Good High Schools for Students with Disabilities Introduction to the Special Issue

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This special issue presents findings from Good High Schools, a 3-year study of high schools that have strong participation and positive results for their students with disabilities. In this introductory article, we describe the national search for three “good high schools” and the final selection of schools in Virginia, New York, and Florida. We review the goals and research questions that guided the research and describe the mixed methods research approach used to study the three high schools. Methods included individual and focus group interviews of school administrators, department heads, community representatives, teachers, parents, and students; classroom observations; shadowing of students throughout a school day; surveys of students and teachers; collection of documents on the school mission, course offerings, and students' rights and responsibilities; achievement test scores; and 4-year transcripts of courses taken by senior students with disabilities. We foreshadow the finding from the three case studies that follow, that a theory of action underlies the approach to educating students with disabilities in the three schools.

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