Volume 30, Issue 4 (2001)
Issues in Data-Based Decision Making in Special Education: Introduction to the Special Series
C. Addison Stone
The basic focus of this special series is on the issue of if and how school psychology and special education professionals can develop data-based estimates of what constitutes“acceptable progress” for students with learning disabilities (LD) to use in informing policy and practice. The idea for the series emerged from a discussion in 1997 involving members of the Research Committee within the Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children. The discussion during that meeting centered on the fact that an empirical vacuum exists regarding the issue of expected progress for students with LD. In recent years, this vacuum has forced judges to rely on informal and idiosyncratic judgments of the acceptability of the target student’s academic progress when reaching decisions regarding appropriate placements. It has also left school districts and local administrators unsure of how to judge the “acceptability” of particular instructional programs for exceptional children.The discussion of this issue led to a symposium at the annual meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children in 1998. That symposium drew a large audience and generated a lively discussion. The present series of articles is an outgrowth of that symposium.
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