School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Michelle Barthlow


COVID, Achievement gaps, Special Education, Inclusion, Specific Learning Disabilities, Other Health Impairments, Standards of Learning


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


The purpose of this quantitative, causal-comparative design study was to determine whether differences existed between the reading and math achievement of sixth grade general education students and students with disabilities who have been identified with a specific learning disability or other health impairment. This study was important because achievement gaps exist between subgroups of students (Farkas et al., 2020). The sample included scores from 144 students in a school division in Southeastern Virginia. The instrument used was the Grade 6 Reading and Math Standards of Learning assessments administered in the spring of 2021. Two one-way ANOVAs were used to compare the differences between the math and reading achievement of the three identified groups. Data collected from the 144 participants were analyzed, and findings were summarized and reported. The independent variable in this study was the educational classification of the students. The dependent variable was the students’ proficiency on the sixth grade math and reading Standards of Learning Assessments. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to run two one-way ANOVAs. The results revealed significant math and reading scores differences between general education students and the other groups: other health impairments and students with specific learning disabilities.