Generally, a diagnosis of learning disability is made when there is a significant discrepancy between ability level and achievement. Learning disabled students are at risk for school dropout or failure before high school graduation.
The determination of which approach to use with students who have learning disabilities is driven by the school district's overall philosophy and the administration of the given school. Teachers may have an impact on the strategy chosen by the school to handle students with learning disabilities. Often teachers hold the primary responsibility for identifying children at risk of school failure. If the school's goal is to reduce the number of learning disabled children on campus, the team assembled to determine the placement of the child must be in agreement that education in a specialized setting is the most appropriate.
In 1990, Public Law 94-142 was renewed and given a new name, The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This act mandated that children with disabilities be given an appropriate education in the least restrictive setting. The definitions of the most appropriate education and least restrictive are specific to each student. To ensure that the student's needs and rights are met the placement decision is usually made by an administration official, a diagnostician, a special education teacher, a psychologist, the regular education teacher, and the parents. By law the parents are to be included in the plac