Reports & Products: Fact Sheets

General Education Participation and Academic Performance of Students with Learning Disabilities (July 2006)

This fact sheet is available for download.


There has been a significant increase in students with learning disabilities participating in general education classes-the typical setting for many academic courses. Most secondary school students with learning disabilities participate in at least one general education class.

The similarity of experiences of students with learning disabilities and their peers in general education academic classes with regard to teacher-directed aspects of the class contrasts sharply with the differences between the groups in their participation in those classes. Students with learning disabilities are consistently reported to be less likely to participate in their general education academic classes than are their classmates.

Despite these differences in students' behaviors in class, most students with disabilities have teachers who report that their placement in the class is "very appropriate." Further, almost all students are expected to keep up with the rest of the class. To help them keep up, almost all students with learning disabilities are reported to receive some type of accommodation, support, or learning aid.

Suggested Citation

Newman, L. (July 2006). Facts from NLTS2: General education participation and academic performance of students with learning disabilities. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Available at