Minority students are overrepresented in special education.
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According to research, minority students are overrepresented in special education. This means that a higher percentage of minority students are placed in special education than their non-minority peers. The exact reasons for this overrepresentation are complex and multifaceted, but it is clear that race and ethnicity play a significant role in the placement of students in special education.
One possible reason for this overrepresentation is the prevalence of cultural biases in the identification of disabilities. This can lead to minority students being misdiagnosed with disabilities simply because they come from a cultural background that values different ways of learning and communicating.
Another possible reason is the impact of poverty. Minority students are more likely to come from low-income communities where they may not have access to the same resources as their non-minority peers. This can make it more difficult for them to succeed in school and may lead to them being placed in special education programs.
A quote from the National Center for Education Statistics reinforces the issues surrounding minority students in special education: “Minority students comprise a larger proportion of the special education population than their nonminority peers, and this relationship is stronger for certain disability categories. Minority students also have greater odds of receiving specific types of services, such as emotional disturbance and intellectual disability.”
Here are some additional interesting facts on the topic:
- Black students are 3.7 times more likely to be placed in special education than white students.
- Hispanic students are 1.4 times more likely to be placed in special education than white students.
- Students whose first language is not English are also overrepresented in special education.
- Schools that serve predominantly low-income students tend to have higher rates of special education enrollment overall, but particularly among minority students.
Finally, here is a table that shows the percentage of students enrolled in special education in the United States broken down by race and ethnicity:
|Race/Ethnicity||Percentage of Students in Special Education|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||13.4%|
Overall, the overrepresentation of minority students in special education is a complex issue that requires attention and action from educators, policymakers, and the public. By working together, we can ensure that all students receive the support and resources they need to succeed.
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Special education identification The most often discussed pattern of significant disproportionality is the overrepresentation of students of color in special education. Students of color, with the exception of Asian students¹, are identified for special education at a higher rate than their White peers.
Minority children are not overrepresented in special education classrooms. In fact, minority children are less likely to be diagnosed with and treated for disabilities than white children with similar academic achievements, behaviors and economic resources. Research suggests that minority students in heavily-minority school groups are underrepresented in special education relative to their underlying incidence of disability.
Contrary to popular belief, minority children are not overrepresented in special education classrooms and are actually less likely to be diagnosed with and treated for disabilities than white children with similar academic achievements, behaviors and economic resources, according to new research co-authored by George Farkas, professor of education at UC Irvine.
Minorities underrepresented in US special education classrooms | Penn State University Although minority children are frequently reported to be overrepresented in special education classrooms, a team of researchers suggests that minority children are less likely than otherwise similar white children to receive help for disabilities.
New research by Morgan, Farkas, Hillemeier and Maczuga once again finds that when you take other student characteristics—notably family income and achievement—into account, racial and ethnic minority students are less likely to be identified for special education than white students.
Our estimates suggest that minority students in heavily-minority school groups are underrepresented in special education relative to their underlying incidence of disability.
A video response to “Are minority students under or overrepresented in special education?”
The video explores the issue of minority overrepresentation in special education and notes that while poverty and cognitive difficulties are often attributed to this issue, data indicates that poverty is not a significant predictor for minority placement in special education. Moreover, minority students are overrepresented in subjectively evaluated disability categories, reflecting how race and disability are perceived and classified in schools.
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Shifrer et al.’s (2011) analyses of a nationally representative sample of high school students with statistical control for individual-, family-, and school-level potential confounds indicated that Blacks were less likely than otherwise similar Whites to be identified as having learning disabilities.