NCEO Technical Reports: Interpreting Trends in the Performance of Special Education Students (#27)

Part of the NCEO Technical Reports series.
John Bielinski, James E Ysseldyke


This year 2000 report examines the effect that transitions between regular education and special education across grades had on performance trends for the special education population. It also looks at the effect that changes in exemption rates for students with disabilities had on performance trends. It was found that the reduction in exemption rates from testing as well as the departure of highest achieving special education students returning to general education both contributed to an increase in the performance gap over time. Further, when the same group of special education students were tracked over time, this gap decreased slightly. Findings have significant implications for states in the reporting of disaggregated data on students with disabilities, particularly in tracking performance across time. Recommendations are provided.


October 2000 
Number 27
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)


  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • Assessment Participation
    • Assessment Reporting
    • Students with Disabilities