How Are Youth in Special Education Faring


A new multivolume report provides a national picture of secondary school students in special education and examines how they compare with their peers. The research sheds light on challenges youth can face in socioeconomic status, health, communication, and social functioning at school. It also looks at other areas, such as academic supports and preparation for life after high school.

“This study provides a comprehensive, updated picture of students who receive special education services in the United States,” said Mathematica Policy Research Senior Researcher Stephen Lipscomb, who led the analysis for these two reports. “The findings can help schools address the challenges these youth face given our nation’s changing educational, social, and economic landscape.”

Policymakers have long recognized the importance of addressing the needs of these students, who today account for 12 percent of all youth in the United States. Mathematica is conducting the research, called the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012, for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to examine the characteristics and experiences of secondary school students who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.