Placement of ethnic minority students in special education: A study of over and underrepresentation issues
AuthorValdez, Carl M.
Education, Educational Psychology.
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe magnitude of ethnic minority students' special education placement has been criticized on methodological grounds. Particularly, Reschly & Bershoff (1999) identified the prevalence rate calculation in Office of Civil Rights reports as over estimating the special education placement of ethnic minority students. Reschly & Bershoff (1999) identified the prevalence rate calculation found in descriptive epidemiology research for use. The present study calculated prevalence rates through the descriptive epidemiology method. The present study examined the role of cultural concerns in the assessment and placement practices of ethnic minority students in special and gifted education. The role of cultural concerns was particularly noted in federal and state definitions of special education categories. Campbell & Fiske's (1952) MMTM approach was outlined to conceptualize the cultural concerns research. The present study found that African-American students were overrepresented in the Emotional Disturbance (ED) and Specific Learning Disabled (SLD) categories, underrepresented in the Gifted (GI) category, and placed at a proportional rate in the Mentally Retarded (MR) and Speech Language Impaired (SLI categories. Hispanic students were overrepresented in the SLD and SLI categories, underrepresented in the GI and MR categories, and placed at a proportional rate in the ED category. Native American students were overrepresented in the SLD and SLI categories and underrepresented in the ED, MR and GI categories. Asian/Pacific Islander students were overrepresented in the GI category, underrepresented in ED category, and placed at a proportional rate in the SLI, MR, and SLD categories. Anglo students were overrepresented in the GI, ED, SLI, and SLD categories and underrepresented in the MR category. The significant finding on the proportional placement of African-American students in the MR category suggest that prevalence rates are reviewed. The underestimate of ethnic minority students in the GI category suggest a broadening to include cultural definitions of giftedness. Of the cultural concerns reviewed, cultural role taking, which may include consultation with interpreters, cultural advisors, healers along with training, was found critical in the assessment of cultural variables in psychopathology and placement of ethnic minority students in special and gifted education. Lastly, school practices such as problem solving approaches as well as culturally responsive teaching are recommended for use as prereferral interventions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Special Education, Rehabilitation and School Psychology