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Distinguishing Disability: Parents, Privilege, and Special Education

reviewed by Alberto M. Bursztyn - September 28, 2009

coverTitle: Distinguishing Disability: Parents, Privilege, and Special Education
Author(s): Colin Ong-Dean
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Chicago
ISBN: 0226630013, Pages: 216, Year: 2009
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Distinguishing Disability is a significant and valuable addition to the education literature and specifically to the sociology of special education. Ong-Dean addresses the subject of special education social disparities from fresh and insightful perspectives. While disproportional representation of minority group students in high incidence disability categories has been a prominent concern of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers (Artilles & Trent, 2000; National Research Council, 2002), little new ground has been broken in elucidating the processes and policies that yield these stubbornly uneven rates of identification and placement. Surprisingly, the opposite end of the empowerment spectrum, namely how privileged members of society interact with the special education system, has been left to conjecture. Yet understanding on how affluent families gain access to a disproportional level of funding and services for their children with special needs is necessary for any meaningful reform effort toward a more equitable system. Ong-Dean thoughtfully tackles this... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: September 28, 2009
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15778, Date Accessed: 7/24/2021 6:32:22 PM

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About the Author
  • Alberto Bursztyn
    Brooklyn College
    E-mail Author
    ALBERTO M. BURSZTYN, Ph.D. is a Professor of School Psychology and Special Education at Brooklyn College, and at the Ph.D. program in Urban Education of The Graduate Center-City University of New York. His current scholarship focuses on diverse families, children in special education programs, multicultural assessment, and qualitative research methods. His publications include Rethinking Multicultural Education (With Carol Korn), Bergen & Garvey, 2002, and Teaching Teachers: Building a Quality School of Urban Education (with J. Kincheloe and S. Steinberg) Peter Lang, 2004, and the Handbook of Special Education, Rowman & Littlefield (2006). Dr. Bursztyn is currently writing a volume on children and disability under contract with Greenwood Press.
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