Term of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Stephen Jenkins

Committee Member 2

Barbara Mallory

Abstract

This descriptive study was based on quantitative data from a total of 76 school personnel that consisted of 18 administrators, 37 special education teachers, and 21 special education paraprofessionals from two high schools, one middle school and two elementary schools. The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency of roles and responsibilities performed by the Georgia special education paraprofessionals and the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on those roles and responsibilities as perceived by administrators, special education teachers and special education paraprofessionals. A survey was sent to all respondents for their input that covered demographics (gender, education, and experience) roles and responsibilities of the special education paraprofessional, and respondents perceptions/opinions of the NCLB mandates as they relate to the special education paraprofessional. Descriptive statistics were analyzed and summarized by using a SPSS 13.0 for Windows software. A one way ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) was used to test the differences between the three groups. The data in the survey gives one a broader picture and understanding of the many times duties are performed by the special education paraprofessional as perceived by administrators, special education teachers and special education paraprofessionals. The data supports the fact that special education paraprofessionals perform a wide variety of roles and responsibilities that sustain the students, special education teacher, and the neighborhood community. Data revealed administrative respondents (principals and assistant principals) believe that special education paraprofessionals perform and complete duties more times per day than the other two groups (special education teachers and special education paraprofessionals) polled in the survey. Data also revealed special education teachers perceived special education paraprofessionals performing the tasks listed in this survey fewer times than the other two groups (administrators and special education paraprofessionals.) Special education paraprofessionals, according to the survey, listed many other tasks that they perform during the day. Disagreement on how many times some tasks are being done, versus the number of times some tasks should be done, seems to elicit different observations and thoughts from each group.

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