How should we evaluate whether special education works?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Evaluate the effectiveness of special education? This topic has been around for decadeshow effective is special education for students with disabilities who need special education services? Investigators have taken several approaches to addressing this question, including focusing on the variables that seem to be related to teacher effectiveness and student outcomes, and focusing on the measures of effectiveness themselves (e.g., Hocutt, 1996; Marston, 1988; Tindal, 1985). With the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 2001 (also known as No Child Left Behind) and the subsequent alignment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to it in 2004, the conversation has shifted to the importance of the academic achievement of students with disabilities (see for example, President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education, 2002), and more recently to the readiness of students with disabilities for college and careers (Thurlow, 2012) and various indicators of post-school outcomes, such as employment and participation in postsecondary education programs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, Garza, & Levine, 2005).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnduring Issues In Special Education
Subtitle of host publicationPersonal Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781136265976
ISBN (Print)9780415539173
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


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