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ERIC Number: ED551115
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 105
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-2938-5
Special Education Referrals for African American Students: Behavior versus Academic Performance
Curtis, Charmaine D.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
A higher percentage of African American students in a local school district were referred to special education than were students in other ethnic groups. Placement of a student in a special education program results in that student receiving a curriculum that has modified achievement standards. This correlational study examined patterns in teachers' decisions to make a special education referral. The theoretical foundation is rooted in Atkinson's expectancy value theory. Employing a single stage sampling method data were collected using a questionnaire containing a vignette of a fictional student for whom teachers rated the likelihood of referral for behavior and academic performance. Paired sample t test results indicated no significant difference in the teachers' likelihood in making special education referral for academic performance versus behavior attributions. Pearson correlations revealved a significant and strong positive correlation linking likelihood of academic referrals and likelihood of behavioral referrals; however, there was not a significant relationship between the teachers' years of experience and their actual frequency of special education referrals. Overall these data suggest that teachers' likelihood in making special education referrals may result more from an individual predisposition to refer than from a decision guided by case based information or teaching experience. Implications for positive social change include informing professional development training focused on promoting the need for classroom interventions instead of special education referrals. Fewer referrals will help to ensure that all students, including African American students, are held to the same achievement standards and afforded the same opportunities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A