Curriculum, assessment, and accountability in day treatment and residential schools




Gagnon, Joseph Calvin
McLaughlin, Margaret J.

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Exceptional Children


This study determined school-level curricular, assessment, and accountability policies and practices in private and public day treatment and residential schools for elementary-age children with emotional or behavioral disorders (E/BD). A national random sample of 271 (56.45%) principals and 229 (47.70%) teachers responded to a mail survey. No significant differences existed between teacher and principal reports of school-level curricular, assessment, and accountability policies. However, several statistically significant differences existed in school policies for schools that served students from a single district and those that served students from across a single state or more than one state. Across all schools, teachers and principals indicated a prescribed school curriculum was common. District and state standards and student individualized education programs (IEPs) were used to receive information on curriculum of local schools. Approximately two thirds of all of the schools administered district and state assessments and most schools used their state’s accommodations guidelines. Assessment results were frequently reported to parents, teachers, and used to adjust instruction and curriculum. Implications and suggestions for future research are provided.



Day treatment, Residential, Curriculum, Assessment, Accountability, Emotional disturbance, Policy


Gagnon & McLaughlin, 2004