An analysis of the performance of secondary students identified with learning disabilities on STAAR EOC accommodated and STAAR EOC modified assessments
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Students with disabilities have historically been absent or minimally included in the general education classroom. The passage of recent legislation has changed the educational environment of students with disabilities and has shed light on what their instruction, progress, and how they compare to average peers. Accountability reform has magnified the issues regarding the treatment of students with disabilities and their academic achievement (Boon, Voltz, Lawson, & Baskette, 2007). The idea behind standards-based reform is that standards are demanding and that tests accurately measure those standards, thus making instruction stronger (David, 2011). High-stakes testing has led districts to question retention or promotion of students to the next grade level, graduation from high school, or merit evaluations for teachers (Gonzalez et al., 2017). Hiigh-stakes testing influences daily instructional practices, however there is debate regarding the magnitude high-stakes testing has on students and teachers (Gonzalez et al. 2007). This study examined whether the modified STAAR versus an accommodated STAAR test would have a significant impact on the STAAR score for English I, English II, and Algebra I for students with specific learning disabilities. This study evaluated whether race, gender, grade level, or meeting standard or not made a difference in test scores using a modified or accommodated test. The overall, results indicated that there was little to no significance in scores on STAAR EOC modified or STAAR EOC Accommodated. High-stakes testing places an excessive emphasis on scores achieved through high-stakes testing rather than on the results the scores are meant to represent (Gunzenhauser, 2003).