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Are Minorities Overidentified for Special Ed? Or Underidentified? As Devos Implements Obama-Era Regulation, Research Suggests a Third Answer: ‘It’s Complicated’

November 6, 2019

By: Mark Keierleber

Source: The 74

The court was straightforward.

In March, a federal judge ordered the Education Department to implement Obama-era regulations designed to address a troubling notion: Students of color, especially those who are black, are disproportionately identified as having disabilities and placed in segregated classrooms. Though the department appealed the decision, a federal circuit court dismissed the case in September at the government’s request.

The topic has been at the center of a heated debate for years, but a new wave of research points to a more nuanced picture of race and disability in America. In some schools, researchers suggest, students of color are overidentified, but in others, they are actually underidentified.

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