ERIC Number: ED433393
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Jun
Revisiting Segregation: The Overrepresentation of Minority Students in Special Education.
Some of the reasons for the overrepresentation of minority students in special education programs are reviewed from historical and contemporary perspectives, and the effects of this overrepresentation and some of the proposals to eliminate, or at least remedy, this situation are examined. In the 1960s, many people rejected the genetic explanations of the low rates of success among minority students and replaced these explanations with a theory of cultural deprivation/inferiority. Programs such as Head Start and Chapter 1 were implemented under these assumptions. Anecdotal evidence from recent years suggests that most educators would now say that they do not believe minority group students are genetically or culturally inferior, but research suggests that many teachers act as if they are. Teacher bias and test bias contribute to the overrepresentation of minority group students in special education. A contemporary approach to this problem recognizes that students' culture and language have great impact on their cognitive styles. A culturally sensitive approach must become part of the pre-referral, referral, assessment, and programming process if the problem of overrepresentation of minority students in special education is to be rectified. (Contains 28 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A