develop a very informative video series that presents research-based practices in teaching reading to students with learning disabilities.
University of Illinois at Chicago. The Chicago institute’s research introduced social competence as an area worthy of investigation. The importance of this affective side of learning disabilities was very timely in that it quickly captured the attention of many educators. For example, during the 1980s, social skill deficits were featured in three nationally disseminated definitions of learning disabilities (i.e., ACLD/LDA in 1986; ICLD in 1987; NJCLD in 1988).
Gresham (1988) reported that 75% of all published articles in social skills were published between 1983 and 1988. Given the concern for safety in America’s schools, such affective topics as social competence, self-concept, dependency, loneliness, suicide, drug usage, and impulsivity are certain to attract more attention. These topics are discussed in the recent learning disabilities literature and research (Mercer, 1997). Unfortunately, the goal of developing highly effective interventions for social skills still remains elusive (Forness & Kavale, 1996; Vaughn, McIntosh, & Spencer-Rowe, 1991; Vaughn & Sinugab, 1998).
University of Kansas. The work of the Kansas institute has not only continued but also expanded. Since 1978, the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning (the parent organization for the Institute for Research in Learning Disabilities) has continued to focus on the mission of designing and validating interventions for adolescents and young adults with learning disabilities. In this organization, more than $20 million of contracted research has been conducted on adolescents and young adults with learning disabilities (Deshler, Ellis, & Lenz, 1996).
University of Minnesota. It is fair to say that the research on assessment at the Minnesota institute has made diagnosticians more aware of the specific weaknesses of standardized tests and the decision-making processes based on assessment data. The assessments in special education continue to be an area of substantial controversy (e.g., over-representation of minorities in special education) and more research in needed.
The Minnesota research initiative that focused on CBA has also influenced many assessment practices nationwide in special education. CBA refers to any approach that uses direct observation and recording of a student’s performance in the school curriculum as a basis for obtaining information to make instructional decisions (Deno, 1987). Specific procedures include assessing students’ academic skills with repeated rate samples using stimulus materials taken from the students’ curriculum. The primary uses of curriculum- based measurement (CBM) are to establish district or classroom performance standards, identify students who need special instruction, and monitor individual student progress toward long-range goals. Over the years, researchers have garnered considerable evidence supporting the positive association between data- based monitoring and student achievement gains. In a meta-analysis of formative evaluations, Fuchs and Fuchs (1986) found that data-based programs that monitored student progress and evaluated instruction systematically produced 0.7 standard deviation higher achievement than nonmonitored instruction. This represents a gain of 26 percentage points. Moreover, CBM measures have good reliability and validity (Fuchs, 1986; Tindal & Marston, 1990).
University of Virginia. The work at the Virginia institute appears to have provided a springboard for much further research on attention deficits, metacognition, and instruction. Since 1980, attention deficits have been featured in the subsequent editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–IV). Moreover, there is a high degree of comorbidity between learning disabilities and ADHD (Lyon, 1995b).
Metacognitive deficits have also continued to receive much attention. For example, from a knowledge base of 11,000 statistical findings across 28 categories, Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1993/1994) found that the metacognitive and cognitive processes of students ranked second and third on their influence of student learning. Cognitive behavior modification techniques highlighted by the Virginia institute are an integral part of many widely used instructional materials. For example, teacher modeling using think-alouds is an integral part of the University of Kansas learning strategies (Deshler et al., 1996) and Doug and Lynn