Research has identified evidenced-based practices and programs that are successful for increasing the learning outcomes of students with disabilities which in turn helps narrow the achievement gap between the student subgroup and non-disabled peers. Employing the identified practices has produced inconsistent results and led to a closer examination of the fidelity of implementation in current research. This study explored the decision-making process regarding the selection and evaluation of evidenced-based practices to improve learning for students with disabilities as well as the methods employed to improve the fidelity of implementation and sustain or replace the practice in two schools with different levels of achievement for educating students with disabilities. Findings included the use of student data and absence of a process for making decisions related to educating the student subgroup. Evaluating the fidelity of implementation was more likely for evidenced-based programs that were accompanied by a tool to use for the assessment of practice. Evidenced-based practices were not evaluated for the fidelity of implementation at either site. A suggestion for resolution of this finding is the use of an instrument designed in the form of a rubric to measure the evidenced-based practices of inclusion, collaborative teaching, intervention systems and school organization. School teams can use the rubric to evaluate practices and identify areas in need of improvement from the results. Suggestions for further research are in the areas of administrative decision-making for students with disabilities and a mixed methods study to test the use of a special education performance rubric.
|Commitee:||Balch, David, Gaddy, Stephanie|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational evaluation, School administration, Special education|
|Keywords:||Administrator, Decision-making, Fidelity of implementation, Program evaluation, Progress monitoring, Special education|
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