ERIC Number: ED485691
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May-17
Improving Educational Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
National Council on Disability
This paper explores how attitudes and expectations for students with disabilities are changing as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the impact of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Overall, there is strong support for increasing expectations for students with disabilities and helping them to improve their academic outcomes. At the same time, there is concern about how states and schools will manage this process, largely as a function of lack of knowledge of effective interventions and strategies. At times there appears to be some lack of will to undertake the difficult change, and fall back on excuses, but findings reveal a hope that these laws and policies will result in more equitable outcomes for students with disabilities. Many respondents in interviews indicated that the focus on closing the achievement gap for certain student groups, such as students with disabilities, was a very laudable and necessary goal. One of the main messages is to change the low expectations people have for students with disabilities. Findings also show that there is a great deal of concern about how educators will respond to the possible poor performance by students with disabilities on standardized assessments and high stakes tests. The pressure to meet adequate yearly performance (AYP) and the use of high stakes tests to measure it is leaving states and districts with little time to think constructively how best to do that. This document is organized in the following sections: (1) Policies to Support Positive Outcomes for Students with Disabilities; (2) Evidence Based Research and Practice; and (3) Conclusions and Recommendations. The following are appended: (1) Interview Protocol; and (2) Evidence-Based Practices.
Descriptors: Outcomes of Education, Expectation, Dropouts, Disabilities, Attitudes toward Disabilities, Educational Attainment, Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation, Educational Research
National Council on Disability, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-272-2004; TTY: 202-272-2074; Fax: 202-272-2022.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Disability, Washington, DC.