Achievement of Students with Special Education Needs in English: Reading

Publication Details

In 2014, the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) assessed student achievement at Year 4 and Year 8 in two areas of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) – English: reading and social studies. This brief report presents the results for students with special education needs in English: reading.

Author(s): Education Assessment Research Unit and New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Report for the Ministry of Education.

Date Published: July 2016

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Executive Summary

Students with special education needs made up 10 percent of the Year 4 national sample and 7 percent of the Year 8 national sample. More boys than girls in the study were identified as having special education needs at both year levels.

Twenty-four percent of Year 4 students with special education needs scored above the minimum score on the Knowledge and Application of Reading in English (KARE) assessment associated with achieving curriculum level 2 objectives, and 20 percent of Year 8 students with special education needs scored above the minimum score associated with achieving curriculum level 4 objectives.

Year 8 students with special education needs scored, on average, 28 scale score units higher on the KARE assessment than Year 4 students with special education needs.

Year 4 students with special education needs showed more positive attitudes to English: reading than Year 8 students with special education needs and girls, overall, showed more positive attitudes than boys. The correlation between scores for students with special education needs on the Attitude to Reading scale and their scores on the KARE assessment was not statistically significant at either Year 4 or Year 8.

Overall, the proportion of students with special education needs who reported doing 2 or more hours of reading in their own time was smaller than the corresponding proportion of all students in the national samples. Girls reported spending more of their own time reading than boys, and students who reported spending 5 or more hours a week reading scored higher, on average, on the KARE assessment than those who reported doing little or no reading in their own time.

The proportion of students with special education needs scoring above the national average on the KARE assessment at each year level was smaller than the corresponding proportion of all students in the national samples.

When compared with the overall proportions of boys and girls with special education needs in the national samples, boys with special education needs were slightly over-represented in the group of students with special education needs who achieved the lowest scores.

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