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Disproportionality (Race and Ethnicity) in Special Education

The Color of Discipline: Sources of Racial and Gender Disproportionality in School Punishment (PDF)

The article explores common sources of discipline referrals in schools. It is important for practitioners to read because it highlights the role that teachers have in reducing discipline issues in schools.

Skiba, R. J. Michael, R. S., and others, “The Color of Discipline: Sources of Racial and Gender Disproportionality in School Punishment.” Urban Review, 34, 2002: 317-342.

The Context of Minority Disproportionality: Practitioner Perspectives on Special Education Referral (Article)

The article examines how the local contexts of school districts affect teacher’s perceptions of special education and students. The article is useful to practitioners because it gives insight into how teacher’s perceptions may be related to disproportionate outcomes.

Skiba, R.J., Simmons A., and others. “The Context of Minority Disproportionality: Practitioner Perspectives on Special Education Referral”. Teachers College Record. Volume 108, No. 7, 2006: 1424-1459.

The Disproportionate Placement of African American Males in Special Education Programs: A Critique of the Process (ARTICLE)

The article explores the biases that can be embedded in schools and the special education process. It is useful for practitioners who seek to understand how the many layers of the schooling process can lead to accrued disadvantage for certain groups.

Harry, B., & Anderson, M. G. “The Disproportionate Placement of African American Males in Special Education Programs: A Critique of the Process.” The Journal of Negro Education, 63, 1994: 602-619.

The Miners’ Canary: A Review of Overrepresentation Research and Explanations (PDF)

The article surveys existing research on disproportionality and outlines three common perspectives used to explain the issue. It is useful for practitioners because it shows how experts have tried to understand factors associated with disproportionality.

Waitoller, F. R., Artiles, A. J., and Cheney, D. "The Miners’ canary: A Review of Overrepresentation Research and Explanations." Journal of Special Education, 44(1), 2010:29-49

The Special EDge (PDF)

Newsletter addressing legal, policy, and human aspects of disproportionate representation. California Department of Education (2010).

Achieving Equity in Special Education: History, Status, and Current Challenges (PDF)

The article is comprehensive in both its scope and depth in explaining disproportionality. It clearly lays out what research has said about the issue since the 1960’s and offers a thorough snapshot of current understandings of inequities in special education.

Skiba, R. J., Simmons, A. D., and others. “Achieving Equity in Special Education: History, Status, and Current Challenges.” Exceptional Children. Vol. 74, No. 3, 2008: 264-288.

Addressing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: Overrepresentation in Special Education: Guidelines for Parents (ARTICLE)

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.

Addressing Disproportionality in Inclusion/Reflection (Recording)

Presentation by Linda Blong, Project Specialist, SPP-TAP, Napa County Office of Education
Mildred Browne, SPP-TAP Facilitator & Ed Consultant, Ascendancy Solutions
Lou Denti, SPP-TAP Facilitator & Professor, CSU Monterey Bay

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.

Addressing Racial/Ethnic Disproportionality in Special Education: Case Studies of Suburban School Districts (ARTICLE)

The article examines how race and disability are constructed in two suburban districts that were cited for disproportionality. It is useful for practitioners because it provides insight into the root causes that are often associated with inequities in special education.

Ahram, R., Fergus, E., and Noguera, P. “Addressing Racial/Ethnic Disproportionality in Special Education: Case Studies of Suburban School Districts.” Teachers College Record, 113(10), 2011: 2233-2266