School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Angela Smith


students with disabilities, expectations, stigma, self-efficacy


Special Education and Teaching


Beginning with the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 and continuing through the passage of No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 and the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, legislation has significantly impacted the quality of education for students with disabilities. Many improvements, including the right to a free and appropriate public education within their least restrictive environment, have aided the academic success of students with disabilities. However, with the introduction of high stakes testing there has been increased pressure to succeed placed upon both the students and the teachers. Beyond unrealistic academic expectations, other factors including the lack of adequate teacher training, teacher attitudes, stigma, and teacher self-efficacy, have all contributed to less than satisfactory success rates for students with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between general education math and English/language arts teachers’ expectations for students with disabilities and the students’ performance on the Indiana state standardized assessments. A Pearson correlation analysis was completed at the .05 level of significance. Approximately 555 students were identified as meeting criteria for this study and 87 teachers. The tools that were used to collect the data for this study included teacher self-evaluation data and the Indiana state standardized test called ISTEP+. The results from the study indicated there was no significant relationship between these two variables due to the low variability on the teachers’ self-evaluation tool. Future research should be completed looking at the other factors that influence student performance on the state assessment such as student behavior, student stress level, student self-efficacy. Additionally, possibly using an alternative tool or an alternative evaluator for teacher expectations may be considered.