Students with Learning Disabilities in Supplemental Service Programs

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Since No Child left Behind Act of 2002 passed the reliance on student performance on test to hold educators and schools accountable to the state accountability system has become increasingly essential. The No Child left Behind Act of 2002 current accountability system places considerable weight on the percentage of students scoring proficient on state tests. Under No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 each state must establish student performance benchmarks and identify schools mot making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) through state specific assessments. The current accountably system is based on the final goal of having all public school students proficient in English, Language Arts and Mathematics by 2014. Although each states requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress requirements differ. As a result schools failing for four consecutive years or more may face corrective action. Schools in danger of not meeting the goal face consequences and may be ordered into certain interventions. Schools not making adequate yearly progress AYP for three consecutive years are considered," in need of improvement". Supplemental education services a component of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 has become significantly vital in the plight to assist each state in meeting the student performance benchmarks and scoring proficient on state tests. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 mandates that schools, "in need of improvement" must make supplemental education services available to students on free and reduced lunch program in Title 1 schools. Supplemental education services is offered to the economically disadvantaged students who receive the free and reduced-price lunch program. Students with disabilities are not excluded from receiving these services. As noted by Ahearn (2007), "supplemental educational services must be consistent with a student's individual education plan under Section 614 Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and students with disabilities must receive appropriate supplemental education services and accommodations [34 CFR §§200.46(a)(4) and (5)]"(p. 1). Accordingly Ahearn (2007) states that, "all supplemental education services providers are not required to serve students with disabilities however the law does state that, if no provider is able to provide the appropriate services with necessary accommodations the Local Education Authority (LEA) needs to provide these services directly or either through a contract"(p.2) . Ahearn (2007) concludes, "that in a ruling given by the United States Department of Education, June 13, 2005 p.10-11 supplemental education services must be consistent with the student individual education plan under 614 Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) or the student's individualized services under Section 504"( p.2).

Background of the Study

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After-school programs have become a popular approach to enhance academic opportunities

and outcomes of public elementary and secondary school children in the United States.

Educational organizations such as private and charter schools, as well as faith based organizations and private business may apply to become supplemental education services providers. Tutoring services or education services interested in becoming a supplemental education services provider must submit an application to its State Department of Education for approval so that it may appear on a state list of approved providers. Information that is requested to become a provider covers such areas as the applicant's current experience, including the grades/number of students served, experience with specific student populations, and geographic setting. The applicant's basic supplemental education services program information, including academic subjects, grade levels and needs of students' served location; transportation, cost, and information concerning the applicant's program design; operations, and organizational capacity are needed. The state may only approve a provider if it has a demonstrated record of effectiveness in increasing student academic achievement and will use instructional strategies that are high quality, based upon research, and designed to increase student academic achievement. The provider's services additionally must be consistent with the instructional program, academic content of the state that they wish to offer supplemental education services. The supplemental education service provider must provide supplemental education services consistent with federal, state, and local, laws . Ascher (2006) stated that No Child Left Behind mandates, highly qualified teachers for every classroom, however the law is not specific on the qualifications of tutors furthermore tutors in supplemental education service programs do not have to be certified teachers. Some supplemental education service providers require training ranging from four to 20 hours and only a few evaluate their tutors. Casserly (2007) noted that No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 states that supplemental service providers are to ensure that their tutoring services curriculum are aligned with the state academic standards and consistent with the instruction provided by the Local education agency (LEA) however, providers in each city curriculum are in aligning with state standards to the same degree. Casserly (2007) explains that most providers have the same reading and math program that they use in every state. Casserly (2007) stated that several school districts are discovering that they make the greatest academic gains when they use more organized and sometimes more rigid instructional programs that are evenly aligned with state test. Many states have had to struggle with controversy surrounding effective reading and math programs. Districts with the best instructional results often have specific requirements or materials for their supplemental education services program. The problem is compounded as the number of providers and the variety of student skill deficits grows. Marzano (2003) wrote that the new era of school reform is the high emphasis on data. Marzano states that the emphasis is for schools to use data to identify probable successful interventions and use data to determine the effectiveness of student achievement. Marzano stated that schools must look carefully at the research and then apply changes. Marzano's reform is to approach change on an incremental basis. To illustrate this, Marzano (as cited in Reynolds, Teddlie, Hopkins, and Springfield 2000) described a schools adoption of a new curriculum and instructional program gradually instead of all at once. States must take their time with the implementation of supplemental education services in determining the effectiveness of each program. Wenger (2001) stated that supplemental education services should be an extension of the school day for students designed to enhance learning with educators working together and sharing knowledge in the effort to foster student learning. The literature on supplemental education services and students with disabilities suggest that little is known about students with disabilities who are accessing supplemental education services (Ysseldyke, J., Lehr, C., & Bulygo, A. 2008, January 1). In a document prepared by the Project Forum at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) they expresses the need for supplemental education service providers that specialize in tutoring for students with disabilities and the need for experienced personnel that are prepared to ensure that the student's individual education plan (IEP) is in closer alignment with the student's supplemental educational service instructional plan. Hargreaves (1995) proposed the idea suggesting effective educational change requires the educational environment to be a "moving mosaic," not an environment characteristic of static, well-defined roles and boundaries. Instead, the boundaries flexible and responsive to what occurs during the change process. The moving mosaic fosters collaboration through networks, partnerships, and alliances within and beyond the school setting.

Problem Statement

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The supplemental education services program mandates that schools requiring academic improvement must make free tutoring available to students who receive the free and reduced-price lunch program. Ahearn (2007) stated that supplemental education services providers are often encouraged by the school districts to serve students with disabilities, although the staff may not have the experience and training to serve these students. (Ysseldyke, Lehr, & Bulygo, (2008) stated that students with disabilities are not receiving appropriate special education services. Ahearn(2 007) concluded that there are only a few trained tutors available to work with students with disabilities. Casserly (2007) stated that the NCLB (2002) mandates "highly qualified teachers" for every classroom during the day however, the law is not specific on the qualifications of tutors. Tutors in supplemental education service programs are not required to be certified teachers. Ahearn (2007) notes that there are even fewer experienced personnel in the supplemental education services tutoring programs trained to ensure that students with an individual education plan are in close alignment with the students' supplemental education service instructional plans. The purpose of this study will be to examine the challenges supplemental education services managers and coordinators face when providing services to elementary students with disabilities. The study will include Virginia supplemental education services supplemental education services managers and school coordinators. My hypothesis will conclude the extent to which having experienced and trained personnel able to ensure students' IEP's are in close alignment with supplemental education service instructional plans is essential in improving student achievement for students with disabilities and the challenges managers and school coordinators have when providing services to students with disabilities. Outcome based evaluations will be used to determine the extent to which students with disabilities are receiving supplemental education services.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose this quantitative research study will be to examine the need for experienced personnel who are prepared to ensure that the students with disabilities supplemental education service plans are in closer alignment with their individual education plan. The study will include Virginia supplemental education service tutoring managers and school coordinators. The goal will be to examine

Knowledge gained from this study

Nature of the Study

This quantitative study using a survey design will determine the extent to which elementary students with learning disabilities receive Supplemental Education Services and the need for experienced and trained staff for elementary students with learning disabilities in supplemental education services tutoring programs in Virginia. As noted by Nesbury, 2000; Sue & Ritter (2007) web-based on line surveys are used due to its rapid turnaround in data collection.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

The following research questions are addressed in the study:

What are the SES staff member's qualifications and experiences for working with students with disabilities?

What are the supplemental education service school coordinators perceived challenges with providing services to students with disabilities in supplemental education service programs?

4. What are the supplemental education service managers/directors perceived challenges with providing services to students with disabilities in the supplemental education service programs?

5. What are the similarities and differences in the challenges for supplemental education service managers/directors and school coordinators who provide services to student with disabilities?

6. Are supplemental education services tutoring programs meeting the needs of students with disabilities?

The null hypothesis is that there is no significant relationship between having trained special education teachers in supplemental education service programs.

Definition of Terms

Several terms are used in this study. Terms to be defined in the study are listed below.

Supplemental education services (SES): A program that requires schools in academic improvement to provide free tutoring to students who receive the free and reduced-price lunch program.

Supplemental education services (SES) provider: A tutoring service, that offers supplemental education services.

No Child left Behind Act of 2002: A set of federal programs that requiring states to improve the academic achievement of public school students considered at risk for school failure.

Tutor: A person employed to instruct another in some branch or branches of learning, or a private instructor.

Academic Assessments: A set of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments that include, at a minimum, academic assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science that will be used as the primary means of determining the yearly performance of their State.

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Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Eligible: A program which provides free and reduced-price school lunches to students based on the students families income.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): It is a measure of student achievement on the state assessment in reading and mathematics.

Title I Eligible School: A Title I school in which a percentage of children are from low-income families.

Local Education Authority (LEA): A board of education that supervises public elementary or secondary schools.

Public School Choice: The opportunity is given to students in a school identified as needing improvement to transfer to a better public school in their district.

State Educational Agency (SEA): The agency responsible for the State supervision of public elementary and secondary schools.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): The major federal law affecting k-12th grade education enacted in 1965.

Assumptions

Supplemental education services have the potential of improving students' performance, but it is not clear if the gains that were made in several schools are attributed to supplemental education services. The literature discussed the need for supplemental education services programs to integrate the Individual Education Plan of students with disabilities into the students' tutoring program, but did not state how and to what extent. This study will establish the need for experienced personnel who are prepared to ensure that the students with disabilities supplemental educational service instructional plan is in closer alignment with their individual education plans and to what extent supplemental education services programs are meeting the needs of students with disabilities.

Limitations

Supplemental education services programs and school districts may exaggerate claims if they think it will show their program or school in a more positive manner. Certain topics will deal with actions or beliefs for which there is a socially favored position. Supplemental education services providers may not keep a record of their services from the previous year. Therefore, supplemental education services tutoring providers may not be able to identify the students with disabilities in their supplemental education services program, or the qualifications of the tutors providing services to the students with disabilities in their programs.

The interviews will be conducted confidentially. Interview scripts will be approved by the dissertation committee; this will help to guard against researcher biases which could interfere with the interpretation of the data.

Each survey question will be written clear and precise, bias can be introduced when the response questions available to the respondent leave out valid choices they would otherwise make. Couper (2005) states a trend toward web-based and other self-administered forms of survey research due to the steadily increasing cost of interviewer-administered data collection.

Significance of the Study

A study examining the need for experienced and trained staff for students with disabilities in Supplemental education services tutoring programs is relevant to educator leadership within the K-12 context and the greater professional education community. Researching supplemental education for students with disabilities will promote positive social change by ensuring that students with disabilities receive a fair and appropriate education and that all partnerships and alliances work effectively and take a collaborative effort to guarantee success for all students.

The research on supplemental education services has determined that this is the first time federal funds have been used to pay for student tutoring services outside of the school system (Ahearn, 2007). This problem affects all students with disabilities because these students are not passing the Virginia state (Reading and Math) Standards of L earning (SOL test. Researching supplemental education for students with disabilities will promote positive social change by ensuring that students with disabilities receive the additional assistance they need to have in order for them to receive an equal and appropriate education and that all partnerships and alliances work effectively and take a collaborative effort to guarantee student success and achievement.

Summary and Transition

A quantitative survey method design will be used for this study . The rationale for this quantitative design study will determine the need for experienced and trained staff for students with disabilities in supplemental education services tutoring programs. The study will include five Virginia supplemental education service managers and directors and forty supplemental education services coordinators from the 26 school divisions in the state of Virginia participating in the supplemental education services programs. This survey will be designed specifically for this study. Supplemental education services tutoring providers who do not have accesses to the internet will participate in a mail in survey. Data results of the survey will be collected from the web site Survey-Monkey that can publish the test results for each Virginia supplemental education services tutoring provider. The researcher will collect data from October 2010 to December 2011 on information from the 2009-2010 school years. The survey will be sent to forty Virginia Supplemental Education coordinators. Interview will be conducted as well. Interviews will be recorded and then transcribed. The data will include 30-minute researcher interviews with Supplemental education services managers or directors education from five supplemental education services tutoring providers in Virginia. The researcher's objectives will be made clear to the supplemental education services managers and directors verbally and in writing. The participants, rights, interest and wishes will be considered when choices are made regarding reporting the data (Creswell 2009, p.149). A coding system will be developed and used for the interviews to allow easy interpretation of participant's responses.

Section 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

Supplemental education services

Experienced and trained personnel are needed to ensure students' IEP's are in close alignment with supplemental education service instructional plans are essential in improving student achievement for students with disabilities. This study will investigate the challenges managers and directors in (SES) supplemental education services programs and school system personnel have when serving students with disabilities. Highlighted in this study are the works of Marzano, Hargreaves, and Wenger. Hargreaves (1995) suggested that effective educational change requires the educational environment to be a" moving mosaic" that fosters collaboration through networks, partnerships, and alliances within and beyond the school setting. The literature review was conducted through scholarly articles, and research databases that focused on examining the need for experienced personnel who are prepared to ensure that the students with disabilities supplemental educational service ILP is in closer alignment with their IEP. Supplemental education services information was obtained by searching relevant databases. Survey reports and related articles from 2002 to present. Walden's Dissertation and Theses database, EBSCO, and ERIC served as database resources. Data on the school districts not making AYP was obtained through the Virginia Department of Education web site and press reports and NEA state affiliates. The search terms used in this study include supplemental education services, supplemental education services (SES) provider, No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, Tutor, Academic Assessments, and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), Individual Education Plan, Individual Learning Plan and students with disabilities. The topics in education that led the researcher to organize the presentation of literature into the following sections include : No Child left Behind Act of 2002 and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) ,Current Research in SES ,The Process of Informing Parents, The Increasing Number of SES Providers, Classroom Curriculum and SES Reading and Math programs, SES Effectiveness, Students with disabilities in SES programs, This chapter seeks to answer the following question as it relates to the research questions that guide the study: What are school leaders and SES Manages and directors perceived challenges with the SES tutoring program? What are some challenges staff members encounter when working with students with disabilities in SES programs?

The Process of Informing Parents

Under the No Child Left Behind Act parents are able to choose a provider for their child from the state-approved provider list. Although parents can request the assistance of their local school, parents make the final decision. Parents must ensure that their child attends and participates appropriately in the supplemental services sessions and work with the school district and the provider to develop and identify specific academic achievement goals for their child. The quality of district notification letters varied considerably; some were easy to read and presented the options in a positive light, while others were confusing, discouraged the use of the options, or were biased in favor of district-provided services. This makes it increasingly difficult for parents to choose the most appropriate supplemental education services provider for their child.

Classroom Curriculum and Reading and Math Programs

Supplemental education providers must use a high quality, research-based reading and math program designed to increase student achievement and consistent with the instruction provided by the local education agencies and aligned with the state standards. Many states have had to grapple with controversy surrounding "effective" reading and math programs. Several providers have pre-and post-assessments and only a few have research-based reading and math programs (Casserly 2007). The problem is compounded as the number of providers increase and the variety of student skill deficits grows. It seems that providers in each state are aligning their supplemental education program curriculum with state standards to the same degree. Most providers have the same reading and math program that they use in every state. In a report evaluating Supplemental Educational Services (SES) in Virginia, conducted by the Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) at the University of Memphis. In 2007-2008 a large majority of SES provider representatives (96.5 percent) reported that they aligned their services and curriculum with local and state academic content and standards either frequently or occasionally. Most SES coordinator responses (83.4 percent) indicated that SES providers 'services were aligned with state and local standards. The majority of SES coordinator responses (93.9 percent) indicated that SES providers complied with applicable state and local laws. The majority of SES provider representatives (85.7 percent) reported that they were able to adapt services to each school's curriculum either frequently or occasionally. Three-fourths of SES provider representatives (75 percent) noted that tutors frequently or occasionally integrated SES services with classroom learning activities. The majority of SES coordinator responses (78.8 percent) indicated that SES providers collaborated to set goals for student growth either frequently or occasionally. Over half of SES division coordinator responses (68.2 percent indicated that provider's adapted SES services to each school's curriculum.

The Increasing Number of SES Providers

In a study conducted by the Civil Rights Project, UCLA, 2007 examining the trends in implementation of supplemental educational services and student participation in SES, from 2002-03 to 2006-07. The study concluded that the total number of students receiving SES services had increased over a five years period. The percentage of eligible students actually receiving services declined or leveled off after five years. The study concluded that over a five year period the number of SES providers expanded greatly in four of the six states studied. In one of the six states studied the number of SES providers remains the same and in one of the other states included in the study the number of SES providers declined. The number of providers grew substantially in all 11 districts. This research study will explore the challenges school supplemental education services coordinators and managers face when serving elementary students with disabilities.

The Effectiveness of SES

The Center on Education Policy, 2007 examined efforts states have undertaken to carry out the supplemental educational services requirements of NCLB, focusing on school year 2006-07. The study describes the procedures used to review and approve potential SES providers and the extent to which states were able to monitor the quality and effectiveness of SES providers. There study drew data from a fall 2006 survey of state education agency officials in 50 states. Thirty-eight states reported being unable to monitor the quality and effectiveness of SES providers "to a great extent." Only 10 states reported being able to do so "to a great extent." States attributed their inability to monitor to insufficient staff and funds. The greatest challenges to implementing supplemental services related to monitoring the quality and effectiveness of SES providers. Forty-one states and about half (51%) of school districts called this a moderate or serious challenge. In a report evaluating Supplemental Educational Services (SES) in Virginia, conducted by the Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) at the University of Memphis. In 2007-2008, 35 SES providers delivered SES services to 3,344 students in 26 school divisions. In total, 3,344 SES students (3,758 contracts) received SES tutoring services from 35 providers across 53 schools in 26 divisions in Virginia in 2007-2008. Within the 26 divisions, 55 Title I schools were required to offer SES services. Twenty-six (26) SES providers established 1,357 contracts in mathematics, while 32 SES established 2,401 contracts in reading/language arts. In the state-level analysis using data from all SES providers combined, no significant differences in either reading/language arts or mathematics performance were found between students receiving SES services and those not receiving SES services. While the survey findings revealed overall satisfaction with SES implementation and services, all respondent groups noted areas for improvement. These areas include: 1) integration of SES services with classroom instruction; 2) parental participation and division assistance in notifying parents about SES services; 3) limited hours of SES services; 4) monitoring of SES services both at the school site and in homes; and 5) transportation to and from SES services. Most SES provider representatives (78.6 percent) reported that they gave instruction to students with disabilities frequently or occasionally. Many SES provider representatives (71.5 percent) also reported that they offered appropriate instruction to ELL students as needed either frequently or occasionally. Many SES coordinator responses (67.4 percent) indicated that SES providers offered services to special education and ELL students. Nineteen (19) percent of students receiving SES services (572 students) were students with disabilities. Seven school divisions in Virginia participated in a United States Department of Education (USED) pilot for reversal of Public School Choice (PSC) and Supplemental Educational Services (SES) during the 2007-2008 school year. These divisions offered SES to eligible students attending schools in their first year of school improvement.