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Racial Inequity in Special Education

Authors: Daniel J. Losen, Gary Orfield (editors), Senator James M. Jeffords (foreword)
Date Published: September 01, 2002

An illuminating account of a widespread problem that has received little attention until now, Racial Inequity in Special Education sets the stage for a more fruitful discussion about special education and racial justice-a discussion that aims to advance racial equity in both special and general education.
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Harvard Education Press, Copyright © 2002
ISBN 1-891792-05-9 (cloth), 1-891792-04-0 (paperback)

About the Book

Racial inequities pervade special education in U.S. schools today. Minority children-especially African Americans-are far more likely than white children to be designated mentally retarded or emotionally disturbed and therefore in need of special education. Even when appropriately placed in special education classes, minority children often receive poorer services than disabled white children.

This book explores the inequities experienced by minority schoolchildren in special education. These issues are examined as problems in their own right, and as reflections of persistent racial inequities in our system of public education. Racial Inequity in Special Education describes the scope of these problems, and provides a comprehensive review of attempts by legislators, child advocates, and educational and civil rights enforcement agencies to address these complex issues. The authors outline essential areas for further research and dialogue.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Senator James M. Jeffords
  • Introduction by Daniel J. Losen and Gary Orfield
  • "Community and School Predictors of Overrepresentation of Minority Children in Special Education" by Donald P. Oswald, Martha J. Coutinho, and Al M. Best
  • "Racial Disparities in the Identification, Funding, and Provision of Special Education" by Thomas Parrish
  • "Double Jeopardy: An Exploration of Restrictiveness and Race in Special Education" by Edward Garcia Fierros and James W. Conroy
  • "Of Rocks and Soft Places: Using Qualitative Methods to Investigate Disproportionality" by Beth Harry, Janette K. Klingner, Keith M. Sturges, and Robert Moore
  • "Schools Make a Difference: The Overrepresentation of African American Youth in Special Education and the Juvenile Justice System" by David Osher, Darren Woodruff, and Anthony E. Sims
  • "English-Language Learner Representation in Special Education in California Urban School Districts" by Alfredo J. Artiles, Robert Rueda, Jesús José Salazar, and Ignacio Higareda
  • "Disability, Race, and High-Stakes Testing of Students" by Jay P. Heubert
  • "Legal Challenges to Inappropriate and Inadequate Special Education for Minority Children" by Daniel J. Losen and Kevin G. Welner
  • "Evaluating the Office for Civil Rights' Minority and Special Education Project" by Theresa Glennon
  • "IDEA and Disproportionality: Federal Enforcement, Effective Advocacy, and Strategies for Change" by Thomas Hehir
  • "Ending Segregation of Chicago's Students with Disabilities: Implications of the Corey H. Lawsuit" by Sharon Weitzman Soltman and Donald R. Moore



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