Risk Ratios and Special Education: The Cure Is Worse than the Disability

David C. Coker

Abstract


Many researchers report risk ratios of White students to Black students with disabilities to show disproportionality and draw the conclusion discrimination exists. Risk ratios, upon further inspection, have methodological and philosophical problems which challenge the usefulness. A qualitative literature review provides a framework for understanding disproportionality and the use of risk ratios. Four themes underpin disproportionality findings, and a theory for future action was derived from the literature review. Recommendations to improve special education services are presented: universal screening, a standardized process, fidelity and research, and a focus on academic achievement.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v10n4p1

 

World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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