Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) provision of NCLB requires schools to close the achievement gap so that students with disabilities perform at the same proficiency level as students without disabilities in mathematics and reading. This stringent requirement challenges school leaders to examine traditional exclusionary delivery practices and their outcomes and replace them with inclusive practices that hold promise for improving the academic performance of students with disabilities. This study examined the relationship between inclusive education in Virginia elementary schools and the attainment of No Child Left Behind's AYP performance targets in mathematics and reading for students with disabilities.;A quantitative research design was used to investigate this important issue using data from the Virginia Department of Education and results of an inclusion scale completed by selected elementary school principals representing schools that met AYP targets in mathematics and reading for students with disabilities and elementary principals representing schools that did not meet the targets. Although a significant correlation was not found between the inclusive practices and mathematics and reading achievement for students with disabilities in elementary schools, there are clear and important differences between schools that met the AYP targets and schools that did not meet the targets. These differences include the number of students with disabilities served in inclusive mathematics and reading classes as well as important distinctions in the attitudes of teachers and administrators, time allotted for co-planning, the expectations of included students with disabilities, parental participation in the IEP process and the availability of inclusion across grade levels.



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