Willing but Unable: The Search for Data on the Outcomes of Schooling

Michael L. Vanderwood, Gail E. Spande, Martha L. Thurlow, James E Ysseldyke

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1 Scopus citations


Educational policymakers are moving away from examining the process of education to examining its results. In response to this change in focus, the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has developed a school completion model of outcomes and indicators of these outcomes. This model contains eight domains (i.e., content areas). The purpose of this research was to examine the applicability of the model to (a) outcomes that states identify as their goals for education, and (b) data that states already collect. We report the results of two studies. In the first study, we examined the extent to which education goals from 17 states correspond to the NCEO model. In the second study, we looked at the extent to which state data were available for the 77 indicators in the NCEO model. We found that the correspondence was high between state goals and the outcomes and indicators listed in the NCEO model. However, states have data available on very few of their state goals and on very few of the NCEO indicators. For the most part, state data are in two NCEO domains—Presence and Participation, and Citizenship and Contribution. New data collection instruments and systems will have to be established to document the extent to which students with disabilities are reaching the outcomes valued by educators and parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1995

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