Type of Document Dissertation Author Tavani, Christopher Michael URN etd-04082004-093303 Title The Impact of Testing Accommodations on Students with Learning Disabilities: An Investigation of the 2000 NAEP Mathematics Assessment Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Susan Carol Losh Committee Chair Akihito Kamata Committee Member Marcy Driscoll Committee Member R William English Committee Member Keywords
- Testing Accommodations
- Learning Disabilities
Date of Defense 2004-04-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to gain knowledge and insight into how student- and school-level factors impact mathematics performance. Within the school and student systems, there are numerous variables that can have significant impacts on the scores obtained on mathematics assessments. Utilizing the 2000 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Mathematics Assessment database and Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM), this study explored these factors that related to the performances of 42,453 fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade students.
Among the various student-level factors that were explored, the effects and consequences of using testing accommodations was of particular interest. Testing accommodations, alterations and modifications of an assessment, have been shown to reduce the testing deficits caused by a studentís learning disability and provide comparable test results among all students. This study addressed the effects of these accommodations on mathematical performance scores as well as examined additional variables that showed to have strong relationships with studentsí test performances. This research answered specific substantive questions about the variables that influence mathematics performances among students.
Contrary to prior findings in the field of testing accommodations, the results of this study indicated that the use of testing accommodations did not significantly impact the performance scores of students with learning disabilities on the mathematics assessment. Much research in this field has shown that testing accommodations provide the needed aid to students as to compensate for their disability and to produce scores that represent their true ability. This studyís findings have shown that testing accommodations may not always help a student with a learning disability, and that alternative measures may need to be implemented to help students display their true abilities on mathematics assessments.
Other student-level variables, such as grade level, gender, and race/ethnic background showed to be significant predictors of studentsí success on mathematics assessments. These variables led to a more thorough understanding of the characteristics that are attributable to studentsí scores on these assessments. In addition, although the school-level variables displayed non-significant effects on the relationships between student-level variables and mathematics performance, these findings did help to understand the roles that school location and school type demonstrated on the results.
Overall, this study has added to prior literature by (a) questioning the additive nature of testing accommodations for students with learning disabilities and (b) exploring additional student-level and school-level variables that have relationships with studentsí performances on large-scale, mathematical assessments.
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