Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

James J. Fox III, Russell F. West, Terrence A. Tollefson


The purpose of this study was to develop and refine an instrument to assess knowledge levels of the discipline provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (IDEA '97). Such an instrument will assist in determining whether or not and to what extent additional training opportunities may be needed for school personnel who are responsible for disciplining students served in special education under IDEA '97. School officials who do not have proper knowledge and understanding of these provisions may violate students' rights by denying them the free appropriate public education to which they are entitled.

The initial researcher designed instrument was a fixed-response test, consisting of 102 questions. Questions were based upon five identified areas of knowledge found in the discipline provisions: manifestation determination; functional behavior assessments; behavior intervention plans; interim alternative educational settings; and general procedural safeguards. Instrument items were written to assess knowledge for basic recall, commprehension, and application. A panel of experts reviewed this instrument to ensure content validity. Based upon the panel's recommendations, the instrument was revised and several questions were removed. A pilot study was then conducted with the resulting 68-question instrument. Fifty-eight graduate school students at East Tennessee State University participated in a test-retest study of the instrument.

Pearson Product Moment Correlations and paired samples t-tests were used to determine test-retest reliability on the total test, as well as each subscale. Additionally, KR-20 estimates of internal consistency were obtained to determine the power of the instrument. The corrected item total correlations were utilized for each subscale to eliminate items that did not contribute to the consistency of the instrument. Finally, an item analysis was used to determine the final make up of the instrument. The final instrument contained 35 items, with seven items for each subscale.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.