Over Representation of African American Students in the Special Education System.

Topics: Special education, Education, Educational psychology Pages: 7 (2023 words) Published: August 30, 2010
My current school has special education roster of 32 students in self contain with over 90% of the students being African-American. This paper will address the large number African-American students in the special education system. Attention will be focus on the social economic roles that play a part in placement. When done properly and in appropriate perspective, special education is beneficial for students with a real disability, but special education services are inappropriate when a student receives it when it is not needed. African-American students are being placed in the special education system at an alarming rate. They are being labeled with disabilities at ages as early as five years old, because they progress slower than the rest of the class, bias in assessment instrument, discrimination in society reflected in the school or they may present some behavior issue. Special education is appropriate placement for students with real disabilities, but minority blacks are being disproportionately place in special education. This unjust placement at early ages are causing these children to be stereotyped as slow learners causing low self esteem and low achievement rate during and after school. This is a major problem when addressing special education for African Americans. Many attempts have been made to solve the issues but there have been no satisfactory results.

Theoretical Framework
The disproportionate representation of African-Americans students in the special education system is well documented. This misrepresentation has been problematic since the inception of the special education program. This paper will probe the reasons many of these students have been categorized with various type of learning disabilities or emotional disturbances. These labels given to students have proven to be life altering to students given incorrect placement. Lawsuits have been filed charging that placements of high numbers of African American, especially male, in special education classes has been a tool for resisting court ordered desegregation (Harry and Anderson, 1992). In many instances there is a lack of or unwillingness to properly place African American students because of educators in some systems being culturally diverse. Secondly there is a lot of mistrust between educators and parents. Many parents don’t seek appropriate services or disagree with educational placement because they feel they will be see as ignorant or “talked down” to by teachers and administrators placing their children in special education. This paper will also discuss the long term effects that hinder students educational progress as well as there adult life. Once placed in many special education programs student may not be in line to receive a high school diploma. Many students have difficulties in the community getting jobs because employers feel they will be slower then there counterparts that received a regular education. This then snowballs into the child being placed in a lower social economic bracket because of the type of employment they will have to settle for in adulthood.

African-American students are disproportionally placed in the special education system around the country. This misrepresentation is may be due to teacher ineffectiveness. Improving teachers’ capacity to provide culturally responsive instruction to African American students is like to improve student learning ability (Darling-Hammond, 2004). New teachers must meet a vigorous undergraduate program to become certified they continue to graduate enable to effectively teach African American students. Many exit program with a misconception of black students. They think that the African American students are not as smart as other races. The purpose of this study is to prove there is a misrepresentation of African American students in special education. I also plan to illustrate the problem of...
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