ERIC Number: ED429409
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Disproportionate Representation of Minorities in Special Education: A Focus Group Study of Parent Perspectives. Final Report Phase II: Minority Parents.
Sharpe, Michael N.
This document is the report of one phase of a Minnesota study to examine the problem of misrepresentation and overrepresentation of African American, American Indian, and Latino students in special education. Phase 2 of the study involved seven focus groups comprised of minority parents throughout rural and urban areas of Minnesota. Focus groups addressed questions concerning what works, what doesn't work, what the contributing factors are, and what needs to be done. All focus groups felt that individualized instruction and support services provided in a small classroom setting were two of the most effective aspects of special education. Most participants also expressed strong support for the Individual Education Program process, the value of staff training in cultural awareness, and activities to promote parent involvement. Specific group emphases included: discrimination and racism (African American); the lack of communication between home and school (American Indian); and the lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity (Latino). Comparison with outcomes of the professional focus groups of Phase 1 found that both professionals and parents supported tutorial and small group instruction and staff training in cultural awareness as effective. However, where professionals emphasized the use of a team approach to decision-making, parent groups indicated they rarely saw themselves as contributing members of their child's educational planning team. Contains 37 references. (DB)
Descriptors: American Indians, Blacks, Cultural Differences, Disabilities, Disability Identification, Disproportionate Representation, Elementary Secondary Education, Family School Relationship, Focus Groups, Hispanic Americans, Individualized Education Programs, Minority Groups, Parent Participation, Parents, Participative Decision Making, Racial Factors, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Rural Areas, Special Education, Student Evaluation, Student Placement, Teamwork, Urban Areas
Division of Special Education, Minnesota Dept. of Children, Families & Learning, 550 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; Web site: http://www.cfl.state.mn.us
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minnesota State Dept. of Children, Families and Learning, St. Paul. Office of Special Education.
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota