|Data from IDEAdata.org|
Percentages of students 6-21 yrs
identified in categories of LD, ED, or ID
for US schools
Ever wonder why the number of students identified as having learning disabilities (LD), emotional or behavior disorders (ED), or intellectual disabilities (ID) in the US is declining? The numbers are not declining, you say? Hmmmm. Well, as the table here shows, they are, indeed, declining. I drew these data from the child counts mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. I used the data for percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, as a percentage of population, by disability, and state. (I used 6-21, because those are reported consistently across the years; therefore these percentages are lower than one might expect for school-age students.) As indicated, one can check my work by referring to the data tables for US Office of Special Education Programs’ state-reported data. And, as the data show, it’s not just LD that’s decreasing.
Some of our colleagues will argue that the reason for the decline is improvement in preventative services, especially as represented by response to intervention or instruction methods that have been touted extensively in the time represented in the table here. Continue reading ‘Context for decline in special education’