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ERIC Number: ED553884
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 188
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-1945-3
School Psychologists' Reported Perspectives on the "Larry P." Ban and Related Practices
Dizon, Francis Gary
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Chapman University
The 1979 landmark case of "Larry P. v. Riles" continues to be one of the most debated topics in school psychology. In this case, Judge Peckham ruled that standardized, norm-referenced intelligence tests were culturally biased towards African-Americans, resulting in overrepresentation of African-Americans in Educably Mentally Retarded classrooms. Although Peckham reversed his decision in 1992, the California Department of Education upheld the ruling and expanded it to all assessments of African-American students. Countless studies, including those published around the time of the trial and more current ones, have shown that the most commonly used standardized, norm-referenced intelligence tests are not culturally biased towards American-born, English speaking, African-Americans (and other minority groups). This study examined 1) if school psychologists in California believe that the ban on standardized, norm-referenced intelligence tests to be used with African-Americans should be lifted, 2) school psychologists' belief in the utility of alternative assessments for identifying cognitive based disabilities for African-Americans, 3) whether traditional assessments would improve the ability to accurately assesses cognitive based disabilities over alternative methods, 4) if there was a common method psychologists were utilizing to comply with "Larry P." mandates, and 5) if psychologists have an accurate understanding of how the ruling affects practice. A survey was used to collect data from a final sample of 173 participants regarding professional practice and opinions surrounding the "Larry P." mandates. Results indicated that over 90% of school psychologists believe the ban should be lifted. In addition, a majority of participants believe traditional assessments would improve the ability to accurately assess for cognitive-based disabilities, and a large percentage do not have an accurate understanding about the mandate and are unclear about the case. Results also indicated that psychologists equally rely on tests for making eligibility decisions for both alternative and traditional assessments, despite expressing that the alternative assessment tools they use do not provide equally useful information. Last, the study indicated that there is a common trend school psychologists are utilizing to comply with "Larry P." mandates, though practices still vary greatly. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Larry P v Riles