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J Learn Disabil. 2006 May-Jun;39(3):206-14.

The diagnosis of LD in English learners: is it nondiscriminatory?

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University of California at Davis, School of Education, 95616, USA.


This study examined the operationalization of one of the key reforms initiated by the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (U.S. Congress, 1975) and continued through the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (U.S. Congress, 2004)--namely, nondiscriminatory assessment. The original and current specifications in federal law require that tests be selected and administered so as not to be racially, culturally, or sexually discriminatory. The specific dimensions studied here pertain to the nondiscriminatory diagnosis of learning disabilities (LD) in English learners. A checklist of legal and professional guidelines for making assessments of English learners was used to evaluate 19 psychological reports made on English learners as part of the assessment process for special education eligibility in a small, urban elementary school district in California. The results of this study present a fairly compelling profile of how the writers of psychological reports--school psychologists--do not use extant legal or professional guidelines for making nondiscriminatory assessments of bilingual children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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