ERIC Number: ED394257
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Alarming or Disarming?: The Status of Ethnic Differences within Exceptionalities.
Coulter, W. Alan
This paper examines the issue of disproportion and related controversies of ethnic representation within exceptionalities in special education programs using 1993-94 data on African-American and White students from a southern state. The study defined a significant disproportion as an ethnic representation in a disability category which exceeded 10 percent of the group's representation in the general public school population. A significant disproportion for the gifted and talented category was determined whenever the ethnic representation was less than 10 percent of the group's representation in the general school population. Results indicated that 28 of the 66 local education agencies (LEAs) showed disproportionate representation of African Americans in special education overall. In traditional socially determined disabilities (learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, and mental disabilities), 62 of the 66 LEAs showed disproportionate numbers of African-American students in these programs. In traditional biologically determined disabilities (orthopedic, deaf, and visually impaired), the disproportionate representation for African Americans was found to be substantially lower. Additional data indicate varying degrees of disproportionate representation in the categories of speech impairments, other health impaired, autistic, multiple disabilities, hard of hearing, and noncategorical preschool. Additionally, 59 of the LEAs showed disproportionate underrepresentation of African-American students in gifted and talented programs. (Contains 30 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Ability Identification, Black Students, Disabilities, Disability Identification, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Ethnic Groups, Gifted, Incidence, Minority Group Children, Racial Composition, School Demography, School Districts, Special Education, State Surveys, Student Placement, Talent
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: African Americans; Disproportionate Represntation (Spec Educ)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children (74th, Orlando, FL, April 1-5, 1996).