7. Reducing LD

The team should make ample use of different kinds of data – qualitative and quantitative — to arrive at conclusions about the eligibility status of a learning disabled child. It should be thorough and persistent. A primary goal is to reduce special education under-identification, misidentification and over-identification of at-risk children.

The team should persist in its efforts to identify non-disabled children who are being placed in special education incorrectly, or who are already in special education and should be exited. The new regulations give the group a lot of latitude to collect and evaluate data. Increasingly these data are RTI or preschool data.

In prior posts, little attention has been given to the processes of exiting children from learning disability status in protection of their FAPE rights. Properly, the regulation places responsibility on the team to see evaluation as a continuing oversight process.

Consider the relevant revised regulations (IDEA 2004 regulations, Education Legacy):

“On the basis of that review [of data], and input from the child’s parents, identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:

Whether the child is a child with a disability, as defined in 34 CFR 300.8, and the educational needs of the child; or, in case of a reevaluation of a child, whether the child continues to have such a disability, and the educational needs of the child….;

Whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the child to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the IEP of the child and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.[34 CFR 300.305(a)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(c)(1)-(4)]…”

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