Disproportionality In Special Education

1216 Words 5 Pages
One of the most complex issues in special education today is disproportionality. Disproportionality was first reported in 1968 by an educational researcher named Lloyd Dunn. Dunn observed that 60 to 80 percent of students who were misidentified for special education services were students from low-status backgrounds including African Americans and students from non-middle class environments (Vallas, 2009). Still, years later, the problem continues to exist. Minorities continue to be overrepresented in special education. Culturally and linguistically diverse students are experiencing disproportionalities in schools and it has immediate and long term effects. Approximately 13.5 percent of all students in schools K-12 receive special education …show more content…
Misidentifying students can lead to unwarranted services and supports. The child who is misidentified can encounter limited access to curricula because their expectations are reduced. Diminishing a child’s expectations can be incredibly harmful for a child and their educational experience. Furthermore, misidentifying a child causes false impressions of a child’s intelligence, ability, and academic potential (Disproportionality, 2008). These three aspects can lead to several other complications many students are facing today. If a student is misidentified and receives special education services, they most likely will remain in special education classes throughout their education. If a child remains in a special education class, they will not receive the education they need to strive and demonstrate their full potential. Additionally, with being in a special education class the student will not receive the chance to encounter meticulous curriculum, which is needed and imperative to the child. Their standards will be lowered when initially, there was no need for these students to have been placed in special education. Consequently, placement of special education can effect post-secondary opportunities. If a child was misidentified for special education, they will encounter limitations when it comes to post-secondary education. No child deserves to go through this suffering, especially when they …show more content…
The factors of the dilemma include inadequate evaluation procedures, teacher bias in referrals, and failure to consider the many reasons why students are unable to meet the academic expectations of the school system. Many of these reasons can be accommodated or fixed if the evaluation process was completed effectively. The problem initially begins with the evaluation process. Stakeholders have inadequate evaluation procedures. Federal law offers little guidance in the process of assessment and referral for special education services (Vallas, 2009). This leaves teachers, to complete the evaluation and referral process on their own. Teachers already have a large workload, and often times they will rush through the process or inadequately fill out the evaluation and referrals due to timely matters or the lack of knowledge on the process. There should be more professionals involved with the referral process. In addition, the process should be clearer, therefore, teachers have a better understanding of how to complete the evaluation and

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