Cobb, P. (2018). Examining the efficacy of inclusive practices and its impact on the academic achievement of high school students with mild to moderate disabilities (Publication No. 10828070) [Doctoral dissertation, San José State University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2071341048
San José State University (San Jose, CA); ProQuest document ID: 2071341048
The inclusive practices, including accommodations in general, were examined in a high school for their potential impact on state assessment performance of students with disabilities; this summary emphasizes details identifying accommodations practices, such as the differentiation of accommodations and modifications, and the individualization of accommodations for specific student needs.
Educators, including 27 teachers and 9 school administrators, participated by responding to a teacher survey on accommodations and other inclusive practices. Educators' roles—27 were general educators and 9 were special educators—and their amounts of teaching experience, and academic content or other specializations, were reported, as were demographics such as age. The high school in the central part of California (U.S.) was labeled "ABC High School" to protect participants' and students' identities.
A questionnaire (Stetson & Associates, Inc., 2014) adapted by the researcher into a 31-item rating survey was completed by teachers and school administrators for rating the degree to which accommodations, part of a total of 11 inclusionary practices, were implemented in a California high school. The survey ratings were signified with a three-point scale, where '3' indicated 'in place', '2' indicated 'improvement needed', and '1' indicated 'not in place'. Educators also reported their demographics and responded to a subset of open-ended questions in the survey. The high school's extant datasets for English language arts and mathematics assessments, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) California assessment for 2015 to 2017, were compared to the statewide assessment results.
[The study was an analysis of various practices promoting inclusion; this summary emphasizes findings relevant to accommodations.] The educators indicated through survey ratings an overall estimate of 2.6 across all inclusive practices, and instructional setting permitting consideration of accommodations was rated 2.6, while the instructional practice of availing all students of accommodations was rated 2.3, and teachers' knowledge of accommodations was rated 2.3. Open-ended question responses were about 55 percent positive and 45 percent negative in terms of considering the needs of students with disabilities within the general education setting. Open-ended responses on inclusive practices such as accommodations suggested that 19 percent felt that they were being implemented, 42 percent felt that the practices in place needed improvement, and 38 percent felt that they were not in place. Teachers and administrators responded similarly on instructional setting and practices. ABC High School's ELA assessment performance of students with disabilities in 2017 was higher than the statewide average; further, these ELA scores were lower than the state average in 2015 but increased to above average by 2017, demonstrating a higher than (state) average rate of improvement. However, the relatively low math performance of ABC High School's students with disabilities was essentially the same as the statewide average for 2015 through 2017, indicating no apparent change with the implementation of accommodations and other inclusion-related efforts. The dissertation researcher indicated that, comparatively, the national population of students with disabilities "made no gain in math achievement of standardized assessment between the years of 2011 and 2015" (p. 66), suggesting that the lack of math performance changes might be influenced by a larger trend. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.