Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

12-2004

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Nancy Dishner

Committee Members

Russell F. West, Louise L. MacKay, Cecil N. Blankenship

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine school principals’ knowledge of discipline provisions of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 and to determine what additional training opportunities may be needed to ensure that school systems in the upper East Tennessee region are in compliance under IDEA. As instructional leaders, it is imperative that principals understand their responsibilities and the importance of adhering to the legal obligations under IDEA. Principals who do not comply with the act not only deny students the education to which they are entitled but also expose the school system to costly litigation.

The Survey of Knowledge about the Discipline Provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments as developed by Lyons (2003) was used to obtain the middle and high school principals’ knowledge of IDEA ’97 discipline provisions. The survey instrument contained 12 demographic questions and 35 knowledge-level questions. The knowledge-level section of the survey contained seven questions from each of the five identified areas of knowledge found in the discipline provisions: (a) manifestation determinations, (b) functional behavior assessments, (c) behavior intervention plans, (d) interim alternative educational settings, and (e) general procedural safeguards.

The findings of this research project were analyzed using the software program SAS System for Elementary Statistical Analysis version 8.0. Descriptive statistics in the form of total score mean and standard deviation were used to determine school principals’ knowledge of IDEA ’97's discipline amendments.

The data analyzed for this study reflected that principals in the upper East Tennessee region need additional training regarding the discipline provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The provisions least understood by school administrators included: (a) manifestation determinations, (b) functional behavior assessments, (c) behavior intervention plans, (d) interim alternative educational settings, and (e) general procedural safeguards.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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