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ERIC Number: ED511747
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar-2
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
The Impact of the Shortage of Special Educators of Color on the Overrepresentation of Students of Color in Special Education
Ellmer, Margaret
Online Submission
While disproportionate representation of students of color has been extensively documented, an understanding of the factors contributing to this phenomenon is limited. The purpose of this paper is to explore existing literature on the premise that a current shortage of special educators of color impacts this overrepresentation. Since the problem of the disproportionality of students of color in special education programs was first denounced more than forty years ago, only intermittent attention has been given to the problem. Overrepresentation is usually estimated by contrasting the proportion of a school's population with the representation of the same group in a special education program. In the United States African American, Latino Americans and Native Americans are represented in special education at a level greater than their proportionality of the total school population. Teachers of color represent only one-tenth of the teaching force, while students of color make up one-third of the total student population. The shortage is especially evident in fields such as bilingual and special education. The problems of the overrepresentation of students of color in special education and the shortage of teachers of color in the field appear to be closely intertwined. Currently, programs across the nation are being implemented which may prove beneficial in reducing the representation of students of color in special education as well as increasing the pool of special educators of color. Only by targeting both issues will improvement be shown.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act