The Effects of Inclusion on Classmates of Students with Special Needs: The Case of Serious Emotional Problems

31 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2008

See all articles by Jason M. Fletcher

Jason M. Fletcher

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs; Yale University - School of Public Health

Date Written: June 11, 2008

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the current policy of full inclusion of children receiving special education services into regular education classrooms. Specifically, this paper focuses on the policy's effects on the classmates of children with special needs, with a particular focus on classmates of students with serious emotional problems. Results suggest that students with a classmate with a serious emotional problem experience reductions in first grade test scores, especially students in low-income schools. Results that attempt to capture sorting across and within school, using school-level random and fixed effects specifications and matching estimation, are qualitatively similar. The magnitude of the reduction in mathematics achievement is similar to the adjusted achievement gap between Hispanic and white students and 30%-50% of the size of the adjusted black-white gap. Since nearly 10% of the student population has a classmate with a serious emotional problem, the aggregate effect on test scores of the policy of inclusion of these students is potentially quite large.

Keywords: Inclusion, Peer Effects, Special Education

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Jason M., The Effects of Inclusion on Classmates of Students with Special Needs: The Case of Serious Emotional Problems (June 11, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1262103 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1262103

Jason M. Fletcher (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

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