Mandated transition services: an examination of the linkages between policy, secondary special education programs, and student outcomes
Brown, Patricia A. (Patricia Ann), 1951-
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The questions asked in this study were: (1) Are there differences in post-school outcomes among students with moderate/severe mental retardation who graduated in 1985, 1990, and 1995 from three school districts in Washington state at 2 discrete points in time since graduation (at 1 year for the 1990 and 1995 graduates and at 6 years for the 1985 and 1990 graduates). Specifically, what are the outcome differences between (a) 1990 and 1995 graduates one year after high school and (b) 1985 and 1990 graduates 6 years after high school for each of the outcome variables of employment, enrollment in postsecondary school or training, engagement in employment, education or both and independence; (2) How were transition services implemented, in response to stage policy or other factors, for students with moderate/severe mental retardation who graduated in 1990 and 1995? (3) In what ways, if at all, were differences in outcomes for 1990 and 1995 graduates associated with how districts and schools implemented transition services?The data revealed no significant differences, in the aggregate, for any of the measured outcomes between 1990 and 1995 graduates one year after high school or 1985 and 1990 graduates 6 years after high school. However, findings from the individual student cases suggest that the mandate for transition may have an impact on the high school program for students with moderate/severe mental retardation. Informants agree that, since the passage of the transition policy, the high school program has become more community-based, employment oriented, and age-appropriate with an increased emphasis on establishing linkages with adult service providers. The transition policy served as a catalyst in hastening this change process.Included are implications for policy and school practice and recommendations for further research.
- Education - Seattle