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Why are so many minority students in special education? Understanding race and disability in schools.


reviewed by J. S. de Valenzuela — April 19, 2006

coverTitle: Why are so many minority students in special education? Understanding race and disability in schools.
Author(s): Beth Harry and Janette Klingner
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 080774624X, Pages: 206, Year: 2006
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Disproportionate representation of minority students in special education has long been recognized as a concern. In 1969, the President's Committee on Mental Retardation (PCMR) published an influential report highlighting the misidentification of African American students with mental retardation. The National Research Council has commissioned two studies of this issue (Donovan & Cross, 2002; Heller & Holtzman, 1982) and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) funded a study of the disproportionate representation of minority students (Harry, 1994). Numerous published studies have documented the pervasive existence of this problem. In recent years, researchers have focused on identifying factors that may influence disproportionate representation. “Opportunity to learn” is one area identified as critical. However, this is an extremely complex topic that can be difficult to study. It is, nonetheless, a critical area of research. Harry and Klingner’s book, “Why Are So Many Minority Students in Special Education? Understanding Race... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 19, 2006
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12492, Date Accessed: 12/14/2017 3:17:25 AM

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About the Author
  • J. de Valenzuela
    University of New Mexico
    Prof. Scherba de Valenzuela is on the special education faculty at the University of New Mexico. She works in the area of bilingual special education and is interested in issues of assessment and the communication and language development of culturally and linguistically diverse individuals. A report of her research on disproportionate representation will be published in Exceptional Children during summer 2006. She is currently investigating bilingualism and educational opportunity among students with mental retardation and the disproportionate representation of English language learners in Special Education.
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