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Disproportionate Representation In Special Education


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Disproportionate Representation In Special Education

  1. 1. Over and Under Identification in Louisiana: A Primer
  2. 2. Education of All Handicap Children Act (1975) <ul><li>Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) </li></ul><ul><li>Parental Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Individualized Education Program (IEP) </li></ul><ul><li>Least Restrictive Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Nondiscriminatory Tests </li></ul><ul><li>Due Process </li></ul>P.L. 94-142 Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  3. 3. (1990 / 1997) <ul><li>Six Key Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Zero Reject </li></ul><ul><li>Free Appropriate Public Education </li></ul><ul><li>Least Restrictive Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Due Process </li></ul><ul><li>Individualized Education Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Parental Participation </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  4. 4. <ul><li>Disproportionate Representation </li></ul><ul><li>“ the extent to which membership in a given ethnic group affects the probability of being placed in a specific special education disability category (e.g., students with mild mental retardation).” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>---Oswald et al., 1999 </li></ul></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  5. 5. Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  6. 6. Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  7. 7. Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  8. 8. <ul><li>Implications of Over Representation: </li></ul><ul><li>Denied access to the general curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Receive services that do not meet their needs </li></ul><ul><li>Misclassified or inappropriately labeled. </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  9. 9. <ul><li>Difficulty in constructing instructional programs that address students’ unique learning strengths and needs </li></ul><ul><li>Ineffective procedures and processes used to refer and classify students for special education </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge that a problem exists and, subsequently, how to resolve it. </li></ul>Possible reasons for over/under identification Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  10. 10. <ul><li>Why African American students may be over-represented in Special Education? </li></ul><ul><li>Failure of the general education system to educate children from diverse backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>Inequities associated with special education referral and placement procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Misidentification and the misuse of tests </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of access to effective instruction and general education programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficient resources and less well trained teachers making learning more difficult. </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  11. 11. Does over-representation exist in my school ? <ul><li>Are special education referrals being made for appropriate reasons? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a noticeable pattern in which teachers refer students regularly? Do certain teachers and/or schools have particularly high referral rates? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a high percentage of students whose families have low socioeconomic status or who are culturally and/or linguistically diverse in special education classes? </li></ul><ul><li>What documented interventions were attempted before the student was evaluated for special education ? </li></ul><ul><li>Were the interventions instituted and modified for enough time before they were abandoned? </li></ul><ul><li>What were the results for each child referred? </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  12. 12. <ul><li>Strategies to help ensure that: </li></ul><ul><li>Students participate and learn in a high quality curriculum and instructional program. </li></ul><ul><li>The school climate respects the cultural and linguistic diversity of students and staff members. </li></ul><ul><li>Families are appropriately and sensitively involved in the education of their children. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers have the professional development and support they need to address student needs in the classroom. </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  13. 13. Guidance from the law Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  14. 14. Provisions found throughout IDEIA 34 C.F.R. 300.755 34 C.F.R. 300.174 To allow for comparisons between states, Congress identified five race/ethnicity categories that all states must use in collecting and reporting data: a) American Indian b) Asian/Pacific Islander c) Black d) Hispanic e) White Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  15. 15. Provisions found throughout IDEIA 34 C.F.R. 300.755 34 C.F.R. 300.174 Requires states to have in effect … “policies and procedures to prevent the inappropriate overidentification or disproportionate representation by race and ethnicity of children as children with disabilities…” Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  16. 16. Office of Civil Rights: a) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 b) Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act c) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  17. 17. Diana Vs. California State Board of Education <ul><li>Case filed by Chinese and Mexican-American students </li></ul><ul><li>Their argument centered on IQ tests (Stanford-Binet/WISC) : Were administered in English rather than their primary language. </li></ul><ul><li>The Verdict (1970): </li></ul><ul><li>Retest students in their native language </li></ul><ul><li>Students placed in Special Education classes because of this practice given assistance to transition to general education. </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  18. 18. Diana Vs. California State Board of Education Follow Up… C California Board of Education ordered to fix the ongoing problem of over -identifying Mexican-American students in special populations. <ul><li>7 of the 9 students in this suit were retested and scored higher than the threshold for placement into Special Education classes. They were transitioned back to the general population </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  19. 19. Larry P. vs. Riles (1972) <ul><li>Six African-American students filed suit against San Francisco Unified School District alleging a violation of civil rights based on 14 th Amendment. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on use of standardized IQ tests to place students in Special populations. </li></ul><ul><li>Claim of hidden racial and cultural bias in these tests </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  20. 20. Immediate injunction to bar the use of IQ tests as sole basis for placement. Judge stated “lower scores on IQ tests did not reflect genetics or socioeconomic status” and therefore concluded that the tests have some racial bias. Injunction made permanent in 1979. Larry P. vs. Riles (1972) Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  21. 21. Prereferral Intervention Process : A strategy to help prevent referrals by assisting teachers and students with the presenting problems in the context of a general education setting. Different prereferral intervention approaches exist, but each have a common goal: to provide supports necessary to maintain the student in a general education setting (if at all possible). Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  22. 22. Successful schools (according to the literature…) <ul><li>Students participate and progress in a high quality curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional staff members receive sufficient resources and professional development to ensure that instructional pedagogy is appropriate to students needs. </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Department of Education / OCR Report: a linkage between the overidentification of African American students in special education programs and their lack of access to effective instruction and intervention in general education programs. </li></ul>Northeast Elementary School Baton Rouge, Louisiana Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  23. 23. Role of a prereferral intervention team: <ul><li>Document difficulties the student may be having with instruction and determine possible reasons for the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide and document classroom modification and/or other strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Assess interventions to ensure that they are appropriate and successful. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor the student’s progress for a significant period of time. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify students for whom the learning and/or behavioral difficulty persists in spite of suggested interventions. </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  24. 24. Prereferral Intervention Team Members Identify team members who have experience using and designing instructional techniques that address the individual needs of students Identify team members with expertise in addressing the educational needs of a diverse student population Make arrangements to ensure that paperwork requirements do not become burdensome Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  25. 25. Possible prerefferal roles for team members General education teacher School counselor Reading/Math specialists Grade level / clusters of teachers School nurse Parents Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  26. 26. Document the following : <ul><li>Initial learning concerns. </li></ul><ul><li>Interventions implemented. </li></ul><ul><li>Length of time each intervention was attempted. </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome of each intervention </li></ul>Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  27. 27. Differentiated curriculum that is appropriate to all learners Instruction that is culturally relevant and culturally appropriate Experienced and culturally-competent general education personnel. Individualized intervention strategies that reflect students’ cultural contexts. Home-school-community collaboration. Types of classroom support the professional literature suggests are important to the success of diverse student populations: Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  28. 28. Elements found in culturally competent classrooms: Culturally diverse student populations are respected and responded to in natural ways Instructional staff acknowledge that students benefit when they are given opportunities to find relevant connections among themselves and with the subject matter and the instructional tasks. Multicultural educational practices in which students’ prior knowledge, cultural contexts and experiences, and learning styles are taken into account Teachers and other service providers demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how culture and life experience impact upon student learning. Staff members possess adequate skills and knowledge to work in multicultural settings. Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  29. 29. Take Action Now ! Establish an appropriate prerefferal intervention process to provide students with the support they need to keep them participating and progressing in the general curriculum Understand how the school climate may affect the educational progress of students from diverse ethnic/cultural backgrounds Involve families – and learn from them how to understand and respect their child’s unique learning strenths, needs, and cultural background. Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)