Using the “Checklist” to Respond to Racial Disproportionality in Special EducationPresentation Transcript
Welcome Please Wait While Others Join the Meeting Connie Call-In 1-866-244-8528 Enter Pin 303385 and press # Today You Will Need Calculator Annotated Checklist for Addressing Racial Disproportionality in Special Education Calculation Handouts
Call-In 1-866-244-8528 Enter Pin 303385 and press # California Department of Education, Special Education Division's special project, State Performance Plan Technical Assistance Project (SPPTAP) is funded through a contract with the Napa County Office of Education. SPPTAP is funded from federal funds, (State Grants #H027A080116A) provided from the U.S. Department of Education Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education. George Triest Connie Silva-Broussard SPPTAP
Reminders Recorded Follow-Up Survey Chat to Communicate [email_address] Respond to Polls
Not mentally retarded (i.e. athletic talent and showed game smarts).
Re-evaluated: Waited for IQ score.
Would have been sent back to Boston as MR.
Every District is Different
Checklists are built on research
Refined by experience
Grouped to reflect different needs
Multiple causes of disproportionality
Concentrate on what schools can do.
Using the Checklists to Formulate a Hypothesis and Suggest Remedies:
List 1: District and School Resources
List 2: System Policy, Practice and Procedure Issues
List 3: Environmental factors
Multiple Reasons: Multiple Responses
Research suggests multiple interconnected causes.
Finding just one cause is unlikely.
Selection of hypothesis:
What the district can do.
Consider scope of contributing factors.
Contributing Factors are Entangled
Use of Data With Checklist
Broaden the inquiry
Find what is working as well as what isn’t working
Use simple measures to compare and track changes
Debunk common excuses
Checklist One: Resources
Story of District A and needed support for new teachers.
Checklist helped them discover a likely factor and a likely remedy.
Important benefits from having regular and special educators at the table together.
What the research says.
What the IDEA says.
What Title I says.
Do inexperienced or poorly trained teachers refer more students for evaluations? Your screen will change as I open voting.
Do districts think about whether the least experienced and qualified teachers tend to be placed with classrooms or in schools with higher numbers of poor and minority students?
Do they consider the support provided to less experienced teachers when they think about special education referral rates?
Discussion of Poll Results
Why this question?
Research suggests that poorly supported and untrained teachers likely contribute to the phenomenon of disproportionality.
Required Use of 15%
Rejects the status quo without raising compliance questions.
Prevention = $ spent in general education.
Should benefit the triggering racial subgroup.
General Education, Special Education and Discipline
The National Research Council’s report suggests that difficult to manage minority students in the general education setting are removed via special education and more likely to be placed in restrictive settings. (research and legal citations are in endnotes).
Nationally, among students with disabilities, Blacks were over 3 times as likely as Whites to be suspended short term.
All relevant research citations are in the endnotes of each checklist.
Pause for Questions? Write your questions about checklist one in the chat area.
Issues Related to Resources
You’ll see that the many issues related to resources reappear under checklist two, just the framing is slightly different.
Checklist Two: System policy, practice and procedure.
Examine all policies:
Inclusion? (are all teachers expected to be able to run an “inclusive” classroom?)
Response to intervention?
Time for collaboration?
List Two: Practices
Are there placement incentives? (ED = out of my room).
Power incentives? (i.e. deference to administration over parental or teacher input).
Test accountability incentives?
Resource incentives? (IEP over 504)
List Two: Procedures
How can teachers ask for help?
Fully implemented RTI?
Any consideration of classroom ecology?
The IDEA requires that the dominant factor cannot be:
ELL status or
an issue with reading
or math instruction.
Look at links between identification;
restrictiveness of placement;
Does the district look at disaggregated data for school discipline?
Suspension: policy, practice and procedure.
Example of Calculations To Do With District:
Make sure folks at the district level understand risk calculations?
You would review dividing the number of students in a racial group in a given category by their total enrollment.
You multiply that answer by 100 to get the “risk.”
The next slide shows the risk, risk differences and risk ratios.
How Does the District Interpret Their Own Data? Percent of Students With Disabilities Suspended first page located in calculation handout % OSS 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Black 9 10 14 15 19 20 White 3 5 7 7 8 9 Risk Diff. +6 +5 +7 +8 +11 +11 Risk Ratio 3.0 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.4 2.2
Consider carefully the trends depicted on slide 29
first page located in calculation handout
What’s the true story? A. Risk ratio has gone dramatically down since 2004? B. Suspension risks have gone up more dramatically for Whites than Blacks since 2004? C. The Black/White discipline gap has nearly doubled in just 6 years, and Black students with disabilities now experience an extraordinarily high risk for disciplinary exclusion? D. All the above? refer to first page located in calculation handout
What best describes what’s happening to the children?
A: True, the risk ratio went down from 3.0 to 2.2.
Generously acknowledge the truth of this observation, but ask whether risk ratio accurately describes what is happening.
Consider that 1 in 5 Blacks are now suspended when it had been 1 in 11 in 2004 (which is the frequency for Whites now).
Point out that focusing on risk ratio , alone, could mask the depth of the problem and its growth.
What best describes what’s happening to the children?
B: True: Also acknowledge that the White risk went up 3 times their 2004 rate when they gained 6 percentage points. This was a larger “percentage” increase as Black risk went up 2.2 times their 2004 rate over the same period.
Consider that Blacks gained 5 whole percentage points more than Whites gained.
Percent growth over time can reflect the different starting points more than the absolute growth in the racial disparity.
What best describes what’s happening to the children?
C. True: Blacks with disabilities, now experience an extraordinarily high risk for disciplinary exclusion. The Black/White difference is nearly double what it had been in 2004. “C” most accurately describes the trend, which is a growing gap, as well as the magnitude of the problem since dramatically more students with disabilities are being suspended.
The simple measures of “risk” and “risk difference” illustrate the racial disparities clearly.
Graphs using risk and risk difference can illustrate trends well.
Change in Risk for Suspension Since 2004
Don’t let the district take the pledge…
Implicit Bias Measurement
Brain science – based on speed of positive and negative associations.
Implict Attitude Test (IAT) elicits unconscious attitude.
Implicit and explicit racial bias favoring whites exhibited by blacks and whites.
Data can help overcome bias….
Practices: Implicit and Institutional Bias
Institutional Bias (my own experience and gender)
Reluctance to look at and discuss racial data.
Preference to focus on a single factor because bias permeates the system.
We don’t see or use all the evidence –
Measured through subtle, reflexive, unconscious types of behavior.
What we pay attention to matters.
Test Yourself www.implicit.harvard.edu
My Implicit Bias Ratings
Twice: slightly negative toward Blacks.
Once: no bias.
Once: pro-Black bias. (after thinking about my civil rights and jazz heroes).
Context does matter!
Carrots and Sticks
IDEA Non-compliance: The big stick.
Discipline is an area in special education where the disparity in “long-term” suspensions (over 10 days) may be linked to procedural non-compliance with the IDEA.
Endnotes for checklist has all the IDEA “sticks.”
Looking at data:
Over time: are we improving?
Risk for suspension
Compare with other categories.
Do Principals Know The Law?
Two districts in Delaware:
About 50% knew that students with disabilities had additional due-process rights
Behavior caused by disability, or
Resulted from failure to properly implement the IEP
Pause for Questions? Write your questions about checklist two in the chat area.
Checklist Three: Environmental Factors
Who is responsible?
What is the remedy?
Even when a causal factor lies outside the school, there are things schools can do.
Factors outside the school likely DO contribute…somewhat.
Whose Fault Is It? Alcatraz
They Were [Inappropriately] Identified Before They Entered
Were the “suspect” new arrivals re-evaluated as required by law?
Was there really a net gain when you subtract those who left your district?
Have you run the numbers?
If an outside factor is asserted as the primary cause, that hypothesis needs to be formulated fully and investigated.
Compare disparities in “Identification” with areas in which the district’s educators made all the decisions.
Patterns of Racial Disparity in District X 2006-2007 (U.S. Dept of Ed.)
Responses to Argument that Poverty is the Root Cause
Poverty does not equal disability.
Labeling based on class differences is still inappropriate.
Disproportionality is NOT generally very large for low incidence less subjective categories.
HAVE THEY DONE THE MATH?
Calculator time…Imagine District A has Black/White Risk Ratio of 2.47
If Poverty Did Explain ALL the Difference….then….
Roughly equal rates among the poor and non-poor of all races.
Risk for poor of all races should be significantly higher than non-poor.
Poverty and SLD Identification Calculate the poor children’s risk for SLD by dividing B by A; and non- poor by dividing D by C. For each multiply the answer by 100. Put your answers in your table. A Free and Reduced Lunch Total Enrolled B FRL With SLD C Non-poor Enrolled D Non-poor with SLD # of Black 200 24 = B/A 400 47 =D/C # of White 200 12 = B/A 800 32 =D/C Risk Difference = = Risk Ratio = =
Poverty and SLD Identification AFTER RISK: Calculate the risk difference by subtracting White risk from Black risk. Calculate risk ratio by dividing Black risk by White risk. A Free and Reduced Lunch Total Enrolled B FRL With SLD C Non-poor Enrolled D Non-poor with SLD Total # of Black 200 24 = 400 47 = 71= 11.83 # of White 200 12 = 800 32 = 48 = 4.8 Risk Difference = = +7.03 Risk Ratio = = 2.47
Poverty and Identification: Results Free and Reduced Lunch Total Enrolled Poor = FRL With SLD Non-poor Enrolled Non-poor with SLD Black 200 24 = 12% 400 47 =11.75% White 200 12 = 6% 800 32 =4% Risk Difference = 6 points = 7.75 points Black to White Risk Ratio 2.0 2.94
What Did Poverty Explain?
Without disaggregation the Black to White risk ratio had been 2.47.
Among the poor the Black/White risk ratio was just 2.0, considerably lower.
Many more poor Blacks than Whites.
Poverty does NOT explain these racial disparities.
Non-poor Blacks had almost the same risk as poor Blacks. But there was a large difference in risk between Non-poor and poor Whites.
Non-poor, Blacks were nearly three times more likely (2.94) to be labeled SLD than non-poor Whites and had an 8 percentage point gap!
Racial disparities were still quite large among the poor (2.0) and a 6 percentage point gap!
N on-poor Blacks were nearly twice as likely to be identified as having SLD as poor Whites .
Use Checklist to Encourage Reduction and Prevention
“ Prevention” must include regular education & special education.
Real problem solving happens when districts reject the status quo and attempt to:
get at root causes of racial disparities,
actively and regularly discuss their racial data with staff,
go beyond compliance, &
analyze more than those specific areas the district was selected for.
Three Uses of Checklist
Hypothesis: Forming hypothesis about contributing factors
Remedies: Ideally in combination with some data analysis to further develop the hypothesis (or reject it) and choosing remedies accordingly
Evaluation: Revaluating remedies continuously using multiple data sources (General and Special Ed.)
Further Questions or Consultation : Daniel J. Losen, M.Ed., J.D. Independent Consultant & Senior Education Law and Policy Associate The Civil Rights Project at UCLA (formerly at Harvard)