ERIC Number: ED358593
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May
Educational Needs of Minorities with Disabilities [and] Reactions.
Bedell, Frederick; And Others
This paper by a public school teacher and elected official with 32 years' experience in public education discusses the placement of minority students and service delivery to minorities in special education programs in public school systems. The paper argues that various school practices often cause a disproportionate placement of minorities in special education programs and that a number of societal factors make the problems of at-risk minority students even more difficult and unpredictable. In addition, the demographic revolution of the past decade has brought about a degree of linguistic and cultural diversity that profoundly influences the country's social institutions. Schools are ill-equipped to deal with language minority students because of inadequate teacher training or inappropriate curricula, and, as a consequence, those students are placed in a special education programming track, as are many minority youngsters at-risk for other reasons, such as low self-esteem, peer pressure, inappropriate curricula, negative home environment, and, in some cases, a hostile school climate. It is proposed, however, that general education programs properly adapted can serve a large number of students currently placed in special education programs. Recommendations are made to prevent the overrepresentation of minorities in special programs and to improve the placement process of children with special needs, and systems to assure adequate service delivery for this population are presented. A reaction paper by Tennyson J. Wright adds to these recommendations, noting that educators need to be educated about the real America of minority populations; that Americans need to develop an appreciation of differences as human and natural; and that a liberal education of inclusion relative to racial, cultural, gender, disability, class, and language differences needs to be developed. A second reaction paper, by Julian Castillo, points out that an understanding of the sub-groups encompassed in the term Hispanic is needed, that programs need to address the issue of accountability, and that effective preschool programs and individual service planning are needed for minority group students. (Contains 12 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Wright, Tennyson J., Ed.; Leung, Paul, Ed. The Unique Needs of Minorities with Disabilities: Setting an Agenda for the Future. Conference Proceedings (Jackson, Mississippi, May 6-7, 1992); see EC 302 145.