extended time, and small-group administration, or even just small group administration of the reading assessment—did not differentially impact reading test proficiency levels or scores, in part because there was no variation in scores, and no participants scored at the proficient level. The researcher concluded that the selection of factors analyzed for impacts on test performance could have missed an important additional factor that could have influenced reading performance. Alternately, the researcher noted, if it is correct to expect that students with learning disabilities can demonstrate reading proficiency, perhaps the assessment was not properly accessible for these student participants. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.