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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Special EDge (PDF)

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

CCBD’s Position Summary on Federal Policy on Disproportionality in Special Education (PDF)

The paper by the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders critically questions the effectiveness of federal policy and disproportionality monitoring mechanisms. It is an important piece to read because it questions how the provisions in IDEA, and compliance to IDEA, can address disproportionate outcomes. It offers practitioners the chance to reflect on how they understand IDEAs relationship to abatement of disproportionate outcomes.

Skiba, R., S. Albrecht, and D. Losen. 2012. CCBD’s Position Summary on Federal Policy on Disproportionality in Special Education. Arlington, VA: Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders.

Disproportionality and Overrepresentation, Module 5 from Building the Legacy: A Training Curriculum on IDEA 2004 (Website)

Includes slideshow, trainers guide, and participant handouts for explaining what states, districts, and schools must now do to address disproportionate representation, including significant disproportionality, as outlined in IDEA 2004.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities: NICHCY (2005).

NOTE:  After September 30, 2014 all of the NICHCY resources will be housed in the Center for Parent Information and Resources Library at

Federal Policy on Disproportionality in Special Education: Is it Moving us Forward?" (PDF)

The article explores the national trends associated with a citation for disproportionality. It highlights that there is considerable confusion surrounding the enforcement and monitoring of disproportionality by state and local educational agencies and that despite extensive monitoring disproportionate trends continue. The article is important for practitioners because it provides a context for which to understand how districts get cited and what is required of states and districts to address disproportionality.

Albrecht, Skiba, and others. “Federal Policy on Disproportionality in Special Education: Is it Moving us Forward? Journal Of Disability Policy Studies, 23(1), 2012: 14-25.

Glossary of Equity Terms (WEBSITE)

Describes common equity terms in two categories: disproportionality terms and IDEA 2004 terms. The Equity Project at Indiana University.

IDEA, Positive Behavioral Supports, and School Safety (ARTICLE)

The article describes how PBIS was included in the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and stresses the usefulness of PBIS for ensuring a free and appropriate education for students with disabilities and for protecting students at schools. The article is useful to practitioners and state and local education agencies that seek to understand the links between policy, practice and student outcomes.

Turnbull, R. H., Wilcox, B., and others. “IDEA, Positive Behavioral Supports, and School Safety.” Journal of Law and Education, 30(3), 2001: 445-503.

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Topic Brief and Links to Discussion Guides, Disproportionality and Overidentification (WEBSITE)

Click on each of the regulation titles to find questions for leading dialogue.

Special Education and School Discipline: A Precarious Balance (DOC)

The article challenges the assumption that suspensions and expulsions lead to better learning environments. It is useful to practitioners because it offers alternative solutions for school discipline that can be applicable to practice.

 Skiba, R. J. “Special Education and School Discipline: A Precarious Balance.” Behavioral Disorders, 27(2), 2002: 81-97.

State Performance Plan Synopsis (SPP) – June 2011 (DOC)

Provides a brief synopsis of the 20 SPP indicators. California Services for Technical Assistance and Training (2011) California Department of Education.