ERIC Number: ED309591
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Preventing Inappropriate Referrals of Language Minority Students to Special Education. Occasional Papers in Bilingual Education.
Garcia, Shernaz B.; Ortiz, Alba A.
NCBE New Focus, n5 Jun 1988
It is often difficult to distinguish those students with learning problems due to individual differences in learning styles or achievement difficulties from those students with specific disorders; failure to do so sometimes results in inappropriate referral of language minority students to special education. It also contributes to disproportionate representation of those students in special education. These children suffer from the stigma of being labelled handicapped and may lose ground academically. Formal prereferral intervention is recommended, governed by a clearly articulated set of procedures followed by all personnel. Teacher assistance teams can be used to facilitate prereferral problem-solving. This process provides valuable insights for classroom teachers and team members regarding potential sources of student difficulties and can help distinguish learning problem types. At each step of the process, specific questions should address such issues as the problem; curricula and instructional materials; teacher characteristics; teaching style; teacher expectations and perceptions; student characteristics such as language proficiency, culture, and socioeconomic status; exposure to the curriculum; evaluation of instructional effectiveness; and alternative interventions. Prereferral intervention in which the major objective is to improve the effectiveness of regular education is a cost-effective approach. (MSE)
Descriptors: Disproportionate Representation, Educational Diagnosis, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Handicap Identification, Instructional Effectiveness, Intervention, Learning Problems, Limited English Speaking, Referral, School Policy, Special Education, Student Placement
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, Silver Spring, MD.
IES Cited: ED558163