Minority Populations in Special Education

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Authors Aldridge and Goldman, and Anthony Rebora argued that despite monumental improvements following passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975, issues persist around the disproportionate provision of services to minority ethnic groups in special education (SPED) programs. While author Rebora, in his article Keeping Special Ed in Proportion, provided an uncommon look at how the imbalance of service is actually determined, authors Aldridge and Goldman competently described this trend from a multicultural perspective in the article The Over and Underrepresentation in Special Education Programs. In the same way that both articles looked at the constancy of this trend over the last three decades, both articles also concluded with a focus on problem solving measures in the classroom, and at the school and district levels as well. Following the persistence of this issue further, author Anthony Rebora inferred that cultural biases inside the classroom perpetuated the constancy of disproportionate provision of SPED services to minority ethnic groups (2011). Similarly, authors Aldridge and Goldman, in their article The Over and Underrepresentation in Special Education Programs, suggested that mistaken beliefs in regards to the design and implementation of multicultural education programs continue to exacerbate this issue in just the same way (2010). Initially, Aldridge and Goldman asserted that the focus of these programs “is on understanding and learning to negotiate cultural diversity…” but later on stated that multicultural pedagogy “seeks to achieve fair and equal educational opportunities for all students, particularly minorities and the economically disadvantaged” (2010). This last statement, in... ... middle of paper ... ... Goldman, and author Anthony Rebora discussed various factors that perpetuate the persistence of the disproportionate provision of services to minority ethnic groups in special education (SPED) programs over the last three decades. Both articles cited presented a plethora of well written solutions that support the use of culturally responsive curricula to meet the needs of the diverse student populations we now find in our public school systems. However, if this trend continues, the reader might conclude, as Levy and Murnane did in 1996, that “students who are unable to negotiate the "new basic skills" will be left behind in the new economy of the 21st century” (as cited in Aldridge and Goldman, 2010). Admittedly, educators are facing a monumental task. Assuredly, we will face the challenge, and, with certainty, we will elect curriculum changes for all students.
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