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Special Education

Research on the racial disparities in policies and practices related to special education.


Recent Special Education Research


Research Item Disabling Inequity: The Urgent Need for Race-Conscious Resource Remedies
Among the most critical pre-pandemic inequities that have not received sufficient attention is the fact that many districts are not meeting their legal and moral obligation to educate students with disabilities, which must include providing needed mental health services, behavioral supports and educationally sound interventions by well qualified staff. This report reveals serious pre-existing conditions of inadequate support that are likely to be exacerbated by the current pandemic, summarizes the pandemic’s disparate impact, which is resulting in greater losses of instructional time amidst increasing experiences of trauma, and argues for additional post-pandemic steps to ensure that all students with disabilities needing supports and services must receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to have those needs met, and that they are not excluded because of behaviors caused by their disability.
Research Item Settle for Segregation or Strive for Diversity? A Defining Moment for Maryland’s Public Schools
This report is the second in a series of 12 reports analyzing school segregation in the Eastern states. It investigates trends in school segregation in Maryland over the last two decades by examining concentration, exposure and evenness measures by both race and class. After exploring the overall enrollment patterns and segregation trends at the state level, this report turns to the Baltimore metropolitan area to analyze similar measures of segregation.
Research Item The School-to-Prison Pipeline
In this comprehensive study of the relationship between American law and the school-to-prison pipeline, co-authors Catherine Y. Kim, Daniel J. Losen, and Damon T. Hewitt analyze the current state of the law for each entry point on the pipeline and propose legal theories and remedies to challenge them. Using specific state-based examples and case studies, the authors assert that law can be an effective weapon in the struggle to reduce the number of children caught in the pipeline, address the devastating consequences of the pipeline on families and communities, and ensure that our public schools and juvenile justice system further the goals for which they were created: to provide meaningful, safe opportunities for all the nation’s children.
Research Item Racial Inequity in Special Education
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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