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The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Program and High School Completion

The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Program and High School Completion Despite an increase in special education enrollment, a stark gap in high school completion between students with and without disabilities persists. This study examined the impact of Unified Champion Schools (UCS), a Special Olympics program designed to foster social inclusion through three components—Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership, and Whole School Engagement—on high school graduation rates. Using a novel dataset and a difference-in-differences design, we found that implementing the UCS program increased the graduation rate by 1.1 percentage points for all students and 1.4 percentage points for students with disabilities. The increase in schooling outcomes for students with disabilities in UCS schools also was found to be positively correlated with perceptions about a more socially inclusive school environment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Educational Research Journal SAGE

The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Program and High School Completion

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2021 AERA
ISSN
0002-8312
eISSN
1935-1011
DOI
10.3102/00028312211032744
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite an increase in special education enrollment, a stark gap in high school completion between students with and without disabilities persists. This study examined the impact of Unified Champion Schools (UCS), a Special Olympics program designed to foster social inclusion through three components—Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership, and Whole School Engagement—on high school graduation rates. Using a novel dataset and a difference-in-differences design, we found that implementing the UCS program increased the graduation rate by 1.1 percentage points for all students and 1.4 percentage points for students with disabilities. The increase in schooling outcomes for students with disabilities in UCS schools also was found to be positively correlated with perceptions about a more socially inclusive school environment.

Journal

American Educational Research JournalSAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2021

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