Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Rodney Goodyear, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Bobby Ojose, Ed.D.

Christopher H. Hunt, Ed.D.


education, assessments, IDEA/NCLB, No Child Left Behind, special education, standardized testing, testing


Educational Leadership | Education Policy


This study, conducted in one Southern California district, had two complementary purposes. One was to obtain from special education teachers and regular education teachers who work in collaboration with their special education colleagues their perceptions of how the NCLB policies and practices may have affected the learning and academic performance of special education students across this period. The second was to examine actual student performance, using California test data to examine absolute year-by-year changes in mathematics and English language arts test scores of special education students during the past decade corresponding to the beginning period of NCLB/IDEA launch. Teachers (N = 72) completed a 35-item survey about their perceptions on the effect of NCLB on special education and five scales were developed from a factor analysis of their responses. In a within-subject comparison, the teachers rated "increased attention to quality of instruction" lowest of scales and "increased mainstreaming and attention to test scores" as the highest. In comparison of special education teachers with those who were not, the special education teachers perceived significantly less emphasis on mainstreaming and test scores. California standardized test scores for the year 2003 to 2010 were also analyzed for trends in achievement of special education versus general education students. The results for English language arts show that the mean difference in scores of special education and regular education students to be relatively constant across the eight-year period. While the mathematics result of special education students show a slight improvement, while that of regular education students declined; thereby accounting for what appeared to be a narrowing of achievement gap between special education and general education students in mathematics.


© 2011 Oluronke Akintade-Ogunleye

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781267222213