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INTRODUCTION Brown V. Board of Education mandated schools to desegregate. However, years later re-segregation continues to be a continued practice. African American students have been re-segregated within public schools via over-placement in special education classes.

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1. SPECIAL EDUCATION DISABILITIES AND IT’S IMPLICATIONS Submitted by B. Michelle Maultsby EDAD 6300 Multicultural Education Dr. Beth Christian

2. INTRODUCTION Brown V. Board of Education mandated schools to desegregate. However, years later re-segregation continues to be a continued practice. African American students have been re-segregated within public schools via over-placement in special education classes. Many believe that schools classifying African American students as disabled and placing them in special education classes is a practice of discrimination. In fact, the Department of Education considers over-placement of students in special education classes a “national problem” and proclaim it a “crisis” because African American students are identified as disabled under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in numbers that exceed their proportion in the general population (Mallory, 2003). In fact, African-American students were 2.3 times more likely to be identified as having a disability than their White counterparts (Boehner, 2004). I

3. OVERVIEW In the past, Congress has gone through measures to enact laws that protect students with disabilities and there continue to be few positive results. In response, for the first time, Congress has chosen to act on these overrepresentation concerns by enacting the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA). IDEIA recognizes that special education eligibility is directly related to the general education system and that today’s increasingly diversed students require a certain level of individual instruction in the general classroom, as well.

4. CURRENT SPECIAL EDUCATION LAWS IDEA Improvement Act (2004) *Make special education stronger for students and parents by reducing over-identification/misidentification of non-disabled children, including minority youth. -requiring districts to operate early intervening programs that work -eliminate “IQ discrepancy” model -establish methods to reduce the number of students from culturally linguistically diverse backgrounds -introduce a “response to intervention” model that identifies specific learning disabilities before the student is failing at grade level -rely on positive behavioral interventions and supports

5. Researcher Robert Garda (2005) found that the nature of overrepresentation is the lack of uniformity of disability categories in which students are placed in. To be eligible, a Child must have one of the following disabilities: Specific Learning Disabilities Speech and Language Impairments Mental Retardation Emotional Disturbance Multiple Disabilities Hearing Impairments Orthopedic Impairments Visual Impairments Autism Deaf-Blindness Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Developmental Delay Other Health Impairments

6. These disabilities are further divided into high-incidence and low-incidence categories. Students with low-incidence disabilities account for the hearing impaired, visual impaired, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments. These disabilities are “clearly defined disorders of the central nervous system, sensory status, or neuromotor capabilities that can be said to cause the disability” (Garda, 2005). The diagnoses of these disabilities are typically non-judgmental and are identified before the first year of school.

7. In contrast, the high-incidence categories of mental retardation, emotional disturbance, specific learning disabilities, and speech and language impairments are highly judgmental and given without a biological cause and are first identified in a school setting. In addition, there is no uniformed test to determine their presence or agreement on how to diagnose them. Therefore, leaving them open to discretion in application (Dunn, 1999).

8. WHAT DETERMINES ELIGIBILITY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES? Administration of tests and evaluations Parent input Teacher recommendations Physical condition of student Social and cultural background Adaptive behavior **A team composed of parent(s)/guaridan(s), teachers, a school psychologist, (a speech-language pathologist and/or remedial teachers analyze gathered data and determine if a child would benefit from special education services.


11. FIGURE 1.1 CONCLUSIONS There were 680,971students aged 3-5 receiving special education services in the U.S. Speech and Language Impairment and Developmental Delayed accounted for the majority of the disabilities.

13. FIGURE 1.2 CONCLUSIONS There were 6,045,053 students aged 6-12 receiving special education services in the U.S. The number of students eligible for Speech and Language services and Developmental Delayed services consistently increased. Students eligible for Specific Disabilities also increased.

17. FIGURE 1.4 and 1.5 White students accounted for a far larger amount of Special Education certifications, compared to Black students. The problem is that Black students identified as disabled exceed their proportion in the general population.

18. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF IDENTIFYING SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS? ADOLESENTS Low self-esteem Low expectations of student by self and others Alienation Behavior problems Drop out increases ADULTHOOD *Possibility of Unemployment *Possibility of Incarceration

20. “PERSONAL AGENDA’S” Public schools across the country serve more than 6 million youngsters with a wide array of disabling conditions (Garfinkel, 2001). The Civic Report (December 2002) stated two main “agenda’s” for placing students in special education based on unclear definitions of the disabilities. They are: FUNDING HIGH STAKESTESTING

21. Civic Report (cont.) FUNDING: During a study period from 1991-92 school year to 2000-2001 the following conclusions were made: 33 states had “bounty” funding systems, which create financial incentives to place children in special education 16 states had “lump-sum” funding systems, which did not create such incentives.

22. AS A RESULT: There is a statistically significant positive relationship between bounty funding systems and growth in special education enrollment. 62% of enrollment growth during the study period (390,000 extra students in special education) *With the lump-sum system, the identification of approximately 258,000 students and $1.5 billion per year in extra spending could have been eliminated.

23. HIGH-STAKES STESTING: Schools have an incentive to remove the lowest-scoring students from the testing pool by placing them I special education, where they will be exempt from testing requirements or provided with provisions for accountability (Greene, 2002).

24. MOST COMMON DISABILITIES IDENTIFIED AMONG COURT INVOLVED YOUTH (Garfinkel, 2001) Specific learning disabilities Emotional or behavioral disabilities Developmental disabilities Multiple disabilities *ADHD *Depression *Anxiety Disorders *PTSD

25. More that one in three youths who enter correctional facilities have previously received special education services Behaviors that contribute to involvement in the court system include: lack of social skills, impulsive behaviors, risk-taking behaviors, susceptibility to negative peer pressure, greater difficulty with academics, and school drop. Reponses to students with disabilities may also contribute.

26. WHAT IF IT WERE YOU CHILD? Difficulties understanding what going on with them Difficulties may go unrecognized by teachers and others May feel embarrassed, confused, and humiliated when they have to be isolated from their peers Behavioral and adjustment difficulties from the isolation

27. The failure to recognize, understand, sympathize and address learning differences has a impact on individual lives and may one day very well have an impact on your life.

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