ERIC Number: ED408119
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Disproportionate Representation of Minorities in Rural Special Education Programs and What Can Be Done about It.
Cahalane, Benita H.
Overrepresentation of minorities in special education has been a problem for 25 years and was targeted by the Office of Civil Rights as an initiative in 1993. One rural southeastern state examined its special education process from referral to placement to determine if procedures significantly overidentified or underidentified a particular racial group. Ten percent of the students from each of 25 school districts' special education tracking lists were selected to create a pool of 750 potential subjects. From this group, the 341 students that were assessed and referred for special education services for learning problems became the sample for the study. Results indicated that African Americans were overrepresented in programs for mild mentally retarded students, underrepresented in programs for specific learning disabled students, and overrepresented in the initial referral stage. The disproportionate representations of African Americans are findings consistent with results elsewhere in the literature, and indicate that variables such as attitude or expectations toward various races might be explored in future research. Strategies to determine the real causes of overrepresentation of minorities in special education are recommended for state, district, and higher education levels. Contains 16 references. (TD)
Descriptors: Black Students, Disability Identification, Disproportionate Representation, Educational Discrimination, Equal Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Learning Disabilities, Mild Mental Retardation, Minority Groups, Rural Schools, School Districts, School Surveys, Special Education, Student Placement, White Students
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A