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National Resources

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National Technical Assistance Centers
Training Materials
Practice Briefs and Articles
Webinars and Videos


National Technical Assistance Centers

California Comprehensive Center at WestEd (Outside Source)
Provides assistance to the California Department of Education and statewide groups and organizations to help implement fully the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, improve student achievement, and close the achievement gap in California.

The Equity Alliance at Arizona State University (Outside Source)
A consortium of funded programs that promote equity, access, participation, and positive outcomes for all students.

NYU Steinhardt Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (Outside Source)
Provides professional development trainings, coaching, training follow-ups, materials, and resources that include a Web-based clearinghouse, a disproportionality data repository (DDR), Data Analysis Workbook, research-based articles, journals, and manuals.

Technical Assistance and Consulting Services Center (TACS), University of Oregon (Outside Source)
Provides consultation, technical assistance, training, product development, and information services to assist and support State Education Agencies and Part C Lead Agencies in systemic improvement policies, procedures, and practices to improve programs and services for children with disabilities and their families.

Training Materials

Addressing Minority Disproportionality of Special Education: What We Know and What We Can Do (Outside Source)
A training module for administrators addressing minority disproportionality in special education. Russell J. Skiba, Center for Evaluation and Educational Policy, Indiana University.

Equity in Education—Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disproportionality in Special Education, Volume 1 (Outside Source)
Technical assistance manual for identifying root causes containing training modules for educators seeking to understand disproportionality as an outcome of policies, practices, and beliefs. Metropolitan Center for Urban Education (2009) NYU Steinhardt.

Practice Briefs and Articles

Achieving Equity in Special Education: History, Status and Current Challenges (Outside Source)
Offers recommendations based on an understanding of racial and ethnic disparities in special education as a multiply determined phenomenon and gives factors contributing to disproportionate representation in special education. Russell J. Skiba et al. (2008) The Council for Exceptional Children.

Addressing the Disproportionate Representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education Through Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (PDF; Outside Source)
Addresses the disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education and outlines the theoretical assumptions and principles that should guide efforts to reduce the disproportionate representation of these students in special education. Janette K. Klingner et al. (2005) Education Policy Analysis Archives.

Disproportionate Representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education: Measuring the Problem (Outside Source)
An overview of the history and scope of the problem of disproportional representation. Martha Coutinho and Donald Oswald (2006) National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems.

Distinguishing Difference from Disability: The Common Causes of Racial and Ethnic Disproportionality in Special Education (Outside Source)
Highlights some of the common policies, practices, and beliefs that place racial/ethnic minorities and low-income students at risk. Edward Fergus (2010) The Equity Alliance at Arizona State University.

Education Research Brief—Disproportionality: A Look at Special Education and Race in the Commonwealth (DOC; Outside Source)
Considers promising practices for ensuring that all students from racial and ethnic minorities are given every opportunity to succeed in school. Matthew Deninger (2008) Massachusetts Department of Education.

Preventing Disproportionate Representation: Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Prereferral Interventions (Outside Source)
Practitioner brief written for parents and teachers of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students; discusses culturally and linguistically responsive prereferral interventions for preventing the disproportionate representation of CLD students in special education. Shernaz B. García and Alba A. Ortiz (2006) The Equity Alliance at Arizona State University.

Truth in Labeling: Disproportionality in Special Education (PDF; Outside Source)
A guide designed to assist local and state leaders in initiating critical conversations within their schools and communities about disproportionality. National Education Association (2007).

Unproven Links: Can Poverty Explain Ethnic Disproportionality in Special Education? (Outside Source)
Considers the degree to which poverty contributes to disproportionality in special education. Russell J. Skiba et al. (2005) The Journal of Special Education.


Harry, Beth, and Janette Klingner. 2006. Why Are So Many Minority Students in Special Education? Understanding Race and Disability in Schools. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Addresses issues related to why minority students are placed into special education programs without accurate evaluation.

Lindsey, Randall, Kikanza Nuri Robins, and Raymond Terrell. 2009. Cultural proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Offers approaches and activities for enabling educational leaders to gain a personal understanding of what cultural proficiency means in practice; use collaborative activities to effect change in a school; and lead a learning community toward becoming a culturally proficient organization.

Losen, Daniel, Gary Orfield, and James Jeffords. 2002. Racial Inequity in Special Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Offers educators and policy makers strategies for ensuring equal educational opportunities for all of our students, whatever their race or socioeconomic status.

Webinars and Videos


Response to Intervention (RTI) and Disproportionality Equity Forum (Outside Source)
Features a panel discussion on the intersection of RtI and disproportionality in special education. NYU Steinhardt (2009).

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