ERIC Number: ED454247
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
High Stakes Testing and Special Education Students: A Five-Year Trend Analysis.
Linton, Thomas H.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of including special education students in the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) accountability subset of students. In 1999, the accountability subset was expanded to include scores for all special education students not exempted and all bilingual/limited English proficient (LEP) students tested with the Spanish TAAS at grades 3 and 4. The study compared the accountability subsets of TAAS for 1999 and 2000 with the accountability subsets for the previous 3 years to determine changes in the percentages of students taking the TAAS, the percentage of students in the accountability subsets, and the percentage of special education students receiving exemptions from the TAAS. The data show that clear trends in the percentage of students taking the TAAS and the percentage in the accountability subset are present in the 5 years from 1996 to 2000. There were slight increases in the percentage of students tested in 1996-1998 and decreases in the percentage tested from 1998 to 1999 and 1999 to 2000. The decrease in percentage of students tested in 1999 coincided with the inclusion of special education students in the TAAS accountability subset. This would seem to indicate that a larger percentage of students were being exempted from the test in 1999 and 2000. The inclusion of special education students should have caused an increase of 10 to 12% in the accountability subset in 1999, but the increase was 2 to 3% less than projected. This pattern was consistent for all ethnic and gender groups. From 1999 to 2000, the accountability subset remained constant, except for Hispanic students. The percentage of Hispanic students increased by 2.4%, primarily because of a decrease in the percent of LEP exemptions and the inclusion of Spanish TAAS results for grades 5 and 6 in the accountability subset. Black and Hispanic students were more likely to be placed in special education and were more likely to receive exemptions from the TAAS, and males were twice as likely as females to be classified as special education. The Texas Education Agency had predicted that 1999 TAAS passing rates would drop by about 5% because of the inclusion of special education students, but the predicted drop did not materialize. The paper suggests that the percentage of identified special education students dropped because school districts could no longer use the special education status as a way of exempting TAAS scores from the calculations for school ranking. At the same time, more exemptions were granted for special education students, an occurrence that would minimize the impact of including them in the accountability subset. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Texas Assessment of Academic Skills