ADVANCING THE RATE OF SUCCESS

ADVANCING THE RATE OF SUCCESS

This action research project was meant to enhance the success rate of special students at the junior high school level in inclusive settings. Before the implementation of the solution strategy, students got low grades in their report cards, did not finish their assignments and achieved below average scores. The students where trained on basic and organization skills and teachers on how to modify curriculum and effective evaluation strategies.

Analysis of the results indicates positive results on both the students’ performance and teachers’ attitude.

Chapter I: Introduction

Problem Statement

The problem is that students with learning disabilities in junior high school inclusive settings do not exhibit progress in their studies.

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to determine if a definite solution policy improves the academic progress of students with disabilities in Junior high school when taking part in inclusive educational classrooms.

Description of the Community

The community is situated in the Southwestern US. When the percentage number of students with learning disabilities is compared with the national percentage, it has a normal percentage number. However, the community is more concerned about educating students with disabilities.

  1. The community is switching from agriculture based community to uptown center.

The population is experiencing rapid population growth increasing from 5000 residents in 1995 to 50000 residents in 2006. (George, 2007)

Education is one of the contributing factors to the rapid growth. (George, 2007)

  1. The district school has shown comparative growth to that of the community.

The district school includes of 12 elementary schools, 3 junior high schools and 2 high schools. (George, 2007)

  • The population of the district school is approximately 15,000 students.

The certified staff consists of 950 administrators and teachers. (George, 2007)

  1. The school’s goals are aimed towards achieving academic excellence for all students.
    • The school’s mission statement is: Determined to achieve quality academic excellence
  2. The school district believes that ‘all students can learn’ (Bob, 2007)
  3. The district main emphasis is on life long learning skills. (Bob, 2007)

The school promotes the involvement of the community in education. (George, 2007)

Description of Work Setting

  1. The Action research project will be conducted at 1 of the junior high schools situated in this community.

Students’ population in this sample school is 18% Hispanic, 80% Anglo and 5% African-America. (George, 2007)

35% of the students’ are entitled to free lunches. (George, 2007)

  • There are sixty five special education students in this school; sixty two have learning disabilities, two are emotionally handicapped, and one who is partially mentally retarded. ( Bob, 2007)
  1. Comprehensive education has been running in this school for 1 year.
    • Special education students receive above seventy percent of their education in a normal classroom setting. ( Walter, 2008)
    • All teachers are supposed to take part in the inclusive education.
  1. All teachers and students taking part in the inclusive education in the Junior high school will be participants in the project.
  • 62 students with learning disabilities and their parents will be partakers in the project.
  • Any interested 20 normal education teachers will be included in the research project.
  • 3 professionals and 3 special education teachers will take part in the research project.

Writer’s Role

1 The writer holds a B.S. in secondary education and a backing in special education.

2 The writer has 6 years teaching experience, with 3 years in the present junior high school.

3 The writer is the school’s special department head and also the program coordinator for inclusive education at the junior high school.

  • The writer coordinates individual educational plans for all special education students in the school.
  • The writer schedules for teachers, students and paraprofessionals involved with the inclusive education classes at the school.
  • The writer consults with the special educators and regular educators having problems in inclusive settings.
  • The writer manages all academic results for special education recommendations and for re-evaluations.

Chapter II: Study of the Problem

Problem Description

The problem is that most of the students with disabilities in the Junior high school do not show year-to year progress.

  1. Students get low report card grades
  2. students do not complete their assignments
  3. Students under perform on high-stakes tests.
  4. Students get below grades on tests.

Problem Documentation

  1. 48% of the students with learning disabilities finishes did not complete half of the assignments of their inclusion classes in the last evaluation session.
  2. 32% (20 out of 62) students with learning disabilities showed no progress on class tests in 1 or more of their inclusion classes in the last evaluation session.
  3. 32% students with learning disabilities did not show any improvement on the previous report card in one or more inclusion classes
  4. 29% students with learning disabilities underperformed in one of the administered section of the high stakes tests.

Literature Review

The inclusion of special needs students in regular education class settings has partial success to date.

  1. Variety of reasons results to special education students’ failure in inclusive classes. Some of the reasons include lack of basic skills, poor organizational skills, lack of special trained teachers and non-relevant syllabus. (Zajda, 2006)
  2. It is difficult to implement inclusive programs at high school level successfully. Some of the challenges include teenage student social behaviors and single subject academic staff which should be conformed to. (Walter, 2008)
  3. Various methods have been used by researchers to show the success of special needs students in inclusive classes.

One of the study established the time spent by normal education teachers when working with special needs students and correlated the time spent with the student’s progress. A significant positive correlation was found. (George, 2007)

    1. Survey studies have been conducted to show perceived success of students involved in the inclusion settings among staff members. (Johnnie, 2008)
    2.  Another study used report cards to assess students’ success in special education settings (Phillip, 2000)

4 Poor teacher attitudes, lack of basic teaching skills, lack of student organizational skills and lack of specific curriculum and evaluation modifications were the causes of students’ success/failure in inclusion settings according to literature.

5 Where teachers had positive attitudes towards inclusive education, students were more successful.

6 Student’s lack of basic skills and poor organizational skills added to students’ lack of academic success. (George, 2007)

7 Lack of special curriculum and modulation of grading strategies contributed to students’ failure in inclusive settings. (George, 2007)

Causative Analysis

There are a number of reasons why students with learning disabilities in inclusion settings do not show year to year progress in junior high school.

  1. Failure of these students with disabilities to complete homework and the lack of organizational skills and even basic skills needed for academic success.

2 Students with learning disabilities lack study skills needed for basic academic success, with the basic skill levels of this students being below average.

3 Students with learning disabilities lack the necessary skills for victorious test taking. They also do not achieve good grades on tests.

4 Students with learning disabilities do not have the required test taking strategies and often experience test nervousness.

5 Regular teachers do not modify curriculum to meet the needs of the special students. In addition, the teachers do not have the information needed for curriculum modification.

Chapter III: Outcomes and Analysis

Goals (Expectations)

A good number of the students with learning disabilities when involved in inclusive education will show positive progress on tests, report cards, assignments, and high stakes tests.

Expected Outcomes (i.e., Measurable Objectives)

Several specific results will be realized by students with learning disabilities participating in inclusive education.

1 Not more than 16% of students with disabilities will not be able to finish half of the assignments when attached to inclusion classes

2 Less than 13 % students with disabilities will not show progress on their class tests when assigned to inclusion classes

3 Less than 6% students who have disabilities will not show improvement on their report books when assigned to inclusion classes.

4 Not more than 5% students with disabilities assigned to inclusion settings will fail their high stakes test sections.

Measurement of Outcomes

The numbers of students who complete pre and post class homework are 52. 10 of the students received A in their class tests at pre and post collection times, 20 received B, 15 received C, 14 received D, 3 received F. The number of students who passed the high stakes tests are 60 while only 2 failed the high stakes tests. 59 students received A, B, C or D in their report books while 3 students received F.

 

 

 

Analysis of Results

Classroom assignment completion

Completed Not completed
84% 16%

Grades in class tests

A B C D F
16.1% 32.3% 24.2% 22.5 4.8%

High stakes tests

 

Pass Fail
96.8% 3.2%

 

 

 

Chapter IV: Solution Strategy

Problem Statement

The problem is that most students with learning disabilities who are put in inclusion settings do not show academic progress.

Discussion

  1. Several answers have been collected from the literature.
  2. Students with special learning need benefit from coaching in study skills and organizational techniques.

Students suing report cards improve ate of homework completion. (George, 2007)

Students get better grades when daily monitoring sheets are used. (George, 2007)

  • If given training on effective curriculum modification effective techniques, teachers will make the modifications.
  • Teachers who got assistance in mastering skills needed in inclusive education became committed to the change. (Bob, 2007)
  • When normal teachers had regular conduct with special educators, inclusion classes were viewed to be more successful.
  • When instructed on effective methods of modifying evaluative techniques, teachers will do so. (Johnnie, 2008)
  • Teachers with positive attitude towards inclusion their students show higher success rates.
  • When provided with additional support, teachers have positive attitudes towards inclusion.
  • Schools with strong administration support have higher students’ success rates in inclusive education.
  • Schools receiving adequate finances for the inclusion project have higher students’ success rates.

Description of Selected Solutions/Calendar Plan

  1. Several methods for improving the success rate of students with learning disabilities in inclusive settings can be executed.
  2. Special education students’ will be trained in techniques to improve study and organization skills.
  3. Special educators will train teachers in inclusive settings.
  • Trainings will be on evaluation options and effective curriculum modifications. In addition, teachers will be given information each student to help in modification planning.
  1. Steps to be taken:
  • Special education students will receive instruction in improving organizational skills. In addition, students will be trained on various note taking methods and the use of calendar.
  • Teachers will receive trainings on effective curriculum modification techniques

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bob, G. (2007). Learning disabilities. US: Elsevier Health Sciences.

George, R. O. (Ed). 2007. Exceptional child Education Abstracts. US: Council for Exceptional Children publishers.

Johnnie, D. S. (Ed). (2008). Dissertation Abstracts International. US: University Microfilms International.

Phillip, G. (2000). Current Index to Journals in Education. US: university of Michigan

Walter, S. H. (Ed). (2008). Psychological Abstracts: Vol. 83. US: American Psychological Association.

Zajda, J. (2006). Problems in Education. US: Department of Health Education.