Sunday, June 10, 2012

U.S. Educational Policy and EBP

According to Wrightslaw, federal policy defines scientifically-based research (another way of saying EBP) as having at least one of the following components:
  • 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.
A more detailed definition of scientifically-based research from the No Child Left Behind Act can be found here.

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.
Many of these provisions are also described on the Wrightslaw website.

"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.

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