Schools with a large enough special education population to require reporting on that subgroup’s performance were more likely than those with smaller special education populations to move students from self-contained to general education classrooms, and to offer more professional development and coaching related to the teaching of students with disabilities, a.
Under the No Child Left Behind law, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, only schools with a certain number of students with disabilities are required to report separately on how those students perform on state tests. That subgroup size, determined by each state, ranges from five to 50 students; most states use either 30 or 40 students as the threshold for mandated reporting.
The report by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, which is part of the federal Institute of Education Sciences, describes the differences between schools that have always had to report on the disability subgroup and schools that have not.
Researchers found, for instance, that the schools deemed “always accountable” were more likely to have a central district program for students with disabilities, to have been identified for school improvement, and to use tiered behavioral- and academic-intervention models, among other features.
A version of this article appeared in the February 25, 2015 edition of Education Week as Special Education