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A Measure of Progress: Voices of Rural Secondary Students with Disabilities in Co-Taught Settings

by Harkins, Lois S

Abstract (Summary)
The federal mandate, No Child Left Behind, demands that students with disabilities be exposed to the same curriculum as their peers, participate in the state’s graduation test, and have their scores incorporated in the district report card. Co-teaching is one method used by school districts as a means to expose students with disabilities to the curriculum. The premise is that students with disabilities will fare better academically in this environment, which should allow for improved academic performance. This is difficult to establish due to the number of models, differing needs of students, and expected outcomes posed by students, teachers, and administrators. There appeared to be little evidence as to who measures the progress of co-taught programs and how progress is measured. This qualitative study analyzes perspectives of rural high school students with disabilities, their teachers, parents, and administrators regarding the impact of inclusion on co-taught mathematics classes for grades 9 and 10. This research determined that these 32 stakeholders measured student progress in co-taught classes. This phenomenological case study set in grounded theory focused on document review, interviews, and observations. The findings of this study indicate that progress in co-teaching classes was measured by performance outcomes according to stakeholders’ roles. Administrators and supervisors measured progress by class placement for maximum exposure to grade-level indicators. Teachers rated progress by scores earned through day-to-day classroom activities which were aligned to grade-level indicators. Parents and students rated progress by scores earned through class assignments represented by grades. Stakeholders felt the pressure of improved performance on high-stakes testing, and, based on roles, engineered appropriate settings to ensure student and district success.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:special education co taught inclusion perspectives progress grading learning disabilities secondary

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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