Volume 20, Issue 1 (1991)
Support Services Professionals' Evaluation of Current Services for Students With Learning Disabilities and Low Achieving Students Without Learning Disabilities: More Grist for the Reform Mill
Marilyn S. Wilson
Abstract: As part of a large-scale continuing education project, a survey was conducted to assess the perceptions of over 500 Iowa support services professionals (psychologists, social workers, and special education consultants)regarding classification and programming issues concerning students with learning disabilities (LD) and low achieving students without LD. The results indicated that support services practitioners from varying disciplines had virtually identical views on key issues concerning the current delivery system. Moreover, these views suggested that the educational needs of children with LD and low achieving students without LD are similar. Most did not support maintaining clear distinctions between these groups. Over 40% actually favored merging programs for students with LD and Chapter I programs, and almost 70% supported providing remedial services to all low achieving children without formal classification procedures. The implications of these results were discussed for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) priorities regarding alternative delivery systems, and for the future development of services for at-risk students,particularly reforms in current patterns of services to students with LD. The critical issue is whether the current delivery system can be justified in the face of evidence that the vast majority of the professionals directly involved with its implementation are clearly skeptical of and often largely opposed to current practices.
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