In Defense of Different Numbers

Bob Algozzine, James E. Ysseldyke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Learning disabilities prevalence rates are alarmingly high and much of the variability in them is due to the fitful manner in which professionals in the states are permitted to implement operational definitions of the category. Recently, arguments that these practices resulted in prevalence rates for the learning disabilities category that were no more variable than those of other high incidence were posited. In this re-analysis of extant data, we found that the conclusions one makes about variance in prevalence are a function of the methods one uses to examine the differences among the prevalence rates. We continue to believe that special education definitions are easier said than done and that the effect that specific discrepancy criteria for learning disabilities have on numbers of students identified is the critical issue professionals in the field consistently ignore.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1987

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