ERIC Number: ED271911
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Myths and Realities in Minority Special Education Overrepresentation.
Reschly, Daniel J.
Claims of overrepresentation of minority students in special education programs and the myths and distortions surrounding these claims are the topic of this study. The findings of a report on this topic performed by the National Academy of Sciences is discussed, noting that although the report focused on the right question (why is overrepresentation a problem rather than why does it exist?), it did not fully appreciate the complexity of learning problems exhibited by students with mild retardation. Myths concerning overrepresentation are exposed, including that the most important issue in placement bias litigation is IQ test bias; that overrepresentation is objectionable to minority plaintiffs and social scientists; and that minority mildly retarded students as adults disappear into the normal population and are no longer identifiable as retarded. Changes in the category of mild mental retardation over the past 15 years are analyzed, and the need for genuine reforms to produce more effective programs is emphasized. Suggestions for changes in classification systems and in the development of a broader range of regular education options for students with achievement problems are given. A five-page list of references and data tables are appended. (CL)
Descriptors: Classification, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Intelligence Quotient, Mild Mental Retardation, Minority Groups, Social Bias, Special Education, Student Placement, Test Bias, Trend Analysis
Daniel J. Reschly, Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).