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Date of Award

1981

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Graduate School

First Advisor

Robert B. Morrow

First Committee Member

Hugh McBride

Second Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Third Committee Member

Paul Fogle

Fourth Committee Member

Doris Meyer

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the compliance and implementation levelsof special education services in California during the 1979-80 academic year. Data sources used for this study included (a) an analysis of 20 Northern California Monitor and Review (MAR) reports, (b) the descriptive state data contained in the 1979-80 California Master Plan Report, and (c) the evaluation data from the United States Office of Special Education Program Administrative Review (PAR) of California for 1979-80. A portion of the research objectives were answered through the development of an analysis methodology for the MAR reports compatible with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The remaining research objectives were completed by the development and application of an analysis and comparison model utilizing a five-point rating scale. Since the State's annual report is based in part on the MAR documents, the model was constructed to combine these two sources and compare them with data that was used to support the conclusions of the PAR report. This methodology was used to determine the compatibility of the two official reports describing the implementation and compliance status of special education in California during the 1979-80 academic year. The findings of this study in relation to data from the 20 MAR reports showed that on the average only 19% of the total number of items (196) from the state's monitor and review instrument were found to be in the "compliance" category. Furthermore 39% of these items were in the "non-compliance" category, while 42% of the items were "not assessed". Additional findings suggest an extensive variation in both the application of the state's 196 item MAR instrument and the evaluation results for rural and urban areas. The findings of the first application of the analysis and comparison model five-point rating scale suggest that when state report information and MAR data are available they generally do not support the PAR material used to substantiate the PAR report findings. The results of the second application of the model found that the data supporting PAR conclusions could not be substantiated or when present in the state and MAR reports, the sources were not in agreement. Based on the findings of this study, this investigator concluded that (a) local education agencies are experiencing significant problems in implementing required special education services, (b) there are substantial problems with the consistent application of the state's monitor and review instrument, (c) state and federal program evaluation systems lack a common philosophy and practical methodology to complement each other and avoid duplication, (d) portions of the support material used to justify PAR statements were based on isolated instances of observation, and (e) portions of the support material used to justify PAR statements were in conflict with state report and MAR data sources raising questions of PAR report accuracy and generalizability. Recommendations in relation to the findings of this study include the following: (a) the development of a uniform evaluation philosophy and practical methodology to assess special education services, (b) modification of the state's 196 item MAR instrument and training procedures to obtain consistent and uniform data to accurately measure progress in the implementation of special education services, (3) completion of reliability and validity studies to support the continued use of the MAR evaluation instrument, and (d) replication of this study at five-year intervals to plot implementation progress of mandated changes within the field of special education.

Pages

187

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