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ERIC Number: EJ819567
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 96
ISSN: ISSN-1361-3324
The Song Remains the Same: Transposition and the Disproportionate Representation of Minority Students in Special Education
Beratan, Gregg
Race, Ethnicity and Education, v11 n4 p337-354 Dec 2008
The disproportionate representation of minority students in special education has long been recognised as a problem in the United States. It is, however, only with the 2004 authorisation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) that Congress has tried to prescribe a remedy for this. Beginning with a deconstruction of the case law, public law and policy interpretations built around IDEA, this paper will first use an understanding of the concept of "institutional ablism" as it has been developed within disability studies, to challenge the widely accepted view of IDEA as civil rights legislation. Drawing on Critical Race Theory, the article will then offer a further deconstruction of IDEA focusing on the IDEA's attempt to address the disproportionate representation of minority students in special education. The analysis of the law illustrates the use of a mechanism that I will call "transposition": the use of the legally accepted segregation of special education to maintain the effects of the unacceptable and illegal segregation by race. The analysis will make the case that the development of special education in the United States offers yet another example of interest convergence, specifically that of the marginal disability rights gained with the creation of special education converging with the white interest of recouping the losses of the US Supreme Court's historic "Brown v. Board of Education" desegregation decision. (Contains 18 notes. )
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act