By 1968, over 80 per cent of students in special education came from minority groups (Samson & Lesaux, 2009). Overrepresentation or disproportionality of minority students in special education programs is an ongoing problem that has plagued our nation for several decades. Unfortunately, this is not a new problem. Such population variance is rarely justifiable and is always cause for concern. Education Policy Factors Contributing to Special Education Identification. Is the real problem the opposite?”, Camera, L. “New Study Questions Links Between Race, Disability in Students.”. 2010. Who Is Placed into Special Education? Black children were three times as likely to live in poor families as white children in 2015. This can result in special education decisions that are not based on objective evidence and lead to inappropriate placements. Changes in Part B include a more extensive examination of disproportionality and more extensive remedies where findings of disproportionality occur. Instead, we should focus on building a better safety net and reducing child poverty. B: Overrepresentation in special education has increased due to the sharp rise of students who use English as a second language in the public schools. Kimberly Suzette Peterz Chicago, Illinois . Markowitz, J., Garcia, S. B., & Eichelberger, J. Justifying and Explaining Disproportionality, 1968-2008: A Critique of Underlying Views of Culture. 2018;52(3):163-173. doi:10.1177/0022466918772300, Bruce SM, Venkatesh K. Special education disproportionality in the United States, Germany, Kenya, and India. Data on identification by race and ethnicity are essential for revealing patterns and outliers. Disproportionality in Special Education: Effects of Individual and School Variables on Disability Risk. Unsurprisingly, Morgan and Farkas have argued against these regulations while offering up their own alternatives.22. when overrepresentation of a group exceeds a threshold defined by each state. The Overrepresentation of Black Students in Special Education Classrooms. Dhuey, E. & Lipscomb, S. 2013. The overrepresentation of African-American students could be due to: (1) the LEA inappropriately identifying African-American students as having an emotional disturbance and needing special education and related services even though they do not (over-identification); (2) the LEA failing to appropriately identify students in other racial or While encouraging school districts to avoid “disproportionality” surely comes from an idealistic place, schools cannot do it alone. Yang, J., Granja, M.R., & Koball, H. 2017. Disproportionality in Special Education: A Synthesis of International Research and Trends. This study attempted to evaluate the causes and problems of the overrepresentation. Disproportionality is the over-representation of minority students identified with a learning disability or other type of disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Luckily, policymakers have plenty of proven levers: expand income support for families as the EITC,27 reduce food insecurity while improving maternal health and birth outcomes through a robust SNAP,28 maintain children’s access to Medicaid,29 and continue to work towards improving the equity and quality of general education.30. In 2010, Hibel, Farkas, and Morgan used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) 1998 and its follow-up waves to come closer to the ideal scenario described by Donovan and Cross.8 While individual-level models controlling only for race and gender showed blacks more likely to be identified, adding a family socioeconomic status variable eliminated the effect of race for blacks, while Hispanics and Asians were significantly less likely to be in special education. To answer this question, we must compare the likelihood that a black student participates in special education with that of an otherwise identical white student. From: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/10128/minority-students-in-special-and-gifted-education. These data show that African American students were … I argue against fixed thresholds for how much variance states should tolerate in districts’ special education identification rates across racial and ethnic groups, and for comprehensive social policies to help address disparities in children’s well being. Lafortune, J., Rothstein, J., & Schanzenbach, D.W., forthcoming. Tuchman, S. 2017. Local educational agencies (LEAs) are currently required to report to the U.S. Department of Education whether minority children are significantly overrepresented in special education. Investigating the Overrepresentation of Ethnic Minorities in Special Education Damien Murtagh Sped 605 May 2003. The previously reported overrepresentation is most likely due to a greater exposure to … In the United States, much attention has focused on disproportionality—the over- and underrepresentation of student groups within special education. “overrepresentation” in its special education programs. These unadjusted ratios answer the important descriptive question of how student experience varies by race. There may also be under-representation of minorities in gifted education. (2007) on South California schools proved that the number of English language learners was high both at the state and district levels. While states will get to set their own cut-off risk ratios, they are highly unlikely to choose ratios that require uniform representation across groups. Data from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) annual reports to Congress on the implementation of IDEA show that over-representation of minority students in special education is a problem that affects educational equity in our country. 2015. 2 Debates on the overrepresentation of minority students, particularly African- Americans, are not new in special education and have characterized research in this field for over three decades. Superfund Cleanups and Infant Health. National Research Council, 2002. But they do not tell us whether schools are giving black students the free and appropriate public education the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees them. For example, 14.9 percent of African Americans between the age of three to 21 years old received services under IDEA in 2000 (US Department of Education NCES, 2000). Overrepresentation can occur in many areas but is most prevalent when considering a student’s ethnicity. U.S. Department of Education. Regardless of time, legislative debate and a host … Where overrepresentation exists, OCR has required many systems to implement corrective plans to reduce that disproportionality. Whitehurst, G.J. The Journal of Special Education, 32, 15–24. Morgan, P.L., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M.M., Mattison, R., Maczuga, S., Li, H., & Cook, M. 2015. Overrepresentation in Special Education George Farkas1, Paul L. Morgan2, Marianne M. Hillemeier2, Cynthia Mitchell2, and Adrienne D. Woods2 Abstract To examine whether special education racial risk ratios reported by U.S. school districts are explained by district-level confounds, particularly, racial achievement gaps, we analyzed merged data (N= 1,952 districts … Under-identification of students of color with disabilities occurs prior to and following school entry in general and across specific disability conditions (Constantino, 2020; Dababnah et. “This policy would help poor kids more than universal pre-K does.” Brookings Institution, July 30, 2016. A: Overrepresentation occurs in special education due to the increase of single-parent households. 2012. The overrepresentation and underrepresentation of minority students in special education programs represents a national issue that has pervaded society for the past several decades. Adah Chung is a fact checker, writer, researcher, and occupational therapist. He reported that Asian American children are underrepresented in special education. From: Currie, J., Greenstone, M., & Moretti, E. 2011. DR occurs when students from a racial/ethnic group are identified for special education/related services or for a specific disability category either at a greater rate (overrepresentation) or lesser rate (underrepresentation) than other students. Disproportionality is a problem because it can:.
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