ERIC Number: ED459544
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Is "Learning Disabilities" Just a Fancy Term for Low Achievement? A Meta-Analysis of Reading Differences between Low Achievers with and without the Label. Executive Summary.
Fuchs, Douglas; Fuchs, Lynn S.; Mathes, Patricia G.; Lipsey, Mark W.; Roberts, P. Holley
This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the reading differences between students who were low achieving, both with and without the label of learning disabilities (LD). Seventy-nine studies were chosen to calculate reading performance differences between low achievers with and without the LD label. The substantive and methodological features of the 79 studies were coded to identify potential sources of effect size variance. Preliminary statistical analyses were then conducted to determine which reading domains and types of research designs provided a defensible data set for meta-analytic aggregation. Then averages were taken across comparable reading domains. An overall weighted mean effect size was calculated of .605 standard deviations, indicating that the reading scores of 73 percent of low achievers without the label were above the average reading score of low achievers with the label. However, substantial heterogeneity in the sample of effect sizes were also observed. Further analyses identified 10 variables that helped explain this variation. Three of these in particular (timed tests, higher grade levels, and objective measurement) increased the disparity in reading performance between low achievers with and without the label. It is argued that low achievement should be used as the primary criterion to identify LD. (CR)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Classification, Disability Identification, Elementary Secondary Education, Eligibility, High Risk Students, Intervention, Labeling (of Persons), Learning Disabilities, Reading Difficulties, Referral, Special Education, Student Characteristics
For full text: http://www.air.org/ldsummit/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Learning Disabilities Summit: Building a Foundation for the Future (Washington, DC, August 27-28, 2001).