Special Education Report Roundup

Research Report: Special Education

By Christina A. Samuels — August 31, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A “read aloud” reading test may be a valid accommodation for younger students with disabilities, but for older students, it may provide an unfair advantage, according to a study published in the August edition of The Journal of Special Education.

Researchers Jennifer Randall of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and George Engelhard Jr. of Emory University, in Atlanta, measured whether the accommodations provided a “differential boost” to students with disabilities. To find out, test accommodations were given to students both with and without disabilities.

A valid accommodation provides a boost in the scores of students with disabilities, while students without disabilities have scores that remain about the same with accommodations.

The researchers studied 945 students in the 3rd and 4th grades, and 995 students in the 6th and 7th grades. The study shows there was a differential boost for students with disabilities in the 4th grade, but not for those in the 7th grade.

In contrast, the study shows that reading scores of students with disabilities in both those grades went down when they were provided a “resource guide” intended to give them information they could use to answer questions on the test, but not the answers themselves. That meant the guides were not found to be valid.

The researchers hypothesized that the guides were a distraction, as well as providing another item that students had to read.

A version of this article appeared in the September 01, 2010 edition of Education Week as Special Education


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education Q&A Schools Should Boost Inclusion of Students With Disabilities, Special Olympics Leader Says
Schools have work to do to ensure students with intellectual and developmental disabilities feel a sense of belonging, Tim Shriver said.
6 min read
Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver greets a child at one of the organization’s events.
Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver greets a child at one of the organization’s events.
Courtesy of Special Olympics
Special Education Spotlight Spotlight on the Science of Reading for Students with Disabilities
This Spotlight will empower you with strategies to apply the science of reading to support students with learning differences and more.
Special Education Video A Student Wrote a Book About Her Learning Disability. Now, She Has Advice for Teachers
Zoe Kozina, 17, is the author of Your Beautiful Mind, a children’s book published this year.
Special Education Disability or 'Superpower'? The Push to Change Mindsets About Students With Learning Differences
Advocates are calling for a paradigm shift in how adults perceive, and educate, students with learning differences.
5 min read
Conceptual artwork, imagination dream and hope concept, Superhero boy
Jorm Sangsorn/iStock/Getty