In reviewing the special education professional literature using “disproportionality” as a descriptor, most of the articles addressed overrepresentation (Salend, Duhaney, & Montgomery, 2002). An Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) Digest was titled Reducing the Disproportionate Representation of Minority Students in Special Education (Burnette, 1998) yet it focused on “what can be done to reduce over-representation.” Apparently, underrepresentation/underserving students is not an issue of great importance. A recent article in one of special education's premiere journals, Exceptional Children, used the term disproportionality as synonymous with overrepresentation (Skiba et al., 2008). The article did not mention underrepresentation as part of the disproportionality puzzle. In the view of these authors, overrepresentation of minority students in special education is the only part of the disproportionality equation that merits consideration.
Black, R.S. (2010), "Chapter 3 Can underidentification affect exceptional learners?", Obiakor, F.E., Bakken, J.P. and Rotatori, A.F. (Ed.) Current Issues and Trends in Special Education: Identification, Assessment and Instruction (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 37-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0270-4013(2010)0000019006Download as .RIS
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