Declaring students eligible for learning disability services: Why bother with the data?

James E. Ysseldyke, Bob Algozzine, Linda Richey, Janet Graden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


School personnel routinely collect a variety of information in order to make decisions concerning a student's eligibility for special services. Such decisions are typically made at placement team meetings in which individuals are expected to reach consensus as a group on the basis of assessment results. Twenty videotapes of placement team meetings were analyzed relative to the kinds of data presented. The relationship between the final decision and the amount of information presented was positive: greater likelihood of identification was evident at meetings in which more information was presented. Little relationship existed between the type of information presented and applicability to various currently popular identification criteria. Eighty-three percent of the statements made at the meetings were considered irrelevant. The data provide little evidence to suggest that teams use specific, formal criteria when making eligibility decisions or that assessment results are used for purposes other than minimal professional credibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1982


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