This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (HRD-0834177, HRD-0965444, and HRD-1132028). This research was also supported by grants 5 R24 HD042849 and 5 T32 HD007081 awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Child Development.
The Sociological Quarterly
Inequality, Racial disparity, Education -- Social aspects -- United States, People with disabilities -- Social conditions -- Research
The disproportionate placement of racial minorities and males into special education for learning disabilities (LDs) raises concerns that classifications occur inaccurately or inequitably. This study uses data from the Education Longitudinal Survey of 2002 to investigate the social etiology of LD classifications that persist into adolescence. Findings suggest the overclassification of racial minorities is largely consistent with (clinically relevant) differences in educational performance. Classifications may occur inconsistently or subjectively, with clinically irrelevant qualities like school characteristics and linguistic-immigration history independently predictive of disability classification. Finally, classifications may be partially biased, with male overclassification largely unexplained by this study’s measures and racial minorities’ risk of classification increased in schools with fewer minorities (the latter not statistically significant).
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Shifrer, Dara, "Clarifying the Social Roots of the Disproportionate Classification of Racial Minorities and Males with Learning Disabilities" (2018). Sociology Faculty Publications and Presentations. 81.