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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 30 Issue 4 (2001) The Potential for Empirically Based E...
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Volume 30, Issue 4 (2001)

The Potential for Empirically Based Estimates of Expected Progress for Students With Learning Disabilities: Legal and Conceptual Issues

pp. 473—486

Abstract. The purpose of this article is to spark discussion regarding the value and feasibility of empirically based procedures for goal setting and evaluation of educational services. Recent legal decisions and policy debates point to the need for clearer criteria in decisions regarding appropriate educational services. Taking the case of learning disabilities as an example, it is argued further that recent theoretical advances and empirical data provide reason for optimism regarding the feasibility of establishing large-scale databases reflecting typical progress of students with recognizable cognitive profiles. Such databases could be used to make more objective decisions regarding appropriate programs and goals for individual students.In addition, they would allow for objective decisions regarding acceptable progress in specific programs. Possible roles for school psychologists and other professionals in empirically based decision making are discussed, and a call is made for discussions regarding the advisability and feasibility of such an agenda.

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