In special education, disproportionality generally occurs in two primary areas. One, the over- or under-representation of children with disabilities in specific disability categories is of particular concern. Two, the over-representation of students with disabilities in the discipline process is of considerable concern. With regard to tracking disproportionality, school districts are most often tasked with the over-representation of students in these areas.
Disproportionality may be caused by:
- Failure to recognize and accommodate cultural differences among minority groups;
- Use of inappropriate assessment strategies for English Language Learners and racial and ethnic minorities;
- Failure to accommodate parents of ELL students or language minorities; and
- Lack of responsiveness to cultural and socioeconomic differences among children and their families.
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