Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

David Shellman

Abstract

This dissertation examined the impact of inclusion on the academic achievement outcome of high school special education students as measured by English 1, biology, and algebra 1 as a function of gender, ethnicity, and years of inclusion. The study also examined the generalizations with confidence that could be made about the use of inclusion methodology in high schools within an urban North Carolina school district as measured by end-of-course test scale scores. Data from three traditional high schools within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District were used in this study. High school special education students lagged behind several other subgroups on end-of-course tests proficiency. A quantitative study was conducted. End-of-course test data were collected from 2002-2005 for resource school years and from 2006-2009 for inclusion school years. The mean end-of-course test scale scores for special education students who experienced inclusion teaching methodology and those students who experienced resource-only teaching methodology were examined over a 6-year period of time.

An analysis of variance found statistically significant differences between the three schools. The use of 95% confidence intervals helped to make inferences about mean scale scores from a sample statistic toward a population parameter. English 1 special education students did not benefit from inclusion and the years in the inclusion program did not impact students' academic achievement. Male and female students produced their highest percent proficient during resource years. Both Black and White English 1 students also produced their highest percent proficient during resource years. Biology special education students showed increases in percent proficient during inclusion years. They experienced a pattern of positive gaps when the years in the inclusion program were examined. Male and female biology students benefitted academically from inclusion. Both Black and White biology students showed academic gains during the years of inclusive practices. Algebra 1 special education students in general showed positive gaps in academic proficiency when they experienced inclusion. The years in the inclusion program did not positively impact academic gains for algebra 1 students. Male and female special education students benefitted academically from inclusive algebra 1. Black algebra 1 students showed trends of positive gaps in academic proficiency during inclusion years, but White students did not. The other minorities (Asian, Hispanic, Multi-racial, and Native Americans) did not produce sufficient data in order to see trends. Findings of this study are encouraging for the use of inclusion teaching methodology to increase academic achievement outcomes in some subject areas for high school special education students within an urban North Carolina school district.