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ERIC Number: ED515730
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 172
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-7736-2
Perceptions of Educators and Parents of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) Requirement for Students with Disabilities
Bayles, Melissa
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, California Lutheran University
This qualitative study examined the perceptions of educators and parents of the California High School (CAHSEE) requirements for students with disabilities. In the state of California, all seniors who graduate from a public high school are required the pass the CAHSEE in order to receive a high school diploma. This graduation requirement is a result of the current political mandates IDEA and NCLB which have called for the accountability of academic progress of all students, including students with disabilities, towards state educational standards. Consequently, students with disabilities are required to participate in standardized assessments and high school exit examinations. This has resulted in a dilemma for educators in regard to the fairness of exit examinations as a graduation requirement for students with disabilities. Although these debates revolve around many factors, including accountability, graduation rates, curriculum, and the future impact of high-stakes testing for students with disabilities, the central theme to all debates continues to be that of equity vs. equality. The participants of this study were special education teachers, administrators, and parents of special education students from a large school district in Southern California. Both the teaching and administrative participants were interviewed. This was followed by a survey in which only the teachers participated. The teaching participants were then requested to give a survey to the parents of three of their students to complete the final segment of this study. The analysis of this research revealed a similar perception among administrators, teachers, and parents in regard to the fairness of holding students with disabilities accountable for standardized assessments and high-stakes testing. There was an overall consensus among the participants of this study that students with disabilities should not be held accountable for standardized assessments, such as the CAHSEE, in the same way as their non-disabled peers. This study also offered evidence that special educators at all levels are implementing the curriculum and policy which is intended to prepare students with disabilities to participate in regular education programs, according to the expectations of CAHSEE, as determined to be appropriate. According to this study, these mandates have resulted in accountability for the academic progress of students with disabilities as well as the use of standardized curriculum. Another finding of this study is that in the majority of cases, the accommodations provided for students with disabilities is integral in order for them to access the educational opportunities needed to meet the current graduation requirements. This study also demonstrated a difference in the perceptions among the participants as to why the CAHSEE requirement is not a fair practice for students with disabilities and differences in practices to ensure current policy is being implemented. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001