Are Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or Language-Minority Children Overrepresented in Special Education?

Paul L. Morgan, George Farkas, Michael Cook, Natasha Strassfeld, Marianne M. Hillemeier, Wik Hung Pun, Yangyang Wang, Deborah L. Schussler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We conducted a best-evidence synthesis of 22 studies to examine whether systemic bias explained minority disproportionate overrepresentation in special education. Of the total regression model estimates, only 7/168 (4.2%), 14/208 (6.7%), 2/37 (5.4%), and 6/91 (6.6%) indicated statistically significant overrepresentation for Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and English language learner (ELL) or language-minority children, respectively. Among studies with the strongest internal and external validity, none of the 90 estimates (i.e., 0%) indicated overrepresentation attributable to racial or ethnic bias. Of the 18 estimates for language-minority and ELL children combined, only 3 (16.7%) indicated overrepresentation attributable to language use. Two of the 4 ELL-specific estimates (50%) indicated that children receiving English-as-a-second-language services may be overrepresented in special education. Overall, and replicating findings from a prior best-evidence synthesis, this synthesis indicated that children are underidentified as having disabilities based on their race or ethnicity and language use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExceptional Children
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 1 2018

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Child Language
Special Education
Asian Americans
North American Indians
Hispanic Americans
special education
Language
minority
English language
language
trend
evidence
ethnicity
disability
regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Are Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or Language-Minority Children Overrepresented in Special Education? / Morgan, Paul L.; Farkas, George; Cook, Michael; Strassfeld, Natasha; Hillemeier, Marianne M.; Pun, Wik Hung; Wang, Yangyang; Schussler, Deborah L.

In: Exceptional Children, 01.02.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Morgan, Paul L. ; Farkas, George ; Cook, Michael ; Strassfeld, Natasha ; Hillemeier, Marianne M. ; Pun, Wik Hung ; Wang, Yangyang ; Schussler, Deborah L. / Are Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or Language-Minority Children Overrepresented in Special Education?. In: Exceptional Children. 2018.
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