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Disproportionality Overview

Disproportionality Overview

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Disproportionality Overview

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  1. Disproportionality Overview Dan Reschly Vanderbilt University dan.reschly@gmail.com 615-708-7910 March 6-7, 2013 Sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education Reschly Disproportionality

  2. Vanderbilt Is NOT A Football Power 25 Consecutive Losing Seasons?? But 8-4 in 2012 Vandy is #1 in Special Education Reschly Disproportionality

  3. Reschly, D. J. (2009). Prevention of Disproportionate Special Education Representation Using Response to Intervention. Washington DC: Learning Point Associates. http://www.tqsource.org/forum/documents/TQ_Issue_Paper_RTI_Disproportionality.pdf Reschly Disproportionality

  4. What is the Problem?? Examples • In US, 15% of the student population is black, but 65% of the students in the category of MR/ID are black. Similar in Iowa • Discipline outcomes of suspension and expulsion are disproportionately minority, particularly black, Hispanic, and American Indian. Similar in Iowa. • Is this a problem? If so, Why? • What are the causes of this problem? • What can be done about it? Reschly Disproportionality

  5. Is this a problem? Why? • Comments 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Reschly Disproportionality

  6. Solutions to Significant Disproportionality Overview • Understanding current legal requirements • Prevention, especially improving reading • ~55% of 4th grade black students read below basic; inexcusable! Teach Reading and Math effectively!! • Eligibility determination procedures and decision making • Focus on RTI and needs, consider alternatives to sped • Implement rigorous identification criteria • Intensive interventions and special education exit for ~20% to 40% Implement RTI in sped • Torgesen et al. studies Reschly Disproportionality

  7. Irony of Disproportionate Representation • Special Education for SWD with Mild Disabilities (LD, Mild MR, ED) • Individualized educational programs with related services as needed, based on individual evaluation • Significantly greater expenditures • Greater parent involvement • Mandated annual review • Procedural safeguards Reschly Disproportionality

  8. Irony of Disproportionate Representation cont. • Why is disproportionate representation unacceptable? • Overrepresentation per se? Consider Head Start and Title I • Assumptions about special education • Stigma • Poor outcomes • Limited curriculum and career options • Often segregated programs (Mild MR & ED) • Differences in sped: Suburbs vs Cities Reschly Disproportionality

  9. Constructive Policies and Practices Based On • Understanding legal requirements • Appropriate statistical analyses • Reasonable criteria to define “significant disproportionality” • Prevention in general education • Early identification-Early intervention • Non-discrimination in evaluation and placement • Ensuring special education effectiveness Reschly Disproportionality

  10. Part I: Public Policy Trends and Legal Requirements • Trend toward reduced tolerance of differential results (NCLB, IDEA) • Reporting by group • Demands for improvement • Trend toward fairness defined as equal results • Legal requirements changed from process to results • System change considerations • Prevention, Early id/tmt, and sped exiting Reschly Disproportionality

  11. Reschly Interpretation: Centrality of Outcomes: • Judge Peckham commenting on the 1979 Trial Opinion ban on IQ tests, “… clearly limited to the use of IQ tests in the assessment and placement of African-American students in dead end programs such as MMR.” (Crawford and Larry P., 1992, p. 15). Reschly Disproportionality

  12. Reschly Interpretation: Centrality of Outcomes: “ Despite the Defendants’ attempts to characterize the court’s 1979 order as a referendum on the discriminatory nature of IQ testing, this court’s review of the decision reveals that the decision was largely concerned with the harm to African-American children resulting from improper placement in dead-end educational programs.” (Crawford and Larry P., 1992, p.23).” Reschly Disproportionality

  13. Traditional EHA/IDEA Legal Requirements re: Nondiscrimination Process • §300.304 Assessments and other evaluation materials used to assess a child under this part— • (i) Are selected and administered so as not to be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis; • Plus extensive additional requirements in the Evaluations and Re-evaluations section • Process focus Reschly Disproportionality

  14. Problems with Non-discrimination Regulations 1975 to 1997, 2004 • No definition of discrimination • Focus on assessment procedures (less on decision making) • Assumption that non-discrimination can be prevented through reforms in assessment, classification, and placement • Attempted to resolve group representation issues through individual mechanisms • Improved assessment for all, but little overall effect on minority over-representation Reschly Disproportionality

  15. Disproportionality IDEA 2004, 2006 • §300.173 Overidentification and disproportionality. • The State must have in effect, consistent with the purposes of this part and with section 618(d) of the Act, policies and procedures designed to prevent the inappropriate overidentificationor disproportionate representation by race and ethnicity of children as children with disabilities, including children with disabilities with a particular impairment described in §300.8. Reschly Disproportionality

  16. IDEA 2004, 2006 re: 34 CFR 300.646 Disproportionality (a) General. Each State …… shall provide for the collection and examination of data to determine if significant disproportionality based on race is occurring in the State ……‑ • (1) The identification of children as 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 THAT IS, CATEGORY • (2) The placement in particular educational settings of these children. THAT IS, LRE Profile • (3) Incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspension and expulsion Reschly Disproportionality

  17. Disproportionality By Category • 13 Categories of Disability at 34 C.F.R. 300.8 • Greatest concern about MR, ED, LD, OHI, and Sp/L • Significant disproportionality triggers policies and procedures reviews • Disciplinary outcomes: suspension and expulsion Reschly Disproportionality

  18. Disproportionality by LRE Option • Official Federal Placement Options re: Time Outside General Education • ≤20 % Full-time General Education • 21% to 60% Part-time Special Education • >60% Full-time Special Education • Public or Private Separate Setting • Public or Private Residential • Home or Hospital • Expect scrutiny of placement option representation in future Reschly Disproportionality

  19. IDEA 2004, 2006 re: 34 CFR 300.646 Disproportionality, cont. • (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,….., the State ….. 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 Disproportionality

  20. IDEA 2004, 2006 re: 34 CFR 300.646 Disproportionality, cont. • Require any LEA identified under Section 618(d)(1) to reserve the maximum amount of funds under Section 613(f) to provide comprehensive coordinated early intervening services to serve children in the LEA, particularly children in those groups that were significantly overidentified under Section 618(d)(1); and • Require the LEA to publicly report on the revision of policies, practices, and procedures described under Section 618(d)(1)(A). • Focused monitoring---Disproportionality listed as one of a small number of areas Reschly Disproportionality

  21. Early Intervening Services • § 300.226 Early intervening services. • LEA can use 15% of federal IDEA funds to support prevention and early identification-treatment • Purpose: minimize over-identification and unnecessary sped referrals • Provide academic and behavioral supports • Supports professional development and provision of interventions including early literacy instruction • Significant Disproportionality? Must spend 15% of the IDEA monies Reschly Disproportionality

  22. Context • Accountability generally • Sea Change in Special Education (Major Transformation) • Expectations that current results will improve • OSEP compliance monitoring of states focused on 20 outcome indicators • Increasing, state education agency monitoring of local districts focused on the 20 outcome indicators • Increased emphasis on students with disabilities (SWD) performance in the general education curriculum Reschly Disproportionality

  23. State Performance Indicators • 20 Performance Indicators • Disseminated to States - Summer, 2006 • First state rankings in 2007 • Current state rankings available at • http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/monitor/factsheet-2009.doc • State rankings are controversial, but highly “motivating” to states and districts • http://www2.ed.gov/fund/data/report/idea/sppapr.html • Part B IA “needs assistance-one year • Part C IA “meets requirements” Reschly Disproportionality

  24. Evidence on Special Education Priorities • OSEP Outcome Indicators • Annual Reports by SEAs to OSEP • Initial publication of State Results in June 2007 • State Personnel Development Grants • Long standing OSEP grant program to states • Competitive grants • SEA must base grant proposal on broad assessment of state needs over multiple constituencies Reschly Disproportionality

  25. Summary: Legal Requirements • Nondiscrimination in eligibility determination and placement still required (see Evaluation and Re-evaluation at 34 CFR 300.301 to 34 CFR 300.311 • Added requirements regarding results (consistent with results focus of NCLB) • Applications to both category and placement option (≤20%, 21%-60%, >60%, etc.), and disciplinary actions • Emphasis on prevention and early id/early tmt • Mandatory revision of policies and procedures if significant disproportionality exists Reschly Disproportionality

  26. Part II: Does Iowa Have Significant Disproportionality?? • Over- and Under-representation? • Is under-representation important? • What areas are relevant? • Special Education Total and Category • Special Education Placement Option • Suspension and Expulsion in general and special education Reschly Disproportionality

  27. Part II: Does Iowa Have Significant Disproportionality?? • What statistical analysis? • What criteria • Numerical guidelines? • Criteria varying by context? • Improvement criteria? • Revisions in policies and practices?

  28. What WOULD CONSTITUTE OVERREPRESENTATION IN YOUR OPINION • Factor of 1.5 or 1.5 times rate for other groups? • Factor of 2.0 or 2 times rate for other groups • Factor of 2.5 • Factor of 3.0 • How much is too much? • What statistic?

  29. What Level is Too Much? • Discussion:

  30. Disproportionality Example • Estimate the percent of African American students in the US that are in special education (all categories) age 5-17? • 5% • 15% • 30% • 50% • 70% Reschly Disproportionality

  31. National Representation Statistics • 15% of the US student population was African-American • 33% of MR/ID students in special education in the USA were African American • What percent of African-American students were classified as MR and placed in special education? a. 1% b. 3% c. 10% d. 25% e. 35% f. 50% Reschly Disproportionality

  32. National Representation Statistics • 15% of the US student population was African-American • 29% of E/BD students in special education in the USA were African American • What percent of African-American students were classified as MR and placed in special education? a. 1% b. 3% c. 10% d. 25% e. 35% f. 50% Reschly Disproportionality

  33. What Statistic for Disproportionality? • Risk: Percent of total group in sped category • 100 white in MR out of 2000 white students in the student population, 100÷2000=5% • Risk=5% • Composition: Percent of sped category by each group • Total of 150 students in MR • White composition of MR, 100 ÷ 150=67% Reschly Disproportionality

  34. Illustration of Risk and Composition • Consider gender and teaching • Composition of educators by gender is heavily female, >80% • “Risk” of being an educator for women is <1% • Likewise with racial/ethnic group and special education representation • Composition sometimes appears large • Risk is relatively small Reschly Disproportionality

  35. Comparing Risk Statistics Across Groups • Relative Risk, ratio of two risk indices • Useful for determining the severity of disproportionality • Two methods • Risk of minority group to risk of white group • Risk of each group compared to the combined risk of the other groups • See calculation exercises Reschly Disproportionality

  36. Disproportionality Impressions • Composition: African students constitute 15% of the US student population, but 33% of the US MR/ID population is African American. • Risk: Approximately 1.7% of African American students are classified as MR/ID. The rate for white students is 0.6%, for all students=0.77% • The relative risk for MR/ID for African American students compared to all other students is about 2.75 times, that is nearly three times more likely to be in MR/ID than other students Reschly Disproportionality

  37. Disproportionality Impressions • Composition: African students constitute 15% of the US student population, but 29% of the US MR/ID population is African American. • Risk: Approximately 1.33% of African American students are classified as E/BD. The rate for white students is 0.65%, for all students=0.69% • The relative risk for MR/ID for African American students compared to all other students is 2.28, that is, over twice more likely to be in E/BD than other students Reschly Disproportionality

  38. Advantages/Disadvantages of Risk Statistics • Accurate impressions of the actual proportions of minority students in sped • Directly comparable across groups • Equally useful regardless of whether the minority group is a large or small proportion of the overall population • Used in determining relative risk index • “Minimizes” the problem according to some Reschly Disproportionality

  39. Advantages/Disadvantages of Composition Statistics • Dramatizes the problem, draws attention • Cannot be compared directly across groups • Always has to be interpreted in relation to population composition • Usually misinterpreted, producing widespread distortions and confusion about sped disproportionality • Supports stereotypes of minority children, suggesting that a high proportion or even a majority have disabilities and are in sped • Media favorite Reschly Disproportionality

  40. Risk and Relative Risk All Disabilities Age 6-21 2006-2007 Year N is the number of students with disabilities age 6-21 The denominator is the estimated total population age 6-21 Reschly Disproportionality

  41. Disproportionality Occurs In High Incidence Disabilities High Incidence = Speech/language, SLD, MR and ED Low Incidence = The remaining 9 IDEA categories Reschly Disproportionality

  42. Problem Categories: MR/id Composition: 33% of Students in MR are African American vs. 15% of the overall student population is African-American Risk:1.7%% of African Americans are in MR/ID vs. 0.77% of white students; Relative Risk: Rate for Af-Am is 2.75 times higher than the overall rate for other students. No other groups are overrepresented in MR/ID at relative risk of >2.0 Reschly Disproportionality

  43. Problem Categories: ED Composition:29% of Students with E/BD are African American vs. 15% Af Am in general student population Risk:1.33% of African-American Students are in ED vs. 0.69% of White Students Relative Risk Ratio: Af-Am rate is 2.28 times the rate for other groups of students No other group overrepresented in E/BD at a relative risk of >2.0 Reschly Disproportionality

  44. Iowa Disproportionality • AEAs with relative risks > 2.0 • Large district differences in special education enrollment: Waterloo and Burlington at >16% • Discipline disparities • Patterns of disproportionality in Iowa? • Ellen Help

  45. FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES: • School districts to report student-related data by the new race and ethnicity protocols. • Each district to survey parents/guardians to collect this information. • Each district to use the new 2-part question format when surveying parents/guardians.

  46. Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, parents/guardians will be asked the following two questions . . .

  47. QUESTION 1 • Is your child Hispanic/Latino? • This question is about ethnicity, not race. However, if “yes” is chosen, data for this student will be reported in the Hispanic/ Latino category. • In addition to answering question 1, please answer question 2 by marking one or more boxes to indicate what you consider your student’s race to be.