Research finds flawed federal monitoring of students of color with disabilities

Current federal legislation and regulation that monitors for significant disproportionality in special education may be contributing to children of color with disabilities failing to receive treatments and services to which they are legally entitled, according to a Penn State College of Education researcher.

According to Paul Morgan, Harry and Marion Eberly Faculty Fellow and professor of education (educational theory and policy), and director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research, federal legislation and regulation monitors U.S. school districts for whether children of color are over-represented in special education. Yet, he added, this monitoring does not attempt to account for between-group disability prevalence rates as indicated by individually assessed evidence of impairments.

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