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ERIC Number: EJ823279
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1066-2847
Margins of Error
Parsons, Joe
Teaching Tolerance, n24 p33-37 Fall 2003
Language-minority students are the fastest-growing population in U.S. public schools. During the 1990s, their numbers rose from 8 million to 15 million. These include new immigrant students as well as students from Native American and indigenous backgrounds. Research shows that the distribution of "extremely bright," "average" and "cognitively limited" individuals is similar across cultural segments of the population. Accordingly, about 12% of language-minority students may be expected to have learning or emotional disabilities. Education researchers have long recognized that students with limited English proficiency (LEP) are disproportionately represented in special education programs. Careful scrutiny tells a more complicated story for language-minority students. Often they are overrepresented in some special education programs and underrepresented in others. In a number of high-profile cases, misdiagnosis of bilingual students for special education has led to costly litigation and improper education for students. As a result, many school districts have become extraordinarily sensitive to charges of overidentification--sensitive enough, in some cases, to err in the opposite direction. As a result, language minority students with very real special education needs are being left behind.
Southern Poverty Law Center. 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104. Tel: 334-956-8200; Fax: 334-956-8484; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A