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Special Education Gains Shape Middle School Reform


Following an intensive reading intervention, the reading proficiency rate for sixth-grade special education students at Lennox Middle School in southern California jumped from 8 percent to 43 percent in one year. In fact, they performed better than their general education classmates, whose proficiency rate was under 37 percent. 

This dramatic achievement helped drive a schoolwide instructional improvement effort. It also redefined how the school’s general and special education teachers worked with one another—and with students. 

The school made two fundamental changes in how it operates in order to support and strengthen instructional improvement.

An inclusionary Learning Center was created in the fall of 2009, where five general education and two special education teachers provide intensive language arts and mathematics intervention to all students performing below grade level.

The second element integral to the success of schoolwide improvement was implementation of a Response to Intervention (RtI) model during the 2009-2010 school year.

By the spring of 2010, after a full year of schoolwide instructional improvement, all students in the Learning Center intervention program, including those with disabilities, had achieved at least a year’s growth in language arts, and most made two years’ growth.

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Product Information

Copyright: 2011
Format: PDF
Pages: 3
Publisher: WestEd