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Disproportionality in Special Education

Disproportionality in Special Education. Daniel J. Reschly Department of Special Education Vanderbilt University National Research Center on Learning Disabilities For more information dan.reschly@vanderbilt.edu. Disproportionality in Special Education. Rich History over Last Century

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Disproportionality in Special Education

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  1. Disproportionality in Special Education Daniel J. Reschly Department of Special Education Vanderbilt University National Research Center on Learning Disabilities For more information dan.reschly@vanderbilt.edu Reschly

  2. Disproportionality in Special Education • Rich History over Last Century • Different groups affected • Concerns emerged in late 1960s • OCR data collection since 1968 • Legal requirements: litigation and legislation • Focus on tests used to determine eligibility • Slight improvement since 1968, but general patterns persist Reschly

  3. Disproportionality in Special Education • Disproportionality: more concern in sp ed about over than under-representation • Many stereotypes, confusion, misunderstandings • Underlying assumption: All groups should be represented in sp ed proportionate to population proportions Reschly

  4. Disproportionality in Special Education MYTH: All minorities are overrepresented in sp ed FACT: Compared to white students, black and American Indian students are overrepresented, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander students are underrepresented MYTH: A large percentage of black and American Indian students are in special education. FACT: Overall rates are slightly higher. White=12.1%; American Indian=13.1% ; Black=14.2% MYTH: Hispanic students are overrepresented FACT: Hispanic students are slightly underrepresented Reschly

  5. Disproportionality in Special Education MYTH: The greatest degree of disproportionality occurs with black students FACT: Asian-PI students are underrepresented by a much larger degree that black students are overrepresented MYTH: IQ tests cause overrepresentation FACT: Good reasons exist to eliminate IQ tests, but they have little overall effect on overrepresentation SEE TABLE THAT FOLLOWS Reschly

  6. Disproportionality Data and Facts • Composition Index: Proportion of special education category or placement by group • Risk Index: Proportion of sociocultural group in a special education category or placement • Consider Women and Teaching: • Composition: 75% of teachers are women • Risk: <2% of women are teachers Reschly

  7. Disproportionality Results Risk-All Disabilities, age 6-21 Group%-sch ageRel. Risk African American 14.3% 1.2 times Native Am. Indian 13.1% 1.1 times White 12.1% 1.0 times Hispanic 11.3% .9 times Asian Pac-Islander 5.3% .4 times Rel=Relative Reschly

  8. Problem Categories:MR Composition: 35% of Students in MR are African American vs. 17% of the overall student population is African-American Risk: 2.6% of African Americans are in MR vs. 1.1% of white students; Odds Ratio: Rate for Af-Am is 2.4 times higher than white rate. No other groups are overrepresented in MR Reschly

  9. Problem Categories: ED Composition: 26.4% of Students with ED are African American vs. 17% Af Am in general student population Risk: 1.6% of African-American Students are in ED vs. 1.0% of White Students ODDS Ratio: Af-Am rate is 1.6 times white rate No other group overrepresented in ED Reschly

  10. Problem Categories: LD Composition: 1.37% of Students with LD are Native American Indian vs. 1.1% of Indian Students in the General Population Risk: 7.3% of Indian students are in LD vs. 6.1% of White Students Odds Ratio: Indians are 1.2 times more likely to be in LD than white students No other group is overrepresented in LD Reschly

  11. Disproportionality Effects • Large numbers of students are affected • Assuming the white rate of disability identification • Excess number black students= 172,675 (of 7.7 million black students) • Excess number of American Indian students= 5500 out of approx. 500,000 Reschly

  12. Equal Treatment Studies • Referred students: • More minority students referred, have more problems, of greater severity • Students in Sp Ed • Lower achievement than white students in the same placements • White and black teachers generally agree on existence of problems and severity of problems for black and white students • Black students rated lower by teachers regardless of race Reschly

  13. Current Legal Requirements Disproportionality Regulation in IDEA (1997) 34 CFR 300.755: Disproportionality. (a) General. Each State that receives assistance under Part B of the Act, and the Secretary of the Interior, shall provide for the collection and examination of data to determine if significant disproportionality based on race is occurring in the State or in the schools operated by the Secretary of the Interior with respect to - (1) The identification of children with disabilities, including the identification of children as children with disabilities in accordance with a particular impairment described in section 602(3) of the Act; and Reschly

  14. Current Legal Requirements 2) The placement in particular educational settings of these children. (b) Review and revision of policies, practices, and procedures. In the case of a determination of significant disproportionality with respect to the identification of children as children with disabilities, or the placement in particular educational settings of these children, in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the State or the Secretary of the Interior shall provide for the review and, if appropriate revision of the policies, procedures, and practices used in the identification or placement to ensure that the policies, procedures, and practices comply with the requirements of Part B of the Act. Reschly

  15. Equal Classification and Placement Outcomes Required • Must NOT have significant disproportionality in classification • Must NOT have significant disproportionality in placement settings • What is “significant” • Will be determined • Multiple Gating • HOW? HOW? HOW? HOW? Reschly

  16. Reschly

  17. Disproportionality Prevention Donovan, M. S., & Cross, C. T. (2002). Minority students in special and gifted education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. “ There is substantial evidence with regard to both behavior and achievement that early identification and intervention is more effective than later identification and intervention.” Executive Summary, p. 5 Reschly

  18. HOW?? • Multi-tiered academic interventions • High quality reading and math programs • Focused interventions for small groups • Intense problem solving • Multi-tiered behavioral interventions • School-wide positive behavior supports • Effective classroom management • Intense individual interventions Reschly

  19. Achievement Gap • Overrepresented minority students • Lower academic readiness for school, print familiarity, letter knowledge, word knowledge, vocabulary • Lower behavioral readiness for school as rated by minority and white students • Gaps in achievement persist Reschly

  20. Prevention: Preschool • Prenatal care and parenting support • Head State programs—improve re: literacy • Intense preschool interventions work • Early, intense, structured, broad • Abecedarian Project reports sp ed reduction of 75% (12% program children, 48% controls) Reschly

  21. Prevention: Early School • Multi-tiered Academic and Behavioral Interventions PRIOR to Special Education Placement • Success for Allevaluation data suggest: • reduction in placements of 50% or more • 2.2% of SFA 3rd graders two years behind compared to 8.8% of control children • Classroom management + Structured reading and math curricula Reschly

  22. Prevention: GE InterventionsNot Prereferral-Referral-Test • Widely endorsed as part of prevention, but NOT prereferral-referral-test; Must change • Existing practices reflect poor quality • 80% not guided by behavioral definition • 80% do not have a direct measure in the natural setting • 75% do not compare pre and post intervention data • Do they work???? Of course not!! Reschly

  23. Issues: Quality of problem solving IF used for eligibility 1. Precise Definition of the Problem in Terms of Observable Behavior 2. Valid and Reliable Measure of the Behavior in the Natural Setting 3. Validate the Existence of the Problem; Estimate the Severity (Age Norms/Peer Comparisons) 4. Establish Intervention Goals in Terms of the Target Behavior 5. Analysis of Antecedent (including prior knowledge), Situational, and Consequent Conditions Reschly

  24. Issues: Quality of problem solving IF used for eligibility 6. Formulate an Intervention Plan Based on Principles of Behavior Change or Instructional Design 7. Systematic Implementation of the Intervention with Treatment Integrity and Frequent Monitoring of Progress 8. Revision of the Intervention as Needed According to Progress Toward Goals 9. Evaluation of the Intervention with Further Problem Solving as Needed 10. Support for Continued Academic Growth and Behavioral Competencies Reschly

  25. Implementation • Early screening in kindergarten and periodic screening thereafter on • Academic skills—DIBELS • Behavior • Early interventions in General Education to address academic and behavioral problems Reschly

  26. Outcomes • High quality academic and behavioral interventions (multi-tiered) • Improve achievement and behavior outcomes for all children • Reduce the number of students with very low achievement • Prevent special education placement and reduce disproportionality • Issue: Ensuring high quality for all students Reschly

  27. Special Education Eligibility • Response to Intervention • Standard protocol treatments, e.g., reading • Problem solving • Combinations of both • Demise of IQ in LD • Decisions made on the basis of local norms, using educational measures from the curriculum Reschly

  28. Special Education Eligibility • Special education only after • Documented insufficient response to high quality interventions • Use of direct measures of skills in natural settings • Focus on learning rates and differences from peer averages • Sp Ed as a last resort and a temporary service Reschly

  29. Disproportionality Prevention • History of Efforts • No magic bullets • No magic tests or adjustments to tests • No simple solutions • Solutions • Address achievement gaps, supportive behavior programs • Apply validated intervention principles Reschly

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