Disproportionality in special education identification and placement of english language learners

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This study explored the extent of disproportionality in the identification and placement of culturally and linguistically diverse students identified as English language learners in special education. Descriptive statistics and regression analyses examined patterns and predictors of identification and placement in special education among English learners throughout the state relative to their White peers. The results indicate that these students are increasingly likely to be identified as having learning disabilities or mental retardation, and are less likely to be served in either the least or most restrictive educational environments relative to their White peers. The author also examined the influence of several district-level factors commonly explored in studies of racial disproportionality and found that these factors did not evidence similar relationships to the disproportionate representation of English language learners. The study presents implications for further research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-334
Number of pages18
JournalExceptional children
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


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