Disproportionality/Over-Under Representation


Is There Racial Inequality at Your School?

Based on civil rights data released by the U.S. Department of Education, ProPublica has built an interactive database to examine racial disparities in educational opportunities and school discipline. Using the database, you can look up more than 96,000 individual public and charter schools and 17,000 districts to see how they compare with their counterparts.

Read more about (and access) the database as well as get tips for searching for and connecting with school-specific information and district-wide profiles.

Final Rule: Delay of Compliance Dates for Disproportionality

On July 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education issued a final rule that will delay by two years the date for States to comply with the “Equity in IDEA” or “significant disproportionality” regulations. Set to go into effect on July 1, 2018, implementation of those rules are now delayed until July 1, 2020. In the same final rule, the Department also postponed the date for including children ages 3 through 5 in the analysis of significant disproportionality, with respect to the identification of children as children with disabilities and as children with a particular impairment. The initial implementation deadline was July 1, 2020; the deadline is now two years later: July 1, 2022.

Access the final rule delaying compliance dates, read the analysis of comments and changes, and access key background information.

Disabling Punishment: The Need for Remedies to the Disparate Loss of Instruction Experienced by Black Students with Disabilities

This report provides the first state-by-state estimate of how much instructional time is lost for students with disabilities due to disciplinary actions such as school suspension. The study documents the disparities between black and white students with disabilities.

The difference in days of lost instruction means there are huge inequities in the opportunity to learn. The study was prompted the U.S. Department of Education’s decision in February 2018 to seek comments on its intention to delay implementation of the IDEA regulations that pertain to racial disproportionality in special education, which include disciplinary disparities. The report on the findings of the study includes recommendations. An executive summary is also available.

Read more about, and access, the report as well as the executive summary.

Public Comments Requested on Disproportionality Rule

The Department of Education has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the compliance date for implementing the significant disproportionality regulations released in December 2016. The Department has proposed (a) postponing the compliance date for the regulations by two years (from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020); and (b) postponing the date by which children ages 3 through 5 must be included in the analysis of significant disproportionality (from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022).

Read a quick summary of the NPRM here and the proposed new rule itself. Both include information about where to submit your public comments. The deadline for submitting comments is May 14, 2018.

School Discipline Data Indicators: A Guide for Districts and Schools

(2017, April) | Useful to educators, schools, and districts in identifying and addressing racial/ethnic disproportionality in discipline practices. Also useful to Parent Centers involved in their state’s ESSA planning with respect to disproportionality. This guide from the Institute of Education Sciences is designed to supply educators with a means to identify whether racial/ethnic disproportionality in […]

Dear Colleague Letter on Preventing Racial Discrimination in Special Education

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education issued a 25-page Dear Colleague Letter on Preventing Racial Discrimination in Special Education on December 12, 2016, to help ensure that all students, regardless of race, color, or national origin, have equitable access to high-quality general and special education instruction.

School Climate and Discipline

(2016) | Useful to Parent Centers and all education stakeholders engaged in trying to create positive school climates and reduce disproportionality. This page of resources at the U.S. Department of Education is really a suite of resources that connects you with the latest data and thinking on suspension and expulsion of students from school. The […]

Final IDEA Regulations on Disproportionality

(2016, December) | Useful to Parent Centers, stakeholders, and advocates concerned with addressing the significant disproportionality with which students from specific ethnic or racial groups are placed in special education. On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education released final regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), aimed at promoting […]

Methods for Assessing Racial/Ethnic Disproportionality in Special Education – A Technical Assistance Guide Revised

This May, 2014 TA guide describes the more common methods for calculating racial/ethnic disproportionality in special education. IDC revised the guide, originally published by the Data Accountability Center (DAC) in October 2011, because of a change in SPP/APR indicators B9 and B10 to remove underrepresentation from the measure. http://ideadata-admin.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/IDC_TA_Guide_508-Compliant-052814.pdf

Distinguishing Difference from Disability: The Common Causes of Racial/Ethnic Disproportionality in Special Education

This Equity In Action is intended to provide educators and researchers with comprehensive information on identifying and reducing disproportionality in schools. The brief describes a data-driven process for identifying root causes as well as the driving forces (internal and external to district) of those root causes. Read the report at: https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/media/users/ll81/Common_Causes_Brief_TAC-D.pdf

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