THE IMPACT OF ALTERNATE ASSESSMENTS AND STANDARDS-BASED IEPS ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
The U.S. Congress has passed several laws since 1997 in order to ensure the students with disabilities have an opportunity to learn and access the general curriculum. States now include students with disabilities in state accountability systems whether it is through regular state assessments or alternate assessments. For students eligible to take an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards, they require the development and use of standards-based Individualized Education Plans (IEP) is a requirement. As states adhere to federal guidelines and regulations in an effort to implement standards-based reform, students with disabilities, along with their non-disabled peers are held to the same or similar grade level academic achievement standards. This descriptive case study explored teacher perceptions of the impact alternate assessments and standards-based IEPs on classroom instruction and student achievement. Interviews of regular education teachers, special educations teachers, principals, and exceptional children directors in two North Carolina school districts were conducted to gather perception data on the impact North Carolina Extend2 Alternate Assessments and standards-based IEPs had on classroom instruction and student achievement for students with persistent academic disabilities. Special education teacher observations and archival analysis of standards-based IEPs were used to determine trends and patterns. The participants' perceptions were also explored to determine the adequacy of professional development available to support and prepare them for the development and implementation of alternate assessments and standards-based IEPs. The results of the case study indicated teachers viewed standards-based IEPs as a driving force for classroom instruction, teachers had higher expectations for students with persistent academic disabilities, teachers believed it was a shared responsibility of both the regular and special education teacher to teach students in the target population, and teachers viewed that most of the professional development was adequate. Teachers were using standards-based IEPs to determine and understand the students' present level of performance in order to adjust and plan for classroom instruction. Philosophical beliefs resulted in cultural changes that were experienced by teachers and principals who collaborated to teach students with persistent academic disabilities in inclusive or mainstreamed classroom settings. The professional development specific to IEP compliance, Sheltered Instructional Observation Protocol and Reading Foundations were viewed as valuable training support for teachers as they prepared the teaching and learning opportunities of students with persistent academic disabilities. Although the majority of the professional development was adequate, the special education teachers acknowledged the need for more curriculum-based professional development to increase their content knowledge.
Smith-Woofter, Monica. (January 2010). THE IMPACT OF ALTERNATE ASSESSMENTS AND STANDARDS-BASED IEPS ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/3185.)
Smith-Woofter, Monica. THE IMPACT OF ALTERNATE ASSESSMENTS AND STANDARDS-BASED IEPS ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, January 2010. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/3185. August 16, 2018.
Smith-Woofter, Monica, “THE IMPACT OF ALTERNATE ASSESSMENTS AND STANDARDS-BASED IEPS ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, January 2010).
Smith-Woofter, Monica. THE IMPACT OF ALTERNATE ASSESSMENTS AND STANDARDS-BASED IEPS ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2010.
East Carolina University