Term of Award
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
The purpose of this study was to examine the experience of Georgia Teachers with administering the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) to elementary students with significant cognitive disabilities and determine how those experiences informed their perception of the Georgia Alternate Assessment. The GAA was designed to assess students with significant cognitive disabilities on grade level standards. The goal of including students with significant cognitive disabilities in standardized testing and statewide accountability systems is to positively impact the curriculum and instruction, and the teaching and learning process for these students. Georgia's special education teachers experience the GAA from within and are in an insightful position to share their perspectives of whether the GAA is meeting this goal.
Experiences and perceptions for this study were provided by Georgia teachers who had experienced administering the GAA to elementary students with significant cognitive disabilities. A grounded theory analysis revealed common experiences and perceptions among the participants.
Findings from the participants revealed the participants experienced the administration of the GAA as a balancing act in which they had to balance often conflicting aspects of meeting state and federal guidelines and meeting the daily instructional needs of their students with significant cognitive disabilities. Continued analysis revealed that these participants perceived the GAA to be a meaningless tool for teaching and a meaningless measure of assessment for elementary students with significant cognitive disabilities. Finally, continued grounded theory analysis resulted in the emergence of a theory. The participants of this study found the GAA to be an ineffective tool for measuring the teaching and learning of elementary students with significant cognitive disabilities. While not completely abandoning grade level standards, these participants advocated that teaching and high stakes assessment of elementary students with significant cognitive disabilities be based on a curriculum that has a more pivotal impact on their quality of life outcomes. They advocated teaching and assessment of daily living and functional life skills.
Harris, Veronica V., "Special Education Teachers' Experiences and Perceptions of the Georgia Alternate Assessment" (2014). Electronic Theses & Dissertations. 1062.