ERIC Number: EJ904279
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Reference Count: 11
Preventing Disproportionality: A Framework for Culturally Responsive Assessment
Sullivan, Amanda L.
Communique, v39 n3 p1, 24, 26 Nov 2010
For as long as there has been special education, there has been racially based disproportionality in identification and placement coupled with the concern that some students may be inappropriately identified as disabled. This is especially true for Black students in the categories of emotional disability (ED) and mild mental retardation (MR), where they have long been two to three times more likely to be identified than White students. While the roots of disproportionality are far-reaching and varied, there has been much concern regarding the influence of cultural dissonance in referral and assessment practices on disparities. Given the increasing diversity of the nation's schools, it is inevitable that practitioners will encounter students and families with backgrounds and experiences drastically different from their own. As such, the cultivation of knowledge, skills, and dispositions conducive to effectively serving diverse populations is essential to ensuring that their professional practices remain relevant and beneficial to the communities they serve. A broad approach to reducing educational inequities that is increasingly advocated for is culturally responsive practice. Such an approach foregrounds considerations of culture in direct service, thus reducing the likelihood that mere (cultural) difference will be misinterpreted as disability when school psychologists and educators work with students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds. This is particularly relevant to the discussion of ensuring the appropriateness of the educational diagnoses for CLD children and youth. This article seeks to provide actionable steps for practitioners seeking to engage in culturally responsive assessment of CLD students for special education eligibility.
Descriptors: Mild Mental Retardation, Mental Retardation, School Psychologists, Disproportionate Representation, White Students, Special Education, Evaluation, Emotional Disturbances, African American Students, Cultural Background, Cultural Pluralism, Comparative Analysis, Cultural Differences, Intervention, Norms
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A