Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Ella Benson


Previous research has shown that because remediation and support replace required and career-defining courses, exceptional students fall behind, ill equipped to act in society as autonomous adults. No Child Left Behind requires reading proficiency, so students failing standardized tests must take remedial courses. Individualized education plans often require support courses. However, there remains an important gap in the literature regarding the usefulness of reading, standardized testing, and leadership research to solve this problem. A class combining reading and support for students with exceptionalities exists at 1 high school. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the combined program to determine whether a specific program intended to meet federal and state performance-based standards affected test scores. This study used a single-group pretest-posttest design to analyze the 2007 and 2008 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test Reading scale scores of 25 of the 30 students with exceptionalities enrolled in the combined course to determine whether a significant difference existed between these test scores. The paired-sample t test identified a significant difference between pretest and posttest scores, supporting the hypothesis that combining remediation and support increases progress. This study would be an important contribution to the existing literature by providing a viable solution to this problem by offering more opportunities for exceptional students to enroll in courses available to their mainstream peers. It also would enhance social change initiatives by facilitating the graduation and entry into productive adulthood of students with exceptionalities, allowing them to define career interests and remediate deficiencies simultaneously.