NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ896150
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 80
ISSN: ISSN-0033-3085
Potential Utility of Actuarial Methods for Identifying Specific Learning Disabilities
Benson, Nicholas; Newman, Isadore
Psychology in the Schools, v47 n6 p538-560 Jul 2010
This article describes how actuarial methods can supplant discrepancy models and augment problem solving and Response to Intervention (RTI) efforts by guiding the process of identifying specific learning disabilities (SLD). Actuarial methods use routinized selection and execution of formulas derived from empirically established relationships to make predictions that fall within a plausible range of possible future outcomes. In the case of SLD identification, the extent to which predictions are reasonable can be evaluated by their ability to categorize large segments of the population into subgroups that vary considerably along a spectrum of risk for academic failure. Although empirical comparisons of actuarial methods to clinical judgment reveal that actuarial methods consistently outperform clinical judgment, multidisciplinary teams charged with identifying SLD currently rely on clinical judgment. Actuarial methods provide educators with an empirically verifiable indicator of student need for special education and related services that could be used to estimate the relative effects of exclusionary criteria. This indicator would provide a defensible endpoint in the process of identifying SLD as well as a means of informing and improving the SLD identification process.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Subscription Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A