Students with disabilities included in general education classrooms do significantly better on state assessments than their peers placed in separate special education classrooms, an Indiana University research study concludes.
The study, conducted by the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Bloomington, followed a cohort of students with disabilities, from third through eighth grade, to assess the relationship between academic success and special education placement in high-, mixed- and low-inclusive classrooms.
By comparing the outcomes of students included in general education classrooms with similar students in separate special education class-rooms, the study determined the impact of inclusion upon student state assessments.
The results are significant, meaning that the improved scores for students included in general education classrooms may be attributed to their classroom placement. Had students been placed in less-inclusive classrooms, their test outcomes would have been less favorable and in line with the poorer outcomes of their peers in more-segregated placements.
"As schools and districts make decisions on how best to improve their outcomes for students with disabilities, these findings should inform key...