ERIC Number: EJ900612
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-15
Boom in Learning-Disabled Enrollments Ends
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v30 n3 p1, 14-15 Sep 2010
After decades of what seemed to be an inexorable upward path, the number of students classified as learning-disabled declined from year to year over much of the past decade--a change in direction that is spurring debates among experts about the reasons why. The percentage of 3- to 21-year-old students nationwide classified as having a "specific learning disability" dropped steadily from 6.1 percent in the 2000-01 school year to 5.2 percent in 2007-08, according to the most recent data available, which come from the U.S Department of Education's 2009 Digest of Education Statistics. The decrease in the category goes hand in hand with a decrease in special education enrollment overall, though that change is not as large. Scholars say the dropping numbers could be linked to improvements in reading instruction overall; th adoption of "response to intervention," which is an instructional model intended to halt the emergence of reading problems; and a federally backed push toward early intervention with younger students before they're labeled.
Descriptors: Early Intervention, Learning Disabilities, Reading Instruction, Enrollment, Special Education, Federal Legislation, Cognitive Ability, Mental Retardation, Reading Achievement, Educational Improvement, Elementary Schools, Accountability, Reading Difficulties
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001