TitleAn evaluation of a program to decrease disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic minority students in special education
NameMorrow, Johanna Fain (author), Forman, Susan (chair), Gantwerk, Lewis (co-chair), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
Children with disabilities--Education,
Discrimination in education,
DescriptionIn recent years, the overrepresentation of students from racial and ethnic minority groups in special education programs, also referred to as disproportionality, has been identified as a problem at federal, state, and local levels. Spurred by federal requirements, state departments of education have required school districts to examine disproportionality in their schools and propose solutions. A program evaluation was conducted in a suburban New Jersey school district to evaluate a district program to reduce disproportionality. This district utilized intensive data collection and district-wide professional development in varying formats to impact disproportionality. The formation of a group of district stakeholders known as the District Core Team, who learned about disproportionality and proposed solutions for the district, was also an important aspect of the intervention the district employed. To evaluate the district’s efforts, a survey was administered to the members of the District Core Team. The survey focused on changes in staff awareness and thinking about disproportionality and change activities that were most influential on their professional practices. Responses from staff showed that as a group they felt their awareness about disproportionality had increased at least somewhat and their thinking about their professional practices had changed somewhat after the first year of change-focused activities. District professional development activities were rated as helpful in changing staff awareness and thinking, especially a presentation about the district’s own disproportionality data. Staff also indicated that the district change activities were likely to continue to have a positive impact on disproportionality and their own professional practices. Rates of disproportionality did not show significant change after the first year of district activities, although such change was not expected given the relatively short time frame for this study. Based on this district’s program to change disproportionality, recommendations for other districts faced with the problem of disproportionality are provided.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 69-72)
Noteby Johanna Fain Morrow
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.