Why Are More Black Students Placed In Special Education?

My background is in Juvenile Justice. Over the years, I have seen hundreds of kids, mainly Black males, labeled as Special Ed. I have found that the majority of the time, it is behavior related and not ability related. Let's hope the powers that be began to pay closer attention to this issue.  I  am also glad to see parents take on the school district. As a parent of a 'schooler' now, I am completely involved in his education. I just hope I am not 'too' involved and putting too much pressure on him to excel.  But, parental involvement is critical to holding school systems accountable.

In 2007 eight families in Ardmore, Pennsylvania filed a civil suit against the Lower Merion School District claiming that Black students were disproportionately placed in special education and low-level classes. A year prior the Educational Researcher published a four page report by Wanda J. Blanchett who argued race is a factor when placing Black students in special education classes. The findings of this study along with the pending civil suit against Lower Merion School District are prime examples of why parents must be vigilant in their child’s education. Parents need to also be advocates for their children to keep this sort of wrongful categorization from happening.

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