Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

12-2002

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell F. West

Committee Members

James J. Fox III, Nancy Dishner, Terrence A. Tollefson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to survey special education supervisors in public school systems throughout Tennessee and Georgia to determine the types of Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) procedures used and training provided to assessment personnel in their school systems. The primary focus of the study was on who conducts assessments, differences between the amount of training and support provided by school districts, and the use of best practices in conducting these assessments.

Surveys were mailed to 317 supervisors, 108 in Tennessee, and 123 in Georgia. These supervisors were asked to respond to questions concerning assessments in their respective school systems. One hundred eight (78.8%) supervisors from Tennessee and 123 (68.3%) from Georgia responded. This resulted in a return rate of 72.8%. The size of the school systems represented in the study ranged from 200 students to 114,000 students.

Frequency tables were used to present demographic data about the school systems. Six research questions formed the basis of the analysis. The first four questions were addressed using crosstabulation procedures, while t-tests for independent means were used to address research questions five and six.

The results of the study indicate that 72.4% of the school systems involved in the study had procedures in place to conduct FBAs. Most training for assessment personnel is conducted at the school system level and special education teachers are the most targeted group for this training. The research found that there was no statistically significant difference in the length of training provided assessment personnel and the use of best practices in conducting FBAs. However, there were differences between the two states in the use of best practices in conducting FBA based training and support.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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