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Minority Disproportionality in Special Education

In the United States, minority disproportionality refers to a pattern in which certain minority groups are placed in special education programs at rates disproportionately higher or lower than their presence in the student population as a whole. Special education programs are conceptualized as specialized instructional programs designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Thus, minority disproportionality suggests that certain ethnic groups display disabilities in unexpectedly high proportions. This pattern has been seen as problematic because it raises concerns about equitable conditions and/or educational treatments for children from historically oppressed or marginalized groups. This entry examines the data and their social and cultural context.

Representation Data

Both over- and underrepresentation patterns have been noted in special education, indicating that some groups may be at particular risk ...

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