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More than 40 years of intervention research describes effective interventions for increasing the academic performance of students with learning disabilities. However, the performance and outcomes for students with learning disabilities remain discouraging, especially in light of the increasing cost to provide special education services. Between 60 – 70 percent of students with learning disabilities are unable to meet grade level performance standards in the basic academic areas of reading, writing and mathematics. The disconnect between research and practice suggests a need for rethinking special education service delivery. This paper reports the results of a program evaluation of a not-for-profit center specializing in working with students with learning disabilities, comparing the pre to post test gains and program costs to those typically seen in public education special education systems. A paired samples t-test examined pre to post test differences in reading, math and writing performance for a total of 104 students with learning disabilities between the ages of 6–17. Results were statistically and practically significant across all areas, and these results were obtained at costs much lower than those incurred under the current public education model. Implications for future research are discussed.

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This document was originally published by Human Resource Management Academic Research Society in International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development. Copyright restrictions may apply.