An examination of the rate of high school completion experienced by handicapped and nonhandicapped students in the state of Texas
This research examines the graduation rate experienced by students receiving public education services in the state of Texas. Special attention is paid to that subgroup of Texas students who meet Texas Education Agency criteria for handicapped status. The study is guided by two research questions: What are the high school completion rates experienced by handicapped and nonhandicapped students attending Texas public schools? and What are the predictors of graduation for handicapped and nonhandicapped students? In addition, the following hypotheses are explored. Hypothesis 1: Handicapped students attending a Texas public school will experience a lower rate of high school completion than their nonhandicapped counterparts. Hypothesis 2: Handicapped and nonhandicapped students attending school in a Texas public school with a budget above the median budget for Texas public schools will experience a higher rate of high school completion than similar students in Texas public schools with a budget below the median budget. Hypothesis 3: Handicapped and nonhandicapped students attending school in large Texas urban areas will experience a lower rate of high school completion than similar students in Texas public schools in rural areas. Hypothesis 4: Handicapped and nonhandicapped students attending a Texas public school in a county which rates above the state median for food stamps and AFDC recipients will experience a lower rate of high school completion than students living in counties below the median. The study will employ extant data from the records of the Texas Education Agency for the 1988-1989 and the 1989-1990 school years, from the Texas Department of Health for the years of 1989 and 1990, and from the 1980 Census. The study reveals that nonhandicapped students are graduating with a two year average rate of.906, while handicapped students following an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) achieve a two year average rate of.532, and handicapped students following the regular academic program present a two year average graduation rate of only.371. The presence of other handicapped students, and the school district's average expense per student are found to contribute significantly to the completion rates of handicapped students. Size groupings are used to elucidate the various impacts of these variables on different school districts and different student groups. Conclusions and implications are offered regarding the need to reach national consensus on the definition and computation of high school completion for both handicapped and nonhandicapped students, and the need for improved statewide tracking of handicapped completion rates.
Special education|Secondary education
Stafford, Ben Kelvin, "An examination of the rate of high school completion experienced by handicapped and nonhandicapped students in the state of Texas" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9700052.