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ERIC Number: ED429410
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
Pages: 47
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Disproportionate Representation of Minorities in Special Education: A Focus Group Study of Professional and Parent Perspectives. Final Report III: Asian American.
Sharpe, Michael N.
This document is the report of one phase of a Minnesota study to examine the problem of disproportionate representation in special education of African American, American Indian, Latino, and Asian American students. Phase 3 of the study focused on factors which have led to the underrepresentation, rather than overrepresentation of Asian American students in special education. Two focus groups were conducted, one of professionals who serve Asian American populations and the other of parents of Asian American students with disabilities. Focus groups addressed questions concerning what works, what doesn't work, what the contributing factors are, and what needs to be done. Two main themes were found in responses of both groups concerning "what works": first, the importance of involving parents in the special education process and, second, the due process system approach to ensuring input from parents. Themes concerning what doesn't work that contribute to disproportionate representation focused on the complexity and overall effectiveness of the system; referral and assessment practices; differing cultural perceptions; language barriers; and lack of knowledge by parents of due process rights. Concerning what needs to be done, the groups stressed training initiatives for both parents and education staff, a need for parent advocates to facilitate home school communication, and more community outreach efforts. Appended are a summary of key issues from the study's three phases, the action plan of Phase 1 and 2, and an annotated bibliography. Contains 46 references. (DB)
Disvision of Special Education, Minnesota Dept. of Children, Families & Learning, 550 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minnesota State Dept. of Children, Families and Learning, St. Paul. Office of Special Education.
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota