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									Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities: What High Performing High Schools Do

High Schools That Work 20th Annual Staff Development Conference Orlando World Center Marriott Orlando, Florida

Directed Research Projects US Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Programs

James R. Frasier, Ph.D. Center on Education and Work University of Wisconsin-Madison http://www.cew.wisc.edu

Purpose of Research

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Identify and describe school-wide approaches in nationally recognized high schools that consistently support and produce

good results for students with disabilities.

Research Objectives
• • Describe how special education services are delivered. Describe how students with disabilities are attaining their goals in the general education curriculum. Describe how special education and regular education programs have coordinated the education services for students with disabilities. Describe how the above 3 issues and other issues are related to positive results for students with disabilities.

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Research Design
• Nationally recognized high schools – High schools with a 3-year pattern of data illustrating consistent attainment of or gains in state and/or locally determined core academic learning outcomes. Identifying nationally recognized high schools – Dispelling the myth . . . Over time The Education Trust May 2002 – Letter to State Supt. Of Schools requesting nominations – National School of Excellence Award List (Blue Ribbon School) – Letter to State Directors of Special Education requesting nominations – Reform School Networks (e.g. HSTW, Coalition of Essential Schools) – Letter to OSEP Parent Centers in all 50 states – Online State Department of Public Instruction Data Bases

•

Research Design
• Qualifying schools as potential candidates for study

– 40% or more of all students enrolled are eligible to receive a free or reduced price lunch
– Ethnically balanced student enrollment – At least 10% of total school enrollment is composed of students with disabilities – At least 70% of students with disabilities are enrolled for 80% or more of their school day in regular education classes

Research Design
• Selection of potential high schools for participation in the study

– 1500+ initially identified as high performing high schools
– Eligibility for free or reduced price lunch and/or ethnically balanced student enrollment requirements reduced the number to 106 schools – Enrollment of at least 10% of students with disabilities reduced the number to 73 schools – Enrollment of 70% of students with disabilities for 80% or more of the school day in regular education classes reduced the number to 18 schools.

Research Design
• Selection of potential high schools for participation in the study

– 18 identified as finalists for high performing high schools study
• 4 rural • 6 urban • 8 inner city – 12 selected by researchers to recommend to National Advisory Panel • 2 rural • 4 urban • 6 inner city

Research Design
• High schools participating in the 3-year study

– Anchorage (2,600 students)
– Greater Los Angles metropolitan area (2,800 students) – Inner city of Chicago (650 students) – Inner city of Atlanta (950 students) – Rural Virginia (690 students) – Inner city of Boston (290 students)

Research Design
• Data collection – 1st round – 5 days duration

– Individual interviews with 40 + individuals at each research site • 3-5 parents of students with a disability • 5 students with a disability (junior and senior grade level) • 3-5 students with a disability who were recent graduates • 5 students without disability • 3-5 English faculty members • 3-5 Math faculty members • 3-5 Social Studies faculty members • 3-5 Science faculty members • 3-5 Special Educators • 5-8 School administrators (including guidance, nurse, Dir. Sp. Ed) • 3-5 Employers of students with a disability • 3-5 Social service agency professionals (Voc. Rehab., Social Security, Health and Family Services, Social Welfare)

Research Design
• Data collection – 2nd round – 5 days duration

– Group interviews with 30 + individuals at each research site • 3-5 parents of students with a disability • 5 students with a disability (junior and senior grade level) • 5 students without disability in senior year (school leaders) • 3-5 English faculty members • 3-5 Math faculty members • 3-5 Social Studies faculty members • 3-5 Science faculty members • 3-5 Special Educators
– Individual interviews with 5-8 School administrators (including guidance, nurse, security staff) – Other persons as determined by the school principal

Final Research Report Available after 12/1/06 at http://www.cew.wisc.edu/highschools

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #1:
Schools have created a culture that celebrates diversity “Individually we are different – together we are one.”

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #1:
Schools have created a culture that celebrates diversity Individually we are different – together we are one. How they do it - - • Constant respect for one another.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #1:
Schools have created a culture that celebrates diversity Individually we are different – together we are one. How they do it - - • Constant respect for one another. • Uncompromising integrity in everything we do.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #1:

» Every Individual is expected to walk the talk . . .

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #2:
All high school staff participate in transitioning students with disabilities from middle school – to – high school.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #2:
All high school staff participate in transitioning students with disabilities from middle school – to – high school. – Westminster High School – Page 5

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #2:
All high school staff participate in transitioning students with disabilities from middle school – to – high school. – – Westminster High School – Page 5 Arcadia High School – Page 9

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #2:
All high school staff participate in transitioning students with disabilities from middle school – to – high school. – – – Westminster High School – Page 5 Arcadia High School – Page 9 Boston Arts Academy – Page 13

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #3:
Schools have found a way to make time during the school day for ALL students to have “common time” together. – Open Microphone during lunch on Wednesday.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #3:
Schools have found a way to make time during the school day for ALL students to have “common time” together. – Open Microphone during lunch on Wednesday. – Low Incidence Students with Disabilities in the school’s swimming pool during open/general swim time.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #3:
Schools have found a way to make time during the school day for ALL students to have “common time” together. – Open Microphone during lunch on Wednesday. – Low Incidence Students with Disabilities in the school’s swimming pool during open/general swim time. – “X” Period after the school day begins.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #3:
Schools have found a way to make time during the school day for ALL students to have “common time” together. – Every student throughout the school reads silently for 15 minutes at the beginning of every class.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #3:
Schools have found a way to make time during the school day for ALL students to have “common time” together. – Every student throughout the school reads silently for 15 minutes at the beginning of every class. – Common school lunch period – All students eat at the same time.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #3:
Schools have found a way to make time during the school day for ALL students to have “common time” together. – Every student throughout the school reads silently for 15 minutes at the beginning of every class. – Common school lunch period – All students eat at the same time. – Partners club – Page 35

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #4:
Schools emphasize career exploration, career planning, and integration of career/academic curricula. – Individual student portfolio (spanning 4 years) formally presented to parent and selected school professionals required of all students before they can receive their high school diploma.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #4:
Schools emphasize career exploration, career planning, and integration of career/academic curricula. – Individual student portfolio (spanning 4 years) formally presented to parent and selected school professionals required of all students before they can receive their high school diploma.\ – Each student entering the 9th grade has a plan that states their individual education goals for high school and what core academic courses they will need to take to attain their education goals.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #4:
Schools emphasize career exploration, career planning, and integration of career/academic curricula. – Westminster High School – Page 16

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #4:
Schools emphasize career exploration, career planning, and integration of career/academic curricula. – Westminster High School – Page 16 – Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences – Page 20

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #4:
Schools emphasize career exploration, career planning, and integration of career/academic curricula. – Westminster High School – Page 16\ – Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences – Page 20 – Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences – Page 23

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #5:
The school faculty hold the belief that they are individually and collectively accountable for the academic achievement of ALL students. – Academic and special educators collaboratively teach core subjects within inclusive classrooms settings.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #5:
The school faculty hold the belief that they are individually and collectively accountable for the academic achievement of ALL students.
– Academic and special educators collaboratively teach core subjects within inclusive classrooms settings. – A Student Support Team composed of a core membership of student support service professionals, academic faculty, and the school vice-principal meet weekly to review each student having difficulty, or beginning to exhibit the potential of having difficulty, in sustaining a positive school experience and/or academic outcome. Page 39.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #5:
The school faculty hold the belief that they are individually and collectively accountable for the academic achievement of ALL students.

– Students with great spontaneously volunteer that faculty are - - -

“Always on my case” !

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #6:
Students with disabilities are exhibiting self-advocacy skills and they are attaining their educational goals within the general education curriculum.
• Students with disabilities electing to receive a regular high school diploma are self-identifying with academic faculty and work closely with them to devise strategies for successfully completing assignments and passing tests. Students with and without disabilities are aware of special accommodations that are or can be made for students with disabilities in order to assist them in demonstrating their competency in regular education classrooms.

•

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #6:
Students with disabilities exhibit self-advocacy skills and are attaining their educational goals within the general education curriculum.
• Students with disabilities are involved in extra-curricular activities, school leadership positions, peer support programs, and have close relationships with friends and classmates who help them with homework and preparing for tests.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #7: Parents of students with disabilities exhibit sophisticated advocacy skills and are actively involved in supporting their child’s educational goals within the general education curriculum.
• Testified before Congressional Committee on Reauthorization of IDEA

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #7: Parents of students with disabilities exhibit sophisticated advocacy skills and are actively involved in supporting their child’s educational goals within the general education curriculum.
• Testified before Congressional Committee on Reauthorization of IDEA Petitioned the State Board of Education to make the school increase the water temperature of the swimming pool.

•

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #7:

Parents of students with disabilities exhibit sophisticated advocacy skills and are actively involved in supporting their child’s educational goals within the general education curriculum.
• Testified before Congressional Committee on Reauthorization of IDEA Petitioned the State Board of Education to make the school increase the water temperature of the swimming pool. Joined class action suit to delay implementation of state mandated graduation examination for students with disabilities.

•

•

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities
Research Finding #7:

Parents of students with disabilities exhibit sophisticated advocacy skills and are actively involved in supporting their child’s educational goals within the general education curriculum.
• Testified before Congressional Committee on Reauthorization of IDEA Petitioned the State Board of Education to make the school increase the water temperature of the swimming pool. Joined class action suit to delay implementation of state mandated graduation examination for students with disabilities. Member SAT National Panel to standardize testing accommodations processes for students with disabilities.

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Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap of High School Students with Disabilities: What High Performing High Schools Do
http://www.cew.wisc.edu/highschools

High Schools That Work 20th Annual Staff Development Conference Orlando World Center Marriott Orlando, Florida

James R. Frasier, Ph.D.

jfrasier@education.wisc.edu


								
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