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The Standardization of Special Education: Exploring the Implementation of NCLB and IDEA in Inclusive Settings

Bray, Laura (2014) The Standardization of Special Education: Exploring the Implementation of NCLB and IDEA in Inclusive Settings. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Over the years, federal special education and accountability policies have aligned more closely to require that students with disabilities receive individualized instruction in general education classrooms. Thus, for an increasing percentage of students with disabilities, these policies now mandate that Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are written at annual IEP meetings and then implemented in general education classrooms. The practice of providing services and instruction to students with disabilities in general education classrooms is commonly referred to as inclusion. Inclusion theoretically requires collaboration between general and special education teachers to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate services and supports in general education classrooms. Numerous studies examining the practices of inclusion have led scholars to critique how inclusion is being implemented and whether it is really supporting student learning. This said, little work has empirically examined the influence that NCLB (2001) and IDEA (2004) have on general and special education teachers’ practices in inclusive settings, and ultimately the effect this has on students’ access to an appropriate education. My dissertation research is comprised of separate studies that explore the implementation of two key policy mandates within inclusive settings: (1) creation, implementation, and progress monitoring of IEPs, and (2) standards-based instruction by highly qualified teachers. Specifically, in my first study I explore the role of the IEP process in the education of students with specific learning disabilities receiving instruction in inclusive classrooms. In my second study, I examine the types and quality of writing instruction that students with disabilities receive in 8th grade inclusive English classrooms, along with the policy and organizational factors that influence this instruction.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bray, Lauraleb66@pitt.eduLEB66
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRussell, Jenniferjrussel@pitt.eduJRUSSEL
Committee MemberClare Matsumura, Lindsaylclare@pitt.eduLCLARE
Committee MemberLemons,
Committee MemberZigmond, Naominaomi@pitt.eduNAOMI
Committee MemberMcGhee-Hassrick,
Date: 22 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 March 2014
Approval Date: 22 May 2014
Submission Date: 21 April 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 163
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Learning Sciences and Policy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: inclusion, special education, policy implementation, individualized education programs, IEP, writing instruction
Date Deposited: 22 May 2014 13:55
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:19


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