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Performance of Students with Visual Impairments on High-Stakes Tests: A Pennsylvania Report Card

Fox, Lynn (2012) Performance of Students with Visual Impairments on High-Stakes Tests: A Pennsylvania Report Card. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Students with disabilities participate in high-stakes assessments to meet NCLB’s newer proficiency standards. This study explored performance in reading and math on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), Pennsylvania’s grade-level assessment, to provide a foundational baseline on performance and accommodations used by students with visual impairments (VI). Analysis of an extant data set reviewed students in grades 3-8, and 11over three academic years (2005-2006, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008) to form two sample groups. The larger sample compared the total scaled scores and performance level scores for students with VI to the performance of students who are hard of hearing including Deafness (HH) and specific learning disability (LD), to all Pennsylvania students (ALL PA). The smaller sample identified students with VI with performance level scores in reading and math in three consecutive grades to form four longitudinal subgroups. Analysis of accommodations used by students with VI was conducted for both sample groups. Descriptive statistics were applied for all performance measures across and within grade-levels and academic years. One-way ANOVAs with ad hoc analyses were conducted on the mean test scores per disability group, to determine statistical significance for differences seen descriptively. Analysis of the reading and math performance measures showed that students with VI are doing well on the PSSA, generally scoring the highest of the two disability groups but lower than ALL PA. But these data do not fully describe the performance of students with VI. Surprise findings revealed that students with VI generally do better in math than reading and that a substantial percentage are not proficient and maintain the same performance level category from one grade-level to the next. Trends of accommodations used were identified but the data revealed no apparent common bundling of accommodations with a random year to year provision. To connect high-stakes performance results to instruction, researchers need to have transparent access to tests scores with accommodations used to continue analyzing the performance of students with VI. There is an immediate need for Pennsylvania IEP teams to provide the consistent provision of accommodations for each year’s high-stakes assessment.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fox, Lynnalderson@pitt.eduALDERSON
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairZigmond, Naominaomi@pitt.eduNAOMI
Committee MemberZimmerman, Georgegjz@pitt.eduGJZ
Committee MemberLemons, Chrislemons@pitt.eduLEMONS
Committee MemberZebehazy,
Committee MemberKloo,
Date: 5 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 19 March 2012
Approval Date: 5 September 2012
Submission Date: 5 September 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 98
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: high-stakes testing, accommodations, visual impairment, low vision, blind, proficiency standards, NCLB
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 15:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:03


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