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We have a new study forthcoming in Exceptional Children. We examine whether students of color are more or less likely to be identified as having #disabilities in U.S. states with histories of de jure and de facto racial #segregation. (1)
Special education has been theorized to have been used as an alternative legal strategy for schools to avoid racial integration. This prior work was historical and descriptive. Others have suggested that over-identification might be especially likely to occur in the South. (2)
Yet other work suggests that students of color may be under-identified as having disabilities in the U.S. South, incl. due to political and economic factors. Mechanisms hypothesized to result in under-identification nationally may also be operating similarly in the South. (3)
To investigate whether schools in the U.S. South over- or under-identify students of color, we analyzed data from the @NAEP_NCES. We examined for #disparities both in 2003 and 2015, for the region in aggregate and for specific states, and for specific disability conditions. (4)
@NAEP_NCES What did we find? Similar to what we have observed to be occurring nationally, we observed that students who are Black or Hispanic are less likely to be identified as having disabilities than similarly situated students who are White and who are attending the same schools. (5)
@NAEP_NCES For example, for the region in aggregate, we initially observed that students of color were sometimes more likely to be identified (Model 1). However, when contrasting similarly situated students, we instead consistently observed under-identification (Model 2). (6)
@NAEP_NCES We also observe evidence of under-identification across the region's 11 individual states in regressions adjusting for Model 2's confounds. We observe under-identification for both Black and Hispanic students in both 2003 and 2015 and in both 4th and 8th grade in the South (7)
@NAEP_NCES We also observe under-identification for specific disability conditions including #ADHD, #autism, speech/language impairments, and #LD for the region in aggregate. (8)
@NAEP_NCES As has been observed in #publichealth, our results suggest that the #SpEd system may be less responsive to children of color, who are less likely to be identified as having health needs than similarly situated children who are White. This includes in the U.S. South. (9)
@NAEP_NCES @threadreaderapp Many thanks to my wonderful colleagues @adriennedwoods, @YangyangWang16, @mmh18, George Farkas and Cindy Mitchell for their contributions to this new study. @psupopresearch @PSUresearch @PSU_EdPolicy @PSU_CollegeOfEd @SSRIPennState
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