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Abstract

Secondary schools across the U.S. are engaged in substantial restructuring and reform, implementing a variety of educational, governance and structural initiatives. These initiatives include challenging students to construct knowledge and apply it in more authentic contexts, raising curriculum and assessment standards, and enhancing the professional community among school staff. In some instances, these reforms have incorporated special education services and are designed to serve all students. Most of the reform efforts, however, have been generated with little attention paid to the impact of new forms of pedagogy, curriculum standards, performance assessments, service learning, and similar innovations on students with disabilities. In response to these issues, the  Research Institute on Secondary Education Reform (RISER) for Youth with Disabilities has been designed to focus on secondary schools engaged in reform efforts that include students with disabilities. By studying secondary schools that have made substantial progress in some of these areas, the Institute will learn how secondary schools can be changed to improve education for all students.

This five-year project aims to identify practices and policies in secondary schools that positively impact educational and postschool outcomes for students with various kinds of disabilities. Using a framework for "schools of authentic and inclusive learning" developed in part by the Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools (Wisconsin Center for Education Research) the project is undertaking a series of action research programs with teams of teachers and researchers. These programs are located in significantly restructured secondary schools where youth with disabilities are being served in inclusive classes. The field studies undertaken at each action research site will examine interventions and practices affecting youth with the full range of disabilities and other students who are served outside of regular classrooms.

 

Research Institute on Secondary Education Reform for Youth with Disabilities

 

File last updated: February 7, 2003
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