The majority of states have not seen big changes recently in the rates of students they exclude from the National Assessment of Educational Progress because of disabilities, a new study finds.
But of the states that did see a change, most saw their exclusions rise from 2005 to 2007, says the study, published by the federal Institute of Education Sciences. For example, under one methodology used in the study, 18 of the 26 states that saw a statistically significant change in exclusions had their rates rise from 2005 to 2007 in grade 4 reading; and 17 of 19 saw their exclusion rates rise in grade 8 math.
The NAEP, known as “the nation’s report card,” is highly valued as an objective method for comparing student academic achievement across states. Yet the variation among states in the percentages of excluded students has led to complaints about the accuracy of those scores. The study only examined students excluded because of disabilities, not those excluded because of lack of English-language skill.
A version of this article appeared in the December 03, 2008 edition of Education Week