ERIC Number: ED287656
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Mexican American Special Education. Fact Sheet.
Tucker, Suzanne M.
Exceptional Mexican American students face difficulties not experienced by their Anglo counterparts because the educational system is not set up to deal with members of ethnic and cultural minorities. Spanish-speaking students face the problem of gaining competence in their first language while learning English as a second language. Standard psychometric tests discriminate against cultural minorities. In particular, Mexican American students are apt to be misplaced in classes for the mentally handicapped or not identified if they are gifted. There is a shortage of certified bilingual teachers and of appropriate bilingual instructional materials. The Bilingual Education Act of 1968 encouraged bilingual-bicultural education and paved the way for programs that have improved education for Mexican Americans. Research is being done to develop culturally valid tests for identifying gifted as well as handicapped minority students. Pluralistic evaluation, which combines psychometric assessment and adaptive behavior tests, is resolving the problem of misplacement of Mexican American students in special education classes for the mentally handicapped. (JHZ)
Descriptors: Ability Identification, Bilingual Education, Cultural Influences, Culture Fair Tests, Educational Discrimination, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Gifted, Handicap Identification, Mental Retardation, Mexican American Education, Mexican Americans, Preschool Education, Spanish Speaking, Special Education, Student Placement, Test Bias
Publication Type: Information Analyses; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Las Cruces, NM.