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EPRRI Issue Brief Three The Institute for the Study of Exceptional Children and Youth University of Mar y l a n d 1308 Benjamin Building College Park, Maryland 20742-1161 Educational Accountability in Day T reatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: Report on a National Survey By: Joseph Calvin Gagnon, George Mason University Margaret J. McLaughlin, University of Maryland and Peter Leone, University of Maryland Educational Policy Reform Research Institute F e b r u a r y 2003
T able of Contents Issue Brief Highlights 0 2 Introduction 0 4 Method 6 Data Collection 7 Results 7 Discussion 12 Conclusion 15 References 16
Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 2 Issue Brief Highlights This Issue Brief reports on accountability policies and practices for elementary students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) in private and public day treatment and resi dential schools. Between January 2001 and March 2002, researchers conducted a nationally representative survey of these schools, gathering responses from 271 principals and 229 teachers. Based on previous research (Hollenbeck, Tindal, & Almond, 1998), the authors expected significant differences in the ways teachers and principals answered survey questions. However, for the 216 schools that had both principals and teachers return surveys, there were no statistically significant differences in responses. The surveys major findings were related to a number of school-level assessment issues: Determining Accountability The majority of respondents used assessments required by the local district and/or state as their primary accountability tool. However, approximately 30% of teachers and 20% of principals relied on teacher-selected assessments, and anoth er 11% of participants used assessments developed by the school. Participation in Assessments Over half of the teachers and principals whose schools used local district and/or state assessments reported that between 81-100% of their stu dents participated. Yet a large number of schools reported 80% or fewer students partici pated, highlighting a need for schools to collaborate with local and state education agencies. Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: Report on a National Survey
EPRRI Issue Brief Three 3 Alternate Assessments Respondents from 31 states reported that state standardized normreferenced or criterion-referenced assessments were available as alternate assessments. Schools also used teacher-made assessments and a small number of participants reported no alternate assessments available at their schools. Accommodations Over 80% of teachers and principals reported a school assessment accommodation policy, most often based on state or district guidelines. Approximately 20% of respondents said they offered no assessment accommodations. Reporting Assessment Results Assessment results were most commonly reported to par ents, guardians, and teachers, and maintained in each students file. Relatively few princi pals and teachers reported results to districts or states. Using Assessment Results According to respondents, assessment results were most often used to adjust instruction or curriculum and identify areas where school performance was acceptable or needed improvement. A relatively large number of schools used the data to make decisions regarding students return to public or home schools. As the survey results indicate, more effort is needed to assure that students with EBD in day treatment and residential settings participate in assessments with appropriate accommoda tions, that alternate assessments are utilized only when necessary, and that assessment data are properly reported and used.
Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 4 A ccess to challenging curriculum and accountability for student learning provides the framework for current educational reform. One important component of assuring access to the general education curriculum is evaluating how well students are acquiring the skills and content taught (Elliott, Erickson, Thurlow, & Shriner, 2000; Elliott, Kratochwill, & Schulte, 1998; Hehir, 1999). Recent federal educational reform initiatives, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, advance the issue of school accountability. A primary component of this mandate is increased accountability for student learning through regular high-stakes assessments and reporting of results (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). For students with disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (1997) is the primary driving force behind assuring access to the general education curriculum and educational accountability. Despite a national trend toward inclusion of students with disabili ties in general education classes and accountability systems, students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) often have difficulty remaining part of the mainstream education al environment (Kauffman, 1997; Muscott, 1997) and are placed in exclusionary settings that may offer greater behavioral and therapeutic support than the regular public school. For stu dents ages 6-21 who are served under IDEA, those with EBD are more likely to be placed in restrictive settings than youth in any other disability classification (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). Currently, more than 77,000 students with EBD are educated in separate day treatment or residential schools (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). In light of the requirements of The No Child Left Behind Act and the current IDEA mandates for increased accountability and access to the general education curriculum, it is critical to identify the i n t r o d u c t i o n Currently, more than 77,000 students with EBD are educated in separate day treatment or residential schools (U.S. Department of Education, 2001).
EPRRI Issue Brief Three 5 extent to which school-level accountability policies in day treatment and residential schools are linked to district and state policies. Researchers conducted a survey to investigate issues related to school-level policies, as well as the characteristics of students, teachers, principals, and programs (see Gagnon, 2002) (see Figure 1). This Issue Brief focuses on the accountability issues addressed in the survey, including: Primary accountability and participation in assessments; Assessment accommodations; Alternate assessments; Reporting of assessment results; Use of assessment results. Figure 1 Research Questions for National Sur v e y T o develop a systematic description of cur r ent school-level policies in elementary-level day treatment and residential schools for students with EBD, investigators addressed the following questions: 1. What are the characteristics of teachers, students, and principals and how do these compare across program type, organizational structure, and accreditation? 2. What are the characteristics and policies of the educational programs? a. What are the curricular policies? b. What are the policies related to educational accountability? c. What are the policies designed to facilitate student entrance into and exit from the program? d. What are the general program characteristics (e.g., philosophy who sets school policy, accreditation, types of services, organization al structure, grade levels, number of students in a class)? 3. Do policies and percentage of students participating in district or state assessment relate to student and program characteristics? 4. What is the relative emphasis on instruction versus behavioral/therapeutic issues within the educational program? How does this emphasis vary across types of services offered (day treatment, residential, combined day treatment and residential), organizational structure (public school, private non-profit school, private for-profit school), and accreditation (yes or no)? 5. Do reports of school policies relate to respondents role as teacher or principal?
Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 6 Method Due to the limited research on school-level policies in day treatment and residential schools, investigators used the survey to explore and identify current national trends. The study included a random sample of private and public day treatment and residential schools for students with EBD that serve any of grades 1-6. The study was restricted to these grades because the goal for most elementary-age students in day treatment or residential schools is to transition back to their home or public school (Grosenick, George, & George, 1987). Although information is limited, most students in such placements do transition to a less restrictive setting within traditional schools (Baenen, Glenwick, Stephens, Neuhaus, & Mowrey, 1986; Gagnon & Leone, 2002). For this transition to be successful students must have continuous access to curriculum and instruction that is based on general education standards. Because no comprehensive national list of schools met the criteria for inclusion in the study, researchers completed the following steps to identify the sample: Acquired a commercial database of special education schools, alternative schools, and alternative programs from Market Data Retrieval (n = 6,110); Chose a random sample of schools (n = 4,000); V erified via phone interview that each selected school met the criteria (day treatment or residential school for students with EBD including any of grades 1-6). This process yielded a total of 636 schools. However, 156 survey respondents noted that their school had been inaccurately classified as a day treatment or residential school program for children with EBD. Therefore, the final sample was 480 schools. T o increase the validity of the survey instrument and allow for greater generalizability, the investigators developed both a teacher survey and principal survey based on a review of liter ature, consideration of current educational reform, discussion with experts in the field of special education, and separate teacher and principal focus groups. Possible threats to relia bility were addressed through the standardization of the survey format, directions, and The study included a random sample of private and public day treatment and residential schools for students with EBD that serve any of grades 1-6.
EPRRI Issue Brief Three 7 questions (Fink, 1995). Also, reliability checks were conducted on data entered for 30% of teacher surveys and 30% of principal surveys. Agreement was calculated by dividing the number of agreements by the number of agreements and disagreements x 100. Reliability was 99.87% for teacher surveys and 99.86% for principal surveys. Data Collection Data was collected between January 2001 and March 2002. The principal and one ran domly selected teacher were surveyed from each randomly selected school. Initially, the principal was mailed an introductory letter. The first survey mailing included a cover letter principal survey, and teacher survey, with a $2.00 bill attached to each survey. The cover let ter requested that principals make an alphabetical list of teachers who instruct students in the first through sixth grades. The principal was directed to give the survey to the first teacher on the alphabetized list. Three weeks after the first mailing, a second occurred. Principals received surveys and a letter requesting a response from either the teacher or principal, or both. At the same time, nonrespondents were urged by phone to complete the survey. A third and final mailing occurred three weeks after the second mailing. Results Results are organized under five general categories: (a) respondents versus nonrespon dents; (b) school policies based on respondent roles; (c) primary accountability and partici pation in assessments; (d) alternate assessments and assessment accommodations; (e) reporting and use of assessment results. Respondents Versus Nonrespondents A total of 271 principals (56.45%) and 229 teachers (47.7%) returned their surveys. Of those, 216 schools (44.58% of the total) had both teacher and principal return surveys. The sample of 480 included schools from 48 states and the District of Columbia. All census A total of 271 principals (56.45%) and 229 teachers (47.7%) returned their surveys. Of those, 216 schools (44.58% of the total) had both teacher and principal return surveys.
Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 8 bureau regions were represented and the return-rate percentages from each region were generally similar to the percentage of national population from each region (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). Respondent and nonrespondent comparisons were completed using school-level data from the Market Data Retrieval database. Nonrespondents in the sample were compared to those who responded on locale (i.e., urban, suburban, rural), census bureau region (e.g., Northeast, Midwest, South, West), school enrollment (e.g., 1-99, 100-199, 200 or more), school type (e.g., alternative education schools, alternative education programs, or special education schools), and organizational structure (e.g., public schools or the combined cate gory of county, state, private, non-Catholic, and Catholic schools). Teachers and principals from each school were surveyed separately. Thus, three types of respondent and non-respon dent comparisons were conducted: (a) schools with only teacher respondents versus schools with only principal respondents and schools with neither teacher nor principal respondents; (b) schools with only principal respondents versus schools with only teacher respondents and schools with neither teacher nor principal respondents; and (c) schools with both teacher and principal respondents versus schools with neither teacher nor principal respon dents. Only school type was significant ( = 26.179, 2, p < .01) when comparing propor tions of schools in which both teacher and principal surveys were returned and schools in which no surveys were returned. One hundred and ninety-seven special education schools had surveys returned by the teacher and principal. Fewer alternative education schools (n = 12) and alternative education programs (n = 7) had both surveys returned. With this excep tion, the sample appeared to be nationally representative of day treatment and residential ele mentary schools for students with EBD. the sample appeared to be nationally representa tive of day treatment and residential elementary schools for students with EBD. 2
EPRRI Issue Brief Three 9 School Policies Based on Respondent Roles Based on previous research (Hollenbeck, Tindal, & Almond, 1998), investigators anticipat ed variations in perceptions of school policy between teachers and principals. However, for the 216 schools in which both principals and teachers returned surveys, no statistically signif icant differences in responses were noted. Given the large number of policy questions, this was a critical finding. A national picture emerged showing that teachers and principals were clearly "on the same page" with regard to school-level policy. Also, the consistency of responses across teachers and principals, coupled with the random selection of participants, demonstrated that the school-level policies reported throughout this study are an accurate representation of day treatment and residential school policies in the U.S. P r i m a r y Accountability and Participation in Assessments T eachers and principals were asked to identify their schools primary means of accountabil ity for student performance (see Table 1). Table 1 Primary Accountability and P a r ticipation in Assessments for the 216 schools in which both princi pals and teachers returned surveys, no statistically significant differences in responses were noted Primar y Accountability forAcademic Per for mance: Individual teachers select how to assess student performance 66 (29.7%) 56 (22.2%) Assessments required by local district and state 131 (59.0%) 1 67 (66.3%) School developed assessment 25 (11.3%) 29 (11.5%) Students Par ticipating in District and State Assessment: 20% or less 22 (15.9%) 17 ( 9.2%) 21-40% 12 ( 8.7%) 13 ( 7.1%) 41-60% 19 (13.8%) 14 ( 7.6%) 61-80% 4 ( 2.9%) 21 (11.4%) 81-100% 81 (58.7%) 119 (64.7%) Note: Teacher responses based on class data, principal responses on school data. Policy and Participation T eacher Response* Principal Response* No. (%) No. (%)
Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 10 T eachers and principals most commonly reported using assessments required by the local district and/or state as the basis for school accountability. Less frequently reported was a poli cy that permitted individual teachers to select how to assess student performance. T eachers and principals who stated that school accountability policies were based primarily on local district and/or state assessments were also asked to identify the percentage of stu dents who participated (see Table 1). Most frequently, teachers and principals reported 81100% of students participated in district and state assessments. However, 15.9% of teachers and 9.2% of principals reported that 20% or fewer of students participated. Based on the principal responses, student participation in district and state assessments dif fered significantly among schools serving different student populations (e.g., students from within a district, across a single state, or from more than one state) ( = 13.668, 3, p < .01). Schools in which 61% or more of students participated in district and state assessments commonly served students from a single district (n = 47, 26.7%) or from within their state (n = 52, 29.5%) (Note that in this analysis, percentages reported indicate chi-square cell size). Alternate Assessments and Assessment Accommodations T eachers and principals who indicated that district and state assessments were their pri mary accountability tool (n = 131, 59.0%; n = 167, 66.3%) were also questioned on school policies concerning alternate assessments and assessment accommodations. Of these, 57 teachers and 76 principals responded that state standardized norm-referenced or criterion referenced assessments were used or available as alternate assessments. The next most common response was teacher-made assessments (n = 47 and n = 57, respectively). In addition 18 teachers and 17 principals reported that no alternate assessments were available at their schools. Most of the 131 teachers (n = 117, 86%) and 167 principals (n = 157, 84.4%) reported that a school policy for assessment accommodations existed. When asked to identify the basis of the policy, 66.7% (n = 74) of teachers and 79.2% (n = 118) of principals noted their school used state accommodations guidelines. Most frequently teachers and princi pals reported 81100% of students participated in district and state assess ments. However 15.9% of teachers and 9.2% of princi pals reported that 20% or fewer of students participated. 2
EPRRI Issue Brief Three 11 R e p o r ting and Using Assessment Results The survey also included questions on school policies for the reporting and use of district and state assessment data (see Table 2). Table 2 Reporting and Using Assessment Results School Policy T eacher Principal Response Response (Number)* (Number)* How Results Ar e Repor ted: (n = 156) (n = 196) Results not reported 2 2 Individual results reported to individual parents 113 169 Individual results reported to teachers 113 157 A g g r egate results compiled in a school r e p o r t to the governing board 4 0 7 5 A g g r egate results r e p o r ted to the state 5 5 9 7 Individual results r e p o r ted to student's home district 8 3 1 3 3 Results maintained in each student's file 1 1 5 1 6 2 Don't know 14 6 How Results Ar e Used: T o adjust instruction or curriculum 109 157 T o decide on student placement within the school 58 83 T o decide on student gradelevel promotion 24 41 T o decide on students return to public school 36 50 T o evaluate teachers 12 20 T o identify acceptable areas of school performance and areas wher e improvement is needed 101 139 Results not used at the school level 23 24 Note: Percentages not noted because respondents marked All that apply .
Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 12 T eachers and principals who indicated that local district, state, or school developed assess ments were used with all students (except those with exemptions) were asked how assess ment results were reported and used. Approaches to reporting, in order of frequency were: reported to parents or guardians; reported to teachers; and maintained in each students file. Respondents also commonly noted that assessment results were used to adjust instruction and curriculum, to identify areas in which school performance was acceptable or needed improvement, and to make decisions about student placement within the school. About one-fourth of teachers and principals reported that assessment results were not used at the school level. Discussion The findings in this Issue Brief are important because they further our knowledge of school-level policies in day treatment and residential schools for children with EBD, and also provide critical information regarding accountability practices in those settings. P r i m a r y Accountability and Participation in Assessments T eachers and principals reported that the most common basis of accountability for student academic performance was local district and/or state assessments. However, approximately one-third of teachers and 20% of principals identified teacher-selected assessments as the primary means of accountability for student learning. In addition, about 11% of teachers and principals noted that their school primarily used school-developed assessments, suggesting that they may have little link to district and state accountability Slightly more than half of teachers and two-thirds of principals reported that most or all students participated in state and district the assessments, although about a third of schools reported having 80% or fewer students participating. However, significantly more students reportedly took part in district and state assessments if their school primarily served only one district or one state. These findings show a need for day treatment and residential schools to administer district and state assessments and collaborate with local and state education agen Respondents also commonly noted that assessment results were used to adjust instruction and curriculum, to identify areas in which school performance was acceptable or needed improvement, and to make decisions about student placement within the school. significantly more students reportedly took part in district and state assessments if their school primari ly served only one district or one state.
EPRRI Issue Brief Three 13 cies to assure use of appropriate assessments and full student participation. However, schools enrolling students from across a state or multiple states may have unique needs related to deciding which assessments to administer; this issue requires more investigation. Alternate Assessments and Assessment Accommodations Alternate assessments as defined under the IDEA are generally considered for a small num ber of students for whom the general state or district assessments are not appropriate. Most typically these are students with severe cognitive disabilities who are participating in a highly modified or differentiated curriculum. For students such as those with EBD who have access to a general education curriculum, participation in state or district assessments is expected. However, students in day treatment and residential schools may have severe emotional and behavioral disorders and accompanying cognitive disabilities that make participation impossi ble, even with accommodations. Thus, it is important to understand how these schools approach alternate assessments. In the current study, teachers and principals representing 31 states indicated that state stan dardized, norm-referenced or criterion referenced assessments were available to students as alternate assessments. A comparison of the state alternate assessment policies of the same 31 states (Thompson & Thurlow, 2001) revealed that only two of the states used performance assessments as their alternate assessments. Another six states used a combination of methods (e.g., body of evidence or portfolio, checklist or rating scale, analysis of IEP goals, specific performance assessment, combination of strategies) for obtaining alternate assessment data that could include a specific performance assessment. Nearly half of the states reported using some type of portfolio or body of evidence and another 18% noted using a checklist or rating scale (Thompson & Thurlow, 2001).
Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 14 Accommodations Over 80% of teachers and principals reported that their school had an assessment accom modation policy, most educators also noted that they used their states or districts assessment accommodations guidelines. However, approximately 20% of day treatment and residential school staff reported that they offered no assessment accommodations. These findings are disconcerting because federal mandates require that assessment accommodations be provid ed as appropriate. It is also noteworthy in light of the fact that a majority of survey respon dents indicated a state department of education had accredited their school. No research cur rently exists regarding accreditation requirements for day treatment and residential schools. However, it would be interesting to determine whether issues related to participation in assessments, provision of accommodations, and student performance are considered by state departments of education in the accreditation process of these special schools. R e p o r ting and Using Assessment Results T eachers and principals identified three primary ways that assessment results were report ed: in reports to parents or guardians; in reports to teachers; and as results maintained in each students file. A few teachers and principals did not know the school policy for reporting assessment results. It is encouraging that assessment results were given to parents or guardians and reported to districts or states. Yet, it should also be noted that a number of teachers and principals reported that assessment results were not used. The most common reported use of students assessment results was to adjust instruction or curriculum and identify areas where school performance was acceptable or needed improve ment. Some teachers and principals also said that their schools used assessment data to make decisions regarding students return to their public or home schools. How they used the assessment data, which criteria were used, and how criteria were used to make these decisions is not clear. However, decisions to move students to a less restrictive environment approximately 20% of day treatment and residential school staff reported that they offered no assessment accommo dations. These find ings are disconcerting because federal mandates require that assessment accommo dations be provided as appropriate
EPRRI Issue Brief Three 15 should be based primarily on the supports needed for a student to access and progress in the general education curriculum, not on some absolute performance level. Conclusions W e know through previous research (U.S. Department of Education, 2000; Wagner, 1995) that academic outcomes for youth with EBD are often negative. These students typically have high dropout rates and difficulty maintaining employment. They may also be at risk for involvement with the juvenile or adult justice systems. Day treatment and residential schools can provide a valuable and necessary service to these students and their families. However, to ensure that these schools do provide the level of supportive education students with EBD need, schools must be accountable for their students academic outcomes. The evidence provided in this study suggests that we have some distance to go for this to occur. The findings strongly suggest that more vigilance is necessary to ensure that students are participating in assessments with appropriate accommodations and that assessment data are reported and used. Local districts and state departments of education must share respon sibility for including these schools in their reform efforts, holding them accountable, and pro viding the necessary training and information to close this accountability gap.
Educational Accountability in Day Treatment and Residential Schools for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 16 References Baenen, R. S., Glenwick, D. S., Stephens, M. A. P., Neuhaus, S. M., & Mowrey, J. D. (1986). Predictors of child and family outcome in a psychoeducational day school program. Behavioral Disorders, 11, 2 7 2 2 7 9 Elliott, J. L., Erickson, R. N., Thurlow, M. L., & Shriner, J. G. (2000). State-level accountability for the performance of students with disabilities: Five years of change? The Journal of Special Education, 34 (1), 39-47. Elliott, S. N., Kratochwill, T. R., & Schulte, A. G. (1998). The assessment accommodation checklist: Who, what, where, when, why, and how? Teaching Exceptional Children, 31 (2), 10-13. Fink, A. (1995). How to design surveys. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Gagnon, J. C. (2002). Survey of teachers and principals in residential and day treatment schools for students with emotional and behavioral d i s o rd e r s Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park. Gagnon, J. C., & Leone, P. E. (2002). Day and residential treatment for students with emotional or behavioral disorders: Characteristics of educators, students, and programs. Unpublished manuscript, George Mason University. Grosenick, J. K., George, M. P., & George, N. L. (1987). A profile of school programs for the behaviorally disordered: Twenty years after Morse, Cutler, and Fink. Behavioral Disorders, 12, 1 5 9 1 6 8 H e h i r T. F. (1999, November). Begin early, end well: Strategies to improve results for students with disabilities. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 12 (2), 31-34. Hollenbeck, K., Tindal, G., & Almond, P. (1998). Teachers' knowledge of accommodations as a validity issue in high-stakes testing. The Journal of Special Education, 32 (3), 175-183. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, Pub. L. No. 105-17 (1997). Title 20, U.S.C. 1400-1487; U.S. Statutes at Large, 111, 37-157. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 412 712) Kauffman, J. M. (1997). Characteristics of emotional and behavioral disorders of children and youth (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Muscott, H. S. (1997). Behavioral characteristics of elementary and secondary students with emotional/behavioral disabilities in four different cascade placements. Education and Treatment of Children, 20 336-356.
EPRRI Issue Brief Three 17 Thompson, S., & Thurlow, M. L. (2001, June). 2001 state special education outcomes: A report on state activities at the beginning of a new d e c a d e Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes. Retrieved March 1, 2002, from http://education.umn.eduNCEO/OnlinePubs/2001StateReport.html. U.S. Census Bureau. (2001). Table 1: Population by race and Hispanic or Latin origin, for the United States, regions, divisions, and states, and for Puerto Rico: 2000. Retrieved June 23, 2002, from http://www.census.gov/population/cen2000/phc-16/tab01.pdf. U.S. Department of Education. (2000). Twenty-second annual report to congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Jessup, MD: Education Publications Center. U.S. Department of Education. (2001). T w e n t y t h i r d annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Jessup, MD: Education Publications Center. U.S. Department of Education. (2002). The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 executive summary Retrieved August 1, 2002, from http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/esea/exec-summ.html. W agner, M. (1995). Outcomes for youth with serious emotional disturbance in secondary school and early adulthood. Future of Children, 5 (2), 90-113.
1308 Benjamin Building College Park, Maryland 20742-1161 tel: 301.405.6509 fax: 301.314.9158 www e p rr i o r g The U.S. Department of Education s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is committed to positive results for children with disabilities. The Institute is an IDEAs that Work project. Any or all portions of this document may be reproduced and distributed without prior permission, provided the source is cited as: Educational Policy Research Reform Institute (EPRRI), (February 2003). Issue Brief Two. College Park: University of Maryland, Educational Policy Research Reform Institute, The Institute for the Study of Exceptional Children and Youth. Retrieved [today's date], from the World Wide Web:www.eprri.org Funding for this research work was provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Grant # H324P000004 and Grant # 522739). Opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Special Education Programs.