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Browder & Cooper-Duffy

Browder, D. M., & Cooper-Duffy, K. (2003). Evidence-based practices for students with severe disabilities and the requirements for accountability in "No Child Left Behind". The Journal of Special Education, 37(3), 157-163.

Abstract by authors:
To define what is special about the education of students with severe disabilities, this article provides a snapshot of research-based practices that are relevant to the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) focus on accountability. The NCLB requirement to assess all students in reading, math, and science is contrasted to the functional approach typical of skill acquisition research for this population. The concept of adequate yearly progress is addressed by reviewing the types of instructional strategies that would most likely yield progress. Information is also provided on the extent to which teachers use research based strategies. We conclude that prior research provides guidance for how to select and teach skills even though new applications for academics are needed.
In closing, the authors note that inclusion of students with significant cognitive disabilities in the general education environment may be more of a "values-based, rather than an evidence-based, policy" (p. 161).
Early in the article, the authors point out that teachers working with students with significant cognitive disabilities are accustomed to taking an individualized approach to teaching. They note that engaging students with significant cognitive disabilities in cooperative learning, including with their non-disabled peers, can assist with learning. Additionally, as generalization of new skills can be a learning goal, the general education environment can serve as an alternate setting in which to apply the skill practice.
They note also that both general educators and special educators have indicated in response to surveys that they do not often use evidence-based practices in the classroom.