- publication in a peer-reviewed journal (this means other professionals reviewed the research before publication) or
- a team of independent experts approved it through an objective, rigorous, and scientific review.
In a 2005 article, H. Rutherford Turnbull III describes what the most recent authorization of the IDEA states about the use of evidence-based practice. In the IDEA (as well as No Child Left Behind), evidence-based practice is called scientifically-based instruction, but these terms are generally referring to the same thing. Here are a few summaries of what the IDEA says about scientifically-based instruction (AKA evidence-based practice).
- Students may not receive IDEA benefits if their educational difficulties are due to a lack of appropriate reading instruction that includes essential components of reading instruction.
- Students may not be classified as having a learning disability if the student’s educational performance increases as a result of using scientific and research-based educational interventions (as part of the learning disability evaluation process).
- A student’s educational program and related services (listed in the Individualized Education Program [IEP]) should be based on scientific, reviewed research to the extent that is practicable.
- State education agencies and local school districts should support educator training activities on scientifically-based instruction.
- Local schools are encouraged to offer school-wide programs, such as scientifically-based reading programs and positive behavior supports that may prevent some students from needing special education services.
"What You Need to Know About IDEA 2004: IEPs for Children with Behavior Problems" by Pat Howey
Turnbull, H. R., III. (2005). Individuals With disabilities education act reauthorization: Accountability and personal responsibility. Remedial and Special Education, 26(6), 320-326.