NCEO Technical Reports: Characteristics of Low Performing Special Education and Non-Special Education Students on Large-Scale Assessments (#60)


A report investigating whether the characteristics of the lowest performing students in special education differ from the characteristics of the lowest performing students who are not in special education. The investigation in this report used data from low performing students in four states: Alabama, Hawaii, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Achievement data were disaggregated by three demographic characteristics (gender, race/ethnicity, and income status) for students taking the reading or mathematics assessments in fifth or eighth grade. In addition, researchers tracked data for each student over three years to identify how students moved in and out of the low performing category (low performing was defined as the tenth percentile and below for this report) across time.


March 2012 
Number 60
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)


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