Santa Monica, Calif.
Special-education programs designed to help disadvantaged children overcome learning disabilities may actually interfere with their education, says a nationwide study by the ''think tank'' Rand Corporation.
The study said students who qualify for state or federal programs are often pulled out of their regular class to receive compensatory reading and math instruction and classes for their learning disability.
However, instead of learning from special-education classes, the Rand study says the children frequently become confused and unable to learn in either situation because of incompatible teaching methods.
Another unintended effect of the special programs is that ''low-achieving minority students in desegregated schools'' often end up segregated anyway in special classes.