Special education settings: The impact of administrator performance on disabled adolescents in New York State

Marijane Reinhard, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to determine what educational setting, serving mildly to moderately disabled students, was the most effective and had the greatest benefit in terms of students' educational and social growth. In its broadest conceptualization, this study was concerned with identifying the critical elements of a school setting that optimizes the educational growth of disabled adolescents. The focus of the study was three separate special education high school settings in the Orange County area of New York. The settings under investigation were a totally segregated special education setting, a totally integrated setting in a local high school, and a partially integrated, partially segregated setting. The population for this study included 38 mildly to moderately disabled students between the ages of 15 and 20 years. In order to explain the statistical differences between the three levels of educational restrictiveness, one-way multi-analysis of covariates was employed (MANCOVA). This analysis of three levels of educational restrictiveness constituted the independent variable. Several dependent covariates were analyzed in MANCOVA: the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Achievement and the Stanford Diagnostic Math Achievement standard scores and Piers-Harris Self-Concept percentile scores. Some of the major conclusions of the study were: (a) in the absence of designed program alterations in the educational or social areas, an educational setting has no significant effect upon a handicapped child's academic or social growth after a 1-year period; (b) ongoing communication between the multidisciplinary team members was crucial to program effectiveness; (c) the degree of expertise and skill of the special education teachers involved in the integration process had a significant effect upon students' growth and overall program benefit; (d) regular education must begin to plan for the total integration of mildly to moderately disabled students. The statistical data revealed no significant difference between the three groups of students in the three special education settings. Interview data revealed that administrative practices and interventions were similar in the three separate settings.

Subject Area

Special education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Reinhard, Marijane, "Special education settings: The impact of administrator performance on disabled adolescents in New York State" (1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9328421.