Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education


Special Education

First Committee Member

Pamela Campbell, Chair

Second Committee Member

Susan P. Miller

Third Committee Member

Sherri Putney

Graduate Faculty Representative

LeAnn Putney

Number of Pages



In the recent past, standards and access to resources for accountability and equity have been implemented nationally in schools. For example, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, was a federal mandate designed to raise the academic expectations and accountability of all learners. In addition, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 were created to protect the rights of all individuals with disabilities in programs that receive federal funds and ensure equal access to knowledge. Additionally, English language learners (ELL) must be included in the general education classroom and are required to take grade-level standardized tests and make adequate yearly progress. Simultaneously, Professional Educational Partnerships such as the Holmes Group/Partnership, National Network of Educational Renewal (NNER), and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) are working to ensure equity for all students. Therefore, at the current time many individual federal mandates and individual organizations/partnerships are focused on working to ensure equity for all students. In this study, the current situation relating to NCLB and special populations was examined at the federal, state and local level. Student transiency was addressed at the state and local level since this information is not reported on the national level.

A mixed methods approach was used to examine the factors that may contribute to a school achieving or not achieving Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Quantitative methods including descriptive statistics, multiple regression, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), hierarchical linear regression and zero order correlation were used. Extant data for all students in grades three, four and five for the 2009-2010 academic school year at two urban professional development schools (PDSs) and three comparable non-PDS schools, as well as results of criterion reference tests (grades 3-5) and the writing proficiency (grade 5) was used for the quantitative analyses. In addition, qualitative methods will be used to strengthen the study via focus groups and surveys.

Findings could provide policy makers with information as to factors that may or may not have contributed to the determination of whether a school achieves AYP. As a result, findings may contribute to more effective means to determine whether a school has or has not achieved AYP.


Adequate yearly progress; Articulation (Education); Educational accountability; Educational equalization; Elementary schools; Limited English-proficient students; Minority students; No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; Professional development school; Special education; Special populations; Students with disabilities


Special Education and Teaching

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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