Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Peter A. Ross


This qualitative research study was an investigation into teachers’ challenges for not consistently using curriculum-based assessments to assess 9th and 12th grade students with disabilities. The conceptual framework of the study was guided by Nitko’s curriculum-based criterion-reference practices theory, which posits that curriculum-based assessment should be the basis for assessing student learning, especially in high-stakes evaluation. The research questions addressed: 1) Special and general education teachers’ perceptions of the use of curriculum-based assessments for 9th and 12th grade students with learning disabilities, and 2) Special and general education teachers’ challenges to conducting curriculum-based assessment with fidelity for 9th and 12th grade students with learning disabilities. Data analysis from 10 participants utilized open and axial coding and thematic analysis. Results revealed that even though both special and general education teachers agreed upon the value of curriculum-based assessment for evaluating the achievement of 9th and 12th grade students with learning disabilities, many teachers experience barriers in the implementation of curriculum-based assessment. Barriers included: 1) Significant differences in teaching roles and fairness and equality in the classrooms, 2) Lack of collaboration between the special education and general education teachers, and 3) Teachers with less than 5 years teaching experience were hesitant to try new ideas. This study may contribute to social change by enhancing teachers’ perceptions about using curriculum-based assessments and may ultimately improve the academic experiences of students with learning disabilities.

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