TEACHERS AND THE IDENTIFICATION PROCESS: MINORITY STUDENTS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION
Danner, Carlin Linden
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Racial, ethnic, and gender disproportionality in the field of Special Education is a phenomenon that has challenged our school systems since Brown v. The Board of Education (Blanchett 2006). This study of a Middle School in a Mid-Atlantic state is aimed to view disproportionality through the lens of the identification process (Kid Talk, Student Support Team Meetings, and Initial Individual Education Plan meeting). It is a qualitative study that included observations of initial IEP meetings and interviews with five professionals within the school setting. These interviews included two general educators, two special education teachers, and one administrator. Through a comprehensive data analysis, it was found that for these individuals the introduction of students into the special education depends upon a complex set of factors that include: teacher preparation, the perception of the teacher by their colleagues, and the student's academic/behavioral struggles, amongst others. Some recommendations include further professional development in the identification process and cultural competence.