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Effect of Accessing Supports on Higher Education Persistence of Students With Disabilities

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This study examined the effect of accessing supports available to the general student body and disability-related supports on college perseverance for students with disabilities. This secondary analysis of a nationally-representative longitudinal dataset, the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, included a sample of approximately 2,330 college students with disabilities who had been identified as having a disability in secondary school. Students were included in the sample independent of their decision to disclose their disability to their college. Evidence from propensity analyses indicated that students with disabilities who had accessed universally-available and/or disability-related supports were significantly more likely to persist in their 2- or 4-year college programs.

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There are educators and legislators who believe teachers should be paid based on the performance of their students on standardized tests or end-of-year exams (i.e., merit pay), and others who support a pay scale that is based on seniority and time in grade (i.e., union contracted pay)

Then there are those who believe that much of the curriculum in use today by school districts across the country is not challenging enough for students or that it fails to promote a positive learning environment. As for the issue of standardized testing, there are those educators who vehemently support its use, arguing that such testing is fair, comprehensive, and provides no student with an unfair advantage over another —an assertion with which those who oppose this style of testing strongly disagree. This debate, no doubt, will go on well into the future as parents, teachers, and school districts come together to find ways to resolve these pressing issues. These types of examinations are administered annually by most school districts at the end of the school year, although NCLB does not set national achievement levels for students; the results determine whether a student is promoted or retained at his or her current level. Accusations levied against teachers primarily by those who oppose NCLB focus heavily on the state test rather than educating students. In fact, there were those who said that promoting the use of charter schools undermined the role of public schools, a signature component of RTTT. Similarly, some opponents of the policy commented that components such as performance pay standards, a provision that rewards teachers based on student test scores, fundamentally restricted teachers in the classroom by asking them to teach with fewer resources and in many instances with the same pay.

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Students with emotional and behavioral disorder manifest some kind of uncontrolled behaviour. The instructors need to first establish if the actions of a student are caused by emotional disturbance requiring special education, or it results from other psychological disorders. Students with emotional behavioral disorders have a low ability to learn and retain a concept in class (Westwood 2009, p.101). They are not good at listening and taking instruction, which is a fundamental teaching and learning requirement. If the students with emotional and behavioral disorders are not properly handled, the effects of their uncontrolled behavior can extend and affect the learning of other students as well. The difficulties that are associated with this kind of disorder among the student can be categorized as either externalized and internalized manifestations (Westwood p.99)

The externalized symptoms include unexplained aggression, being hostile, inability to socialize with the others, and inability to comply with the given instructions. The internalized signs include anxiety, social isolation, as well as exhibiting emotional depression. Emotional behavioral disorders fall in the broad category of student disability referred to as high-incidence disabilities. The other kinds of disabilities in this group are learning disabilities (LD) and mild intellectual disabilities (MID). Even though victims of all these disabilities show similar social adaptability, they are seen to differ in cognitive and behavioral characteristics (Sabornie et al, 2006).

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All in all, factors external to the school that affect the working conditions of teachers such as financial rewards, status in society and professional expectations have also been found to influence the teachers’ motivation and dedication. The grade level taught is such an external factor found that high school teachers displayed more positive attitudes towards integration than elementary school. Their results also showed there were more positive attitudes towards integration in high school teachers than in primary school. Financial rewards; given that teachers spend up to fifty percent of their time providing instruction to individual students, it is imperative that they receive adequate and appropriate financial and professional development to ensure they are able to work effectively with students with special needs.

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Rodriguez, P., 1998. Critical Issue: Meeting the Diverse Needs of Young Children North. Central Regional Educational Laboratory. Web.

Sabornie, E. et al. 2006. Comparing characteristics of high-incidence disability groups: a descriptive review. Web.

Westwood, P., 2009. What Teachers Need to Know About Students with Disabilities Victoria: Aust Council for Ed Research.

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