15. Reducing LD

In the updated IDEA regulations classroom teacher referrals receive scrutiny as to the contribution of instruction to disability (cf. Teacher referrals). The construct of “appropriate instruction” is introduced (IDEA 2004 regulations, Education Legacy):

“To ensure that underachievement in a child suspected of having a specific learning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading or math, the group must consider, as part of the evaluation described in 34 CFR 300.304 through 300.306:”

“Data that demonstrate that prior to, or as a part of, the referral process, the child was provided appropriate instruction in regular education settings, delivered by qualified personnel;

and

Data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal assessment of student progress during instruction, which was provided to the child’s parents.”

MUST means obligation! The learning disability eligibility group MUST collect data on “appropriate instruction” according to the two-prong approach.

The eligibility group members must vouch for the report in writing, including certification of “appropriate instruction.” A remedial reading specialist could write a statement of disagreement if he or she does not believe that there was sufficient proof of “appropriate instruction.” Through this procedure needless LD placements can be questioned.

Here the regulation:

“Each group member must certify in writing whether the report reflects the member’s conclusion. If it does not reflect the member’s conclusion, the group member must submit a separate statement presenting the member’s conclusions. [34 CFR 300.311] [20 U.S.C. 1221e-3; 1401(30); 1414(b)(6)]”

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