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ERIC Number: EJ839511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 85
ISSN: ISSN-1525-1810
Scientifically Based Research and Peer-Reviewed Research under the IDEA: The Legal Definitions, Applications, and Implications
Zirkel, Perry A.; Rose, Tessie
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v22 n1 p36-50 Mar 2009
A systematic analysis of the references to "scientifically based research" (SBR) and closely related terms, such as "peer-reviewed research" (PRR), in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) legislation, regulations, commentary, and case law reveal that SBR and its primary variants apply largely to state support obligations, such as technical assistance, rather than the local education agency's (LEA's) direct services to students with disabilities. References in the IDEA specific to LEAs are limited to 1) permissive provisions concerning response to intervention for identifying students with learning disabilities and 2) the requirement that the individual education program's statement of special education be based on PRR to the extent practicable. The applications of the PRR and SBR language vary widely among the relatively few cases relying on their explicit references in the 2004 amendments, but the judicial outcomes thus far have been generally unremarkable. Depending on future judicial interpretation, PRR may have the potential to be the most significant in terms of serving as a possible best-practice standard for districts' obligation to provide each eligible student with a free appropriate public education. Based on the findings, we recommend: (1) Both scholars and practitioners need to be cautious to avoid misuse of SBR and related terminology in relation to the legal boundaries of the IDEA; and (2) Special education administrators should avoid overestimating the extent of their legal obligations--as contrasted with their professional aspirations--for SBR under the IDEA, with careful circumspection about and differentiation from PRR. (Contains 3 tables.)
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Board of Education v Rowley; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Reading Excellence Act