Giving Compass’ Take:
· New research into the racial disparities in special education shows that black and Hispanic students are less likely to be placed in special education programs than white students with the same health background. The data also shows that these minority students are more likely to be identified as special needs in predominantly white schools and less likely to receive these services in minority schools.
· What is the cause behind these disparities and how can they be addresses? How can philanthropists advocate for an equitable learning environment and access to special ed services?
New research examines how often black and Hispanic students are identified as needing special education compared to white students, leading to new findings on disproportionality and racial gaps.
“When looking at numbers and data more closely, what many think about this racial disproportionality gets turned on its head.”
“When it comes to special education demographics, people generally believe that minority students are put into special ed programs more frequently than white students, and if you look just at the raw numbers, that’s generally true,” says coauthor Scott Imberman, professor of economics and education policy at Michigan State University.
“But this doesn’t consider background factors, particularly health, which can determine a lot about a child. When looking at numbers and data more closely, what many think about this racial disproportionality gets turned on its head.”
The research findings reveal that black and Hispanic students are put into special education more often in white schools. But, they are much less likely to be identified as needing special education in schools that are mostly minority, where they are surrounded by students of the same race. Additionally, black and Hispanic students are put into special education programs less frequently than white students who have similar health backgrounds.
Read the full article about racial disparities in special education by Caroline Brooks at Futurity.
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