Standing Out and Sorting In: Exploring the Role of Racial Composition in Racial Disparities in Special Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Schools differentially sort students into special education by race, though researchers debate the extent to which this is caused by racist school practices versus variation in student need due to other racial inequalities. I test the interaction between school-level racial composition and student-level race as a predictor of special education receipt. I find that as the proportion of White students increases, the risk of lower-status disabilities, such as intellectual disability, increases for Black, Latinx, and Native American students. As the proportion of White students decreases, White students’ risk of higher-status disabilities, such as speech/language impairment, increases relative to students of color. Thus, in the context of racial distinctiveness, student race becomes salient to sorting into special education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2573-2608
Number of pages36
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Fingerprint

special education
student
disability
school
interaction
language

Keywords

  • disability
  • race
  • racial composition
  • special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

@article{0ba99a4da9ce4e6ebd070725a6477fdf,
title = "Standing Out and Sorting In: Exploring the Role of Racial Composition in Racial Disparities in Special Education",
abstract = "Schools differentially sort students into special education by race, though researchers debate the extent to which this is caused by racist school practices versus variation in student need due to other racial inequalities. I test the interaction between school-level racial composition and student-level race as a predictor of special education receipt. I find that as the proportion of White students increases, the risk of lower-status disabilities, such as intellectual disability, increases for Black, Latinx, and Native American students. As the proportion of White students decreases, White students’ risk of higher-status disabilities, such as speech/language impairment, increases relative to students of color. Thus, in the context of racial distinctiveness, student race becomes salient to sorting into special education.",
keywords = "disability, race, racial composition, special education",
author = "Fish, {Rachel Elizabeth}",
year = "2019",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3102/0002831219847966",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "56",
pages = "2573--2608",
journal = "American Educational Research Journal",
issn = "0002-8312",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Standing Out and Sorting In

T2 - Exploring the Role of Racial Composition in Racial Disparities in Special Education

AU - Fish, Rachel Elizabeth

PY - 2019/12/1

Y1 - 2019/12/1

N2 - Schools differentially sort students into special education by race, though researchers debate the extent to which this is caused by racist school practices versus variation in student need due to other racial inequalities. I test the interaction between school-level racial composition and student-level race as a predictor of special education receipt. I find that as the proportion of White students increases, the risk of lower-status disabilities, such as intellectual disability, increases for Black, Latinx, and Native American students. As the proportion of White students decreases, White students’ risk of higher-status disabilities, such as speech/language impairment, increases relative to students of color. Thus, in the context of racial distinctiveness, student race becomes salient to sorting into special education.

AB - Schools differentially sort students into special education by race, though researchers debate the extent to which this is caused by racist school practices versus variation in student need due to other racial inequalities. I test the interaction between school-level racial composition and student-level race as a predictor of special education receipt. I find that as the proportion of White students increases, the risk of lower-status disabilities, such as intellectual disability, increases for Black, Latinx, and Native American students. As the proportion of White students decreases, White students’ risk of higher-status disabilities, such as speech/language impairment, increases relative to students of color. Thus, in the context of racial distinctiveness, student race becomes salient to sorting into special education.

KW - disability

KW - race

KW - racial composition

KW - special education

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85075148537&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85075148537&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3102/0002831219847966

DO - 10.3102/0002831219847966

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85075148537

VL - 56

SP - 2573

EP - 2608

JO - American Educational Research Journal

JF - American Educational Research Journal

SN - 0002-8312

IS - 6

ER -