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ERIC Number: ED529682
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Diploma Options for Students with Disabilities: Synthesis of the NCEO Document. inForum
Burdette, Paula
Project Forum
The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has conducted four studies of state graduation requirements for students with disabilities. This document synthesizes findings reported in NCEO's most recent 2007 study, "Revisiting Graduation Requirements and Diploma Options for Youth with Disabilities: A National Study," and the comparisons they made to findings from 2002. The purpose of the NCEO national study was to describe current variations across states in high school exit exam practices and the use of alternative diploma/credentialing options. In the NCEO survey results for 2007, states reported the following consequences of their policies: (1) More students with disabilities participate in the general education curriculum and achieve results (17 states); (2) Preparation for adult life and future independence is improved by accessing postsecondary education and employment (15 states); (3) Differences between general and special education students are reduced. All students are held to the same standards, required to pass the same exams and receive the same diploma (12 states); (4) Some students with disabilities will fail to receive a diploma (12 states); (5) Higher dropout rates may result (12 states); (6) Student self-esteem is lowered by repeated failures on exit exams (14 states); (7) Dissatisfaction of and conflicts with parents sometimes result (15 states); (8) Some students may need to remain in school longer to meet the requirements of the standard diploma (16 states); and (9) SEAs and LEAs are forced to create alternative diplomas and pathways to ensure that students exit with some form of a high school credential (3 states). In light of the trends and survey findings, NCEO makes the following recommendations: (1) Clarify the assumptions underlying state graduation requirements and diploma options; (2) Ensure students with disabilities an opportunity to learn the material on which they will be tested; (3) Make high school graduation decisions based on multiple indicators of students' learning and skills; (4) Clarify the implications of alternative diploma options for students with disabilities; (5) Clarify the implications of different diploma options for continued special education services; and (6) Conduct ongoing research on the intended and unintended consequences of state graduation requirements and diploma options. (Contains 1 footnote.) [For related report, "Revisiting Graduation Requirements and Diploma Options for Youth with Disabilities: A National Study. Technical Report 49," see ED504306.
Project Forum. Available from: National Association of State Directors of Special Education. 1800 Diagonal Road Suite 320, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-519-3800; Fax: 703-519-3808; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), Project Forum
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001