TeachME Professional Development

Increasing Graduation Rates for Students with Learning Disabilities


1. Although repeated surveys have documented how students with specific learning disabilities (SLD) are misunderstood, underestimated, and held to low expectations by teachers and even their own parents, a majority of the students themselves report that they believe they will graduate with a regular diploma.

A. True

B. False

What's Inside

2. Each of the following accurately describes the expectations, dropout rates, and graduation rates of students with specific learning disabilities EXCEPT:

A. Schools make decisions as early as elementary school that can take students off track for a regular diploma

B. While the dropout rate has improved dramatically for students with specific learning disabilities, currently only about 54 percent of SLD students leave school with a high school diploma

C. States with a policy to offer multiple diplomas can result in fewer students with SLD graduating

D. Failure to graduate from high school has long-term effects on the college and career prospects of students with SLD, including contributing to an unemployment rate of approximately 39 percent for these adults

Most Common Types of Specific Learning Disabilities

3. The most common types of SLD include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory/visual processing disorders, and non-verbal learning disabilities, and while Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is not an SLD, it occurs in about one-fourth of the people with SLD.

A. True

B. False

4. Surveys conducted by the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) and the Center on Education Policy (CEP) reveal significant variation in the diplomas and other options, graduation requirements, and high school exit exams for students with disabilities across states, all of which impact graduation rates.

A. True

B. False

5. Which of the following is NOT likely one of the allowances states will make to allow students with disabilities to receive a regular diploma?

A. Reducing the number of credits required to obtain a regular diploma

B. Substituting alternative courses and lowering performance criteria

C. Using the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) to set terms for graduation requirements

D. Modifying the student's daily schedule to make the instructional day more manageable, which will in turn help the student be motivated to stay in school

Getting a Certificate

6. Many states have policies that provide other types of documents to be awarded to students with disabilities so they may recognize students who complete school but do not satisfy the requirements for a regular diploma.

A. True

B. False


7. As states implement more rigorous academic standards and increase graduation requirements, attention must be given to ______________________________ and other efforts to improve the rate at which students with SLD earn a regular diploma.

A. Clear, understandable, and consistent educational expectations

B. Challenging content and knowledge-focused processes

C. Evidence-based instructional practices

D. Sequential multi-sensory approaches


8. To help improve the graduation rate of students with learning disabilities, the National Center for Learning Disabilities recommends that at the federal level, The U.S. Department of Education establish policies that keep students on a path to earning a regular diploma.

A. True

B. False

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