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A blueprint for success: Improving the special education learning gap
Lawson, Matthew D.
National and state level data show students with disabilities are performing poorly in classrooms as compared to their same aged peers. National assessment data show a significant gap in English and math scores, while state data, such as graduation rate, show students with disabilities are the lowest performing subgroup in all 50 states. The purpose of this study is to create a blueprint for a systematic model to successfully educate students with disabilities. To achieve this outcome, the researcher used survey research to examine the top 10 and bottom 10 most implemented practices in schools with a successful special education subgroup, as well as those practices statistically different than an unsuccessful school. In addition, the researcher examined the top 10 and bottom 10 most necessary practices according to schools with a successful special education subgroup, as well as those practices statistically different than an unsuccessful school. Using quantitative data analysis, the researcher built a blueprint to establish a successful special education subgroup. The key components to this blueprint were: (a) a principal must establish a firm, inclusive vision, (b) a principal must employ leadership that values, listens, and communicates with teachers, (c) budgets should be allocated to instructional technology and professional development to improve staff understanding of the rationale for inclusive education, (d) a principal must establish at least partial inclusionary settings, and (e) a principal must plan and regularly monitor his special education program. Further research could be undertaken to identify specific instructional technology, as well as the most effective professional development on the rationale for inclusive education.
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) San Diego State University, 2017
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