In this study, the researcher examined the over-representation of minority students in special education programs in Virginia. The inconsistencies and the subjectivity of the referral process used to place and assess high-incidence students in special education programs tended to promote the over-representation of minority groups in Virginia. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the special education referral processes that link the effects of socioeconomic climate, cultural barriers, and belief systems of Virginia public educators when addressing the unequal placement of students into the high-incidence disability category. The theoretical framework in this study was multiculturalism, which includes a focus on the need to treat children in a manner that is sensitive to their individualized needs. Multiculturalism puts an emphasis on how cultural misinterpretations can create different perceptions of students’ relative abilities and disabilities. The study included a qualitative case study design. The qualitative case study design provided information on the perceptions of the special education referral best practices on minority high incidence students. It served as a base of argument when presenting the collected data for analysis by presenting information, which enabled the construction of new ideas in the field. The focus of the study was on examining perceptions of socioeconomic climate, cultural barriers, and belief systems of educators when addressing student placement into the high-incidence disability categories. The qualitative case study is anchored by multi-perspective analysis with a focus on establishing the enrollment in special education on the basis of different cultures from suburban, urban, and rural perspectives. The implications of this study are derived from the research questions and organized by the themes that were identified during the simultaneous analysis of the gathered verbal data. The importance of this qualitative approach lay in the information collected and in-depth insight developed regarding the phenomenon of the over-representation of minorities in special education referral process.
|Commitee:||Jacobs, Howard, Nelson, Deborah|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Multicultural Education, Special education|
|Keywords:||Disproportional, Minority, Over-representation in special education, Special education equity, Virginia|
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