Browsing ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Department "Administration and Supervision of Special Education"
Now showing 1 - 20 of 66
Results Per Page
- An analysis of the effects of full-time inclusion on the academic achievement of elementary general education studentsDenning, Walter V. Jr. (Virginia Tech, 1995-10-15)The purpose of this study was to present issues relating to the achievement of general education students in inclusion settings. Specifically, the study addressed the following question: Does the full-time inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms affect the achievement outcomes of non-disabled general education students in such settings? The variable under investigation in this study was achievement of general education students in third, fourth, and fifth grade inclusion classes--heterogeneous groupings of students with disabilities and their non-disabled general education peers. The comparison classes were those with only non-disabled general education students--homogeneous groupings. The dependent variables were achievement measures obtained from the Vocabulary, Spelling, Reading Comprehension, Language, Social Studies, and Science subtests of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. The results of this study suggest that there are differences in achievement of non-disabled general education students from inclusion classrooms and those of similar non-disabled general education students on all six subtests. The most notable results were at the fifth grade level.
- An analysis of the medical and legal aspects related to the educational placement in the public schools of children with human immunodeficiency virus infectionWalls, Wemme Ensor (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988)The purpose of this study has been to examine and analyze the salient medical and legal aspects related to the educational placement of children in public schools with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The study attempts to provide information that will serve as a resource to public school personnel who are among the professionals that must make informed decisions on public school attendance policies for children with a lethal, complex, and controversial disease. New developments in medicine and in the courts have crucial implications for existing policies and for the development of new policies related to the issue. By examining precedents and patterns in the emerging area of AIDS litigation and legislation, the study serves as a resource for school officials enabling them to make informed proactive decisions. The methodology used in the study was legal research. Primary and secondary sources of law were utilized. Nonlegal research materials included medical research and data that might serve as evidence in legal disputes concerning the educational placement of children with the HIV infection. In addition to medical evidence related to educational placement issues, the information gathered for the study included an examination of the state antidiscrimination disease laws, state special education laws, state communicable disease laws, and state and selected local policy statements for sixteen states; an analysis of the relevant legal issues of the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and an examination of the constitutional issues pertinent to educational placement of children with AIDS. Case law “in point” or “analogous” to the issue was presented. The concluding chapter summarizes the findings from Chapters Two, Three, Four and includes recommendations for decision-making and policy based on the medical and legal information presented. There is no medical evidence to support the exclusion of children from regular school attendance based on the suspicion of or identification of HIV infection. Awareness of sound medical evidence to support educational decision-making provides a means of projecting a solidly grounded policy to the school population and community at large. Health care precautions should be taken and routine procedures established for the removal of blood and/or body fluids in cases of accident or injury. Routine precautions should be followed by all school personnel regardless of whether an HIV-infected individual is present.
- Assessment of a mentor program on self-concept and achievement variables of middle school underachieversAiello, Helene (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988)The increasing focus on the underachiever has intensified the search for affective education models. Underachievement is frequently associated with a low self-concept. Current studies are sparse, indicating that Mentor Programs may improve self-concept, but empirical assessments are lacking. This study investigated the efficacy of a mentor model on self-concept and achievement variables of intermediate school underachievers. A Mentor Program model was implemented with an experimental group of 55 underachieving students in a Fairfax County, Virginia, intermediate school. A 42 student control group of underachievers in another Fairfax County intermediate school were monitored. Forty education staff members served as mentors to the experimental group of students. The study was of a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent control group design. Primary measurement instruments used were the Self-Concept and Motivation Inventory (SCAMIN), an appropriate measure of self-concept in the school setting, the Grade Point Average (GPA), the standard measure of academic achievement, and the Failure Rate, including students retentions and classes failed. Four research questions were investigated. For testing overall effects of the treatment/Mentor Program at the school level, a Value Added Analysis was performed. For testing the hypotheses, the following analyses were undertaken: ANCOVAs were performed on the achievement data; t-tests and ANOVAs were performed on the self—concept data, Chi-square, t-test, and ANOVA were performed on the failure data. Canonical Correlation Analysis was performed to explain the relationship between the predictor measures and the criterion measures. Descriptive and ethnographic information in the form of quantitative and qualitative data analyses added to the breadth of the assessment. Results revealed that the Mentor Program produced positive, nonsignificant gains at the experimental school. The gains were better than those at the control school, but not significantly better. Analysis of the results also disclosed changes in the study design should be considered for future research. Recommendations include two year assessments, multiple school comparisons, and longitudinal studies. Post program results from teacher ratings, mentor and students evaluations were positive, providing qualitative statements of program worth. The findings and conclusions drawn from this study serve to further improve program evaluation and assessment of Mentor Programs.
- An Assessment of the Perceptions of Secondary Special and General Education Teachers Working in Inclusive Settings in the Commonwealth of VirginiaLuseno, Florah Kavulani (Virginia Tech, 2001-01-17)One of the major challenges facing special and general classroom teachers stems from the current educational movement towards inclusion, a process that emphasizes providing special education services to students with disabilities within the regular classroom. Studies reviewed indicate that difficulties occur in instituting integrated programs within general classrooms because educators working in inclusive settings lack knowledge of strategies needed to implement such programs effectively. The purposes of this study were to determine whether secondary special and general education teachers working in inclusive settings in Virginia had: (a) a positive attitude towards inclusion and students with disabilities; (b) perceived themselves capable of adapting instruction to students with disabilities; (c) had the resources and support needed; and (d) perceived themselves knowledgeable of pertinent information required for teaching students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. Information collected was also designed to identify: (e) whether these special and general educators collaborated in their inclusive classrooms; (f) the type of support received in working with students with disabilities; and (g) areas of needs the two groups of teachers have in working with students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. A total of 400 questionnaires, consisting of 36 Likert-statements and 19 open-ended items, were mailed to a stratified random sample of 200 special and 200 general classroom teachers working in inclusive settings in Virginia. Out of this total, usable questionnaires were received from 84% (n = 167) of the general education and 62% (n = 124) of the special education teachers, for an overall response rate of 73%. An analysis of data collected, using descriptive statistics, thematic analysis, and analysis of variance, indicated that special educators, compared to general educators: (1) had more positive attitudes towards inclusion and students with disabilities; (2) perceived themselves more capable of adapting instruction to students with disabilities; (3) felt resources and support needed to work with students with disabilities were available; 4) had a greater sense of efficacy when it comes to knowledge required for teaching students with disabilities; and (5) worked more collaboratively in providing assistance to each other regarding students with disabilities. Both groups of special and general educators had a negative attitude towards educating: (6) most students with disabilities (regardless of the level of their disability) in the regular classroom; especially (7) students with behavioral disorders, mental retardation, and multi-disabling conditions. These teachers also felt: (8) students with disabilities lack skills needed to master the regular classroom course content; and that (9) the large teaching load in the regular classroom makes it hard to meet the needs of students educated in inclusive settings effectively. Furthermore, both groups of teachers indicated they: (9) predominantly received support from other teachers and guidance counselors in working with students educated in their inclusive classrooms. Information focusing on areas of needs in working with students with disabilities indicated the two groups of teachers identified different areas of needs. The special educators noted they need: (10) more influence in the placement and decision making process, extra time for collaborating with others, reduced class loads, a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of special and general educators working in inclusive classrooms, and guidelines for meeting the new standards of learning. In contrast, the general educators indicated they require: (11) support from their administrators and parents, more resources and instructional material, assistance in dealing with school administrators who hold all students to equal standards, and training in special education and strategies for working with students with disabilities, behavior management, discipline, and anger management and conflict resolution. Implications this information has for school districts and teacher training institutions are discussed.
- Autism Programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia: From Theory to PracticeJennings, Randy L. (Virginia Tech, 2007-04-10)Educational law did not recognize autism as a disability category until the passage of The Education for all Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 101-476) in 1990. More recently, in 2005 the federal government issued a report from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailing rising prevalence, expenditures that exceed general education per pupil spending, and multiple educational services. Furthermore, the Virginia Department of Education created an ad hoc committee to study autism in the Commonwealth. Therefore, the study sought to answer: (1) What programs are being used in the Commonwealth of Virginia to serve children identified with the educational disability label of autism? (2) What is the degree of effectiveness of these programs as perceived by directors of special education? and (3) Do selected demographics of the school division influence the types of programs that are delivered? A survey instrument was used to answer the research questions. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 14.0 (SPSS 14.0) resulting in descriptive statistics and One-Way ANOVA with post hoc Multicomparison. Analysis revealed that 48.4% of school divisions responding primarily rely on traditional special education to serve children with autism. Post hoc testing revealed that the mean score for school divisions using a combination of specially designed programs (M = 3.38) were statistically significantly different from the mean score of school divisions that primarily use traditional special education services (M = 2.9).The results of this study may be used to promote the use of specially designed programs for children with autism in school divisions in the commonwealth of Virginia and focus training for school divisions that serve metro, urban, and rural areas.
- Availability of speech-language programs serving students found ineligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education ActStunson, Da Fayne A. (Virginia Tech, 1995)A review of the literature revealed a need for programs serving students with speech/language disorders that do not adversely affect their educational performance. This study sought to locate non-special education sponsored speech-language programs designed to serve students found ineligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Public Law 101-476). Eight states were identified as offering non-IDEA speech-language services in the regular education program for students found ineligible under special education law. State education agency personnel responsible for statewide public school speech-language programs were surveyed in these states to seek specific information about the non- IDEA programs offered. Speech-language pathologists employed in rural and urban public school settings in these states were surveyed to note whether the non-IDEA services were offered in their school districts. Specific eligibility criteria were examined to determine how decisions are made regarding the enrollment of students with speech/language disorders in non-special education sponsored programs and special education sponsored programs. Guidelines for implementing and regulating speech-language programs were requested from each state education agency for the purpose of compiling best practices in the field. The study revealed that non-IDEA speech-language programs were designed to serve students with minor or mild articulation, language, fluency, and voice disorders. Eligibility criteria used in placing students in these programs were similar to those used in placing students in special education sponsored speech-language programs. Formal regulations/guidelines were reported in one-half of the states but only one state had published guidelines available. These results provide support for more states to offer alternate speech-language programs to meet the needs of students outside of special education. An in-depth study of eligibility criteria used in serving students in IDEA and non-IDEA speech-language programs is warranted.
- Brief psychiatric hospitalization and its effect on the educational placement of students with attention deficit disorderDahle, Karen Bowen (Virginia Tech, 1992)Research has shown that the effect of psychiatric hospitalization on the educational placement of students is a more restrictive educational placement. In a modification of a previous study, students diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were divided into three groups, mild, moderate, or severe, based on the results of the Conners Behavior Rating Scale. Comparisons between pre and post-hospitalization educational placements were made in order to determine if the effect of psychiatric hospitalization was a more restrictive educational placement for the ADHD students. Student subjects were described by age, sex, I.Q., and reading level, as well as by their psychiatric discharge diagnosis and placement on medication. Results of this study indicated that for the mild and moderate ADHD groups, psychiatric hospitalization resulted in either a more restrictive educational placement or an increase in GED, vocational rehabilitation, private school programs, or school dropouts. For the severe ADHD group, none of the students returned to either regular or special education classes; all the students were enrolled in GED, vocational rehabilitation, private school programs, or had dropped out of school. The variables reading level and severity of the Conners Rating Scale were associated with discharge placement, while I.Q. and gender were not related. The drop-out rate was consistent with the special education drop-out rate which has been previously reported in the literature. Results indicated that for this group of ADHD students, psychiatric hospitalization resulted in either more restrictive educational placements or in withdrawal from public schools, including dropping-out. Legal precedents relating to the use of independent evaluations following a student's discharge from a private facility, as well as a comprehensive review of the history and etiology of ADHD are reviewed and discussed with the results. Implications for further research are also presented.
- Case studies of learning disabled high school completers in a Maryland school districtAmbrose, Janet Kathryn Buczek (Virginia Tech, 1992-02-06)While many follow-up studies have been conducted which examine the post-school status of special education students from a single point in time perspective, few can be found which provide an in-depth look into their lives in the years following school completion. The purpose of this study was to develop a detailed picture of the adult lives of selected learning disabled subjects to determine the impact of their disability on this post school years.
- Case studies of services provided to perinatally exposed infants/toddlers and their families under Part H of Individuals with Disabilities Education ActGerry-Corpening, Karen (Virginia Tech, 1994-01-05)According to Part H (Public Law 101-476), governors of each state have the authority to designate a lead agency within the state to carry out this legislation. Some lead agencies may include the Department of Education, Department of Health, or Department of Economic Security. Each lead agency has the power, within Part H, to decide whether infants and toddlers who are at risk will be served under the provisions of special education to infants and toddlers. According to The National Early childhood Technical Assistance System (NEC*TAS) (1992), 22% of states include at risk in their definitions for Part H. Of those 11 states, only 6 include services for perinatally exposed infants and toddlers in their at risk definition. The National Association for Perinatal Addiction Research and Education (NAPARE), (1993) defines perinatally exposed as, "fetal exposure to inappropriate use of licit or illicit drugs." Delivery of care is not systematic between these state agencies. There is a lack of knowledge of which services, if any, each delivery system offers to perinatally exposed infants/toddlers and their families. Therefore the purpose of this study was to examine the delivery of services in the six states that serve this population under the at risk definition of Part H and compare those results to three states that do not serve perinatally exposed infants and toddlers under this legislation. Telephone interviews of 9 state Part H Coordinators were conducted to obtain information concerning various services provided to substance exposed infants/toddlers and their families. Six of those states claimed to provide services to perinatally exposed infants and toddlers under the at risk definition of Part H and three made no such claims. Data from the survey instrument were analyzed using qualitative analysis. Findings of the study revealed that only health department lead agencies provide services to perinatally exposed infants/toddlers and their families under the at risk definition of Part H of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Data analysis provided information for making recommendations to governors and lobbying organizations who are concerned about providing services to perinatally exposed infants and toddlers.
- A case study of group home development for persons with mental retardation: entry approaches and neighborhood oppositionShowfety, Michael S. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986)Normalization of persons with mental retardation has been a national goal for the past twenty-five years, and deinstitutionalization is the driving force to the attainment of this goal. Small group homes, or community based facilities, are viewed as a viable alternative to institutionalization. The sponsors of group homes have encountered neighborhood opposition to such an extent that specialized approaches for neighborhood entry have been developed. However, the efficacy of these entry approaches has received little empirical attention. The purpose of this study was to investigate entry approaches employed by sponsors of group homes in their attempts to locate in local communities. Structured personal interviews were conducted with sponsoring agency officials, managers of the group homes, area housing authorities, and persons residing in neighborhoods where group homes for persons with mental retardation were located during the months of May, June, and July, 1985. Individual case studies regarding seven group homes established in a large county in the state of North Carolina have been presented. Grouped data have also been reported in the attempt to investigate the efficacy of entry approaches the literature is currently advocating.
- Characteristics of mildly handicapped children in a small school districtTrump, Karen E. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988)The study was designed as one component of a program evaluation in special education funded by the State Department of Education in Virginia. The purpose was to identify the characteristics of mildly handicapped children who had been identified as learning disabled, educable mentally retarded and emotionally disturbed in a small school district. The parameters of the study included demographic information, school-based characteristics and assessment data. Student data were collected from the confidential folders maintained by the school district which included all written reports required for assessment and placement. Demographic data were taken from cumulative folders maintained in the schools for the students and reports developed by the building principal. A regression formula was used with the assessment data to determine if learning disabled students exhibited a severe ability-achievement discrepancy statistically. The regression formula and grade equivalent comparisons were conducted with emotionally disturbed students to determine if the emotional disturbance was adversely affecting their educational performance as measured by standardized tests. A constant comparative method was used to analyze the minutes from eligibility committee meetings to determine the important features school-based teams used for their assignment of labels to handicapped children. Comparisons were made between the characteristics of the children identified as handicapped and the state and federal definitions for those handicapping conditions. A discriminant analysis was used to investigate the possibility of predicting which students considered eligible for special education services would be classified learning disabled or emotionally disturbed based on 10 variables. Interviews were conducted with the program evaluation stakeholders committee to solicit their feedback concerning the results of the study.
- The collection and use of federally required special education data at state education agenciesAbrams, Patricia C. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986)The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142), had extensive data collection and reporting requirements for state education agencies (SEAs). An investigation was made into how special education units at SEAs collected these federally required data and to what extent the data have been used for state level management and planning tasks. The major focus of the study centered around the uses of information to make special education management decisions at the state level. The systems analysis theory of the levels-of-uses of information was used as a framework for categorizing state level special education management decisions. Using the Delphi technique five experts in the field of state and federal special education administration were selected to participate in interviews. As a result of three rounds of interviews a product resulted which was a list of suggested state level management and planning activities categorized into the three levels-of-uses of information for federally required child, personnel, and setting data. The findings are based upon individual responses from a mailed questionnaire. Fifty-three out of 57 state level administrators: (states and jurisdictions) responded to the instrument. The use of computerized management information systems for data collection as well as trends and reasons for changes in the federal data collection process are described. The use of federally required data when conducting management and planning tasks at the three levels-of-uses (operational, tactical, and strategic) is also discussed. Findings suggest that federally required data are valued more for lower level operational uses than higher level tactical and strategic tasks. The study concludes with recommendations for special education state directors, technical assistance providers, and suggested topic: for future research related to information needs of decision makers.
- A comparative study of the characteristics & qualifications of novice unendorsed and endorsed special education teachers in VirginiaBraley, Deloris Ann (Virginia Tech, 1993-04-18)Critical teacher shortages in special education have led to revisions in certification and licensure policies in some states and implementation of initiatives to attract special education teachers in other states. Some of these revisions have allowed unendorsed teachers to be assigned to special education classrooms. The reliance on unendorsed teachers to fill special education vacancies means those working with students with the greatest educational needs may have the least amount of training or teaching experience. However, there have been no investigations of unendorsed special education teachers.
- A comparison of staff development needs of beginning and experienced special education teachers of the mildly disabledRadcliffe, Patricia Matthews (Virginia Tech, 1992)Staff development, which is designed to help individuals grow personally and professionally in a supportive environment, is an important responsibility of supervisors in state and local education agencies. For teachers entering the field, staff development is particularly important since beginners often find the first years of teaching difficult and overwhelming. However, research related to the training needs of beginning special education teachers is limited. The purpose of this study was to: (a) identify competencies which beginning and experienced teachers of students with mild disabilities (emotionally disturbed or ED, educable mentally retarded or EMR, and learning disabled or LD) perceive as being necessary for effective special education teaching and (b) determine differences in training needs among beginning and experienced special education teachers. Survey methodology was used to gather information to answer the research questions. A staff development questionnaire was developed that contained 80 items under 7 broad categories: assessment/diagnosis, individual educational programs and planning, integration and collaboration, curriculum, instructional strategies, behavior strategies, and advocacy issues. The questionnaire was based on Virginia certification requirements, the professional literature, teacher interviews, and expert reviews. Teachers were asked to judge the relevance of the 80 skills to their teaching positions and to rate the extent to which they felt a need for additional training in each of the skill areas. Questionnaires were mailed to 1,056 ED, a EMR, and LD teachers in Virginia. Six hundred two teachers responded for a response rate of 57%. Data were analyzed* using descriptive statistics and analysis of variance. Major findings of the study include the following: (1) special education teachers perceived that the 80 competencies were extremely relevant to their jobs; (2) both beginning and experienced teachers indicated moderate training needs in the seven areas; (3) beginning LD teachers rated the need for IEP skills higher than experienced teachers; (4) experienced EMR teachers perceived that 5 of the 7 broad categories were more relevant than did beginning EMR teachers; and (5) EMR teachers rated need for training in curriculum higher than LD teachers. Implications for educational agencies, such as information on training priorities and teacher preparation programs are discussed.
- A comparison of the efficiency and effectiveness of two models for determining the cost of special education programsKienas, Kenneth L. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986)Providing services to handicapped children is more expensive than educating nonhandicapped children. Previous studies have estimated the cost of special education to be approximately twice that of regular education. However, these studies have produced a number of problems in providing accurate cost data including a lack of data at the local level to make meaningful determinations, difficulties in treating shared and indirect costs, problems in making cost comparisons across districts, and variances in the cost of resources over time. This study evaluated the Larson (1985) model, a new methodology for calculating special education program costs, by comparing it to the Rossmiller (1970) model, a widely used method for calculating special education program costs. Judgments were made by comparing the efficiency and effectiveness of each model to the other. Efficiency was appraised byl comparing input and process considerations in computing special education program costs in a select school district in Virginia. Effectiveness was appraised by comparing each model’s ability to produce comprehensive and accurate special education program costs from the sample school district. Findings indicated that the Larson model had several advantages over the Rossmiller model. First, the Larson model was more efficient as less information from the regular budget was needed to complete indirect cost calculations. Second, the Larson model was more efficient in dealing with shared costs as they could be prorated through the use of a multiplier. Third, the Larson model was considered more accurate in its treatment of related services costs. However, several qualifications needed to be made in Judging the Larson model as a better product over the Rossmiller model. Conducting a cost determination was a lengthy process no matter which model was used and is more dependent upon the availability of data in a school district than the model used. Also, both models tended to produce similar cost figures when related services costs were taken into account.
- Competencies required of high school principals in the administration of school-based special education programsYules, Melanie R. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1985)The infusion of special education students into general education programs has added to the expanding role of the high school principal. The purpose of this study was to identify competencies needed by high school principals and assistant principals to effectively develop, supervise, monitor, and evaluate school-based special education programs. Competency statements were generated from the literature and validated by a panel of experts. The final instrument containing thirty competency statements in eight function areas was administered to Virginia high school principals and assistant principals who were randomly selected from the Virginia Educational Directory. Respondents were asked to rate the individual competency statement using a five point index of value scale and to list the competency statements which should receive first, second, and third priority. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics. The index of value rating for the competency statements were independent of the position of respondent. The selection of first priority statement was dependent on the position of the person generating the rating, while the second and third priority statements were independent of the person generating the rating. The findings of this study identified "rules for discipline", "select personnel", "implement due process", "enable improvement of instruction", and "implement programs according to regulations" as competency statements with the highest mean index of value. Principals identified the top priority statements as: "evaluation for referred students", "evaluate personnel", and "implement programs according to regulations". Assistant principals identified the top priority statements as "promote positive attitudes", "rules for discipline“, and "implement programs according to regulations". Recommendations for further research included task analysis of competency statements to identify performance indicators that could be used in administrative training programs; cooperation between the local and state education agencies and universities in the provision of special education administration skills infused into general education administration pre- and in-service training programs; and the use of Public Law 94-142, Education of the Handicapped Act, Part B State flow through funds and Part D State personnel preparation funds as financial resources.
- Cost analysis of three southwest Virginia special education programsMoche, Joanne Spiers (Virginia Tech, 1995)School funding is one of the most critical issues in public education today. Jordan & Lyons (1992) have predicted that the great debate of the 1990s will be over what proportion of available funds should be spent on programs for special-needs students. Special education has held a prominent place in fiscal discussions and analyses since the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (reauthorized as Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1990) required special educational programs and services for disabled students and provided a funding mechanism to assist states who chose to participate in this discretionary grant program. Given the dramatic rise in expenditures on those special education programs, policy-makers at all levels require cost and fiscal policy information to make informed decisions regarding the provision of special education services (Jordan & Lyons, 1992; Center for Special Education Finance, 1993). To meet that need, the Center for Special Education Finance was funded by the U.S. Department of Education to address fiscal issues including compilation of special education expenditure statistics (Council of Administrators of Special Education, 1993). The current study offered a significant contribution to that national objective. The cost analysis method introduced in this study, called the Moche Cost Analysis of Public Education or CAPE Model, provided greater sensitivity, accuracy, and flexibility than prior methods. It responded to changing service delivery models emerging from the education reform and restructuring movements. The CAPE Model was used to examine and compare costs of regular elementary education, regular secondary education, elementary special education, and secondary special education. Special education costs also were compared across disability categories and service delivery environments. CAPE can be adapted easily to identify expenditures by building level and programs other than special education. Results can be customized for comparison with state funding formulas. CAPE calculations can be completed manually or through use of the Moche CAPE computer spreadsheet program (Moche, 1995).
- A descriptive analysis of parent and teacher perceptions regarding parent involvement in a program for the preschool handicappedWatson, Alma Louise (Virginia Tech, 1990)The 1986 Amendments to the Education of All Handicapped Children's Act (P.L. 99-457) require that the individual education plans for students ages three to five, "must include instruction for parents so that they can be active and knowledgeable in assisting in their child's progress" (U.S. House of Representatives Report, 99-860, p. 20). Expansion of special education services to preschool children, will require educators to increase their efforts to involve parents in the child's educational program. Because schools have traditionally focused on child needs, additional insights into the parent involvement process are needed to effectively implement broader-based models more likely to result in active parent involvement. The purpose of this study was to examine teacher and parent perspectives on involvement to better understand the involvement process. Teacher and parent interviews were conducted in a large well-developed public preschool program. The interviews, together with observations and program documents, were analyzed to gain a better understanding of involvement practices. The teachers interpreted the parents’ level of involvement according to how well they complied with teacher prescribed activities and teacher expectations. Parents rated as most involved were seen by the teachers as cooperating with child-level activities, expressing an interest in participating and providing positive feedback for teachers' efforts. However, parents identified as least involved were viewed as not initiating contact with the teacher or showing little interest in participating in program activities. Most teachers relied on positive feedback from the parents to continue their efforts with them and use it to define the relationship with them. The teachers attributed the variations in involvement to family characteristics and to their belief about the family's concern for the child's development. The meanings which the parents gave to the involvement practices were distinct for the least and most involved groups. How the parents conceptualized the child's development and their belief about their impact on it appeared to contribute to parents' perceptions about their role in the involvement process. These differences in role perception can explain their interactions with the teachers as well as their level of participation in activities. Levels of involvement can be further explained by the degree to which activities were relevant to a particular family's needs and the control they felt to act on their own behalf. The understandings gained from examining parent and teacher perspectives of the involvement process can help ensure effective involvement practices with families.
- A descriptive study of assigned and unassigned mentoring relationships of first year special education administrators in VirginiaGoad, Laura Chisom (Virginia Tech, 1996-01-05)First year special education administrators in Virginia school systems are assigned experienced special education administrators as mentors. In most instances the mentors are not employed by the same school system as the first year administrators. Case studies of six mentors revealed that each was involved in more than one mentoring relationship. Four mentors had successful assigned relationships. Two mentors had assigned relationships which did not develop. Four of the six mentors were also involved in successful unassigned relationships. Findings indicated that, with appropriate selection of mentors, matching of pairs for similar experiences, and a mechanism for regular contact, assigned relationships can provide benefits to mentors and proteges. Unassigned mentoring relationships among these six cases typically occurred between individuals who were employed by the same school system. The mentor was often the protege's direct supervisor. Pairs in unassigned relationships observed one another performing job duties which enabled the mentor to function as a role model. Unassigned mentors functioned as career enhancers, providing their proteges with challenging opportunities and exposure. Assigned and unassigned relationships provided specific information, general survival skills, and overall support to the proteges. The case studies of the six mentors suggest that the Virginia Department of Education should continue Project SEAM as both mentors and proteges benefit from the networking and pooling of resources between their school systems. Proteges in the assigned relationships were provided with accurate information and general support. However, the process could be improved by offering training to proteges and insuring a commonality of experience in the matching of pairs. A joint meeting of the assigned pairs in the Spring of each academic year should be held. At this meeting, the pairs could share their successes, failures, and ideas for facilitating relationships.
- Development and field testing of the elementary school accessibilty checklistPeterson, Deana R. (Virginia Tech, 1994)P.L. 101-476 (IDEA) mandates the educational inclusion of students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. Leaders in the field of special education support the inclusion of students with disabilities in neighborhood schools, and many school divisions now indicate that they are using an inclusive model. In such programs appropriate inclusion of students is to take place in school and community recreation programs, academics, art, music, industrial arts, consumer and homemaking education, vocational education, physical education, at meals and recess. Education is to take place in the school the child would attend if he or she was not disabled. Educational technology must be provided to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities. If schools are to follow these statutes, then total school and program accessibility must be addressed. Research and development methods used in this study include: (1) a survey of school divisions in Virginia to determine: size of division, disabilities categories in the division, if an inclusive model is being used in the division’s elementary schools, existence of a written policy on inclusion; (2) development of the Elementary Accessibility Checklist; (3) review of the instrument by experts in school facilities and elementary curriculum; (4) field testing of the Elementary Accessibility Checklist in six elementary schools in Virginia (small, medium, large divisions using an inclusive model and small medium, large division not using an inclusive model); (5) final review of the instrument by expert panel and participating school principals; (6) final revision of the Elementary Accessibility Checklist. The results of this study should provide an indication of the number of school divisions in Virginia using an inclusive model in elementary schools, and the number of divisions that support the inclusive model with written policy. The accessibility checklists developed will be useful to all elementary schools to determine their level of accessibility, suggest needed modifications in school facilities and programs.