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Why are So Many Minority Students in Special Education?: Understanding Race and Disability in Schools.

WHY ARE SO MANY MINORITY STUDENTS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION?: Understanding Race and Disability in Schools. Beth Harry and Janette Klingner. New York: Teachers College Press, 2005. 207pp. Paperback, $28.95. Appealing to parents, teachers, and administrators, this book addresses issues regarding minority students being placed into special education programs without accurate evaluation. The authors, who have extensive backgrounds in special education, point out that the overrepresentation of minority students in special education is ever-increasing. "What has come to be known as the disproportionate representation of minorities in special education programs is the result of a series of social processes that, once set in motion, are interpreted as the inevitable outcomes of real conditions within children" (p. 7).

Harry and Klingner interpret the special education problem by focusing on those individuals who are a part of the student's life (administrators, teachers, and parents), and on the political/personal agendas they bring to the table. The book allows the reader to see the problem and also addresses the different disabilities that are used to diagnose students, as well as the threshold that is the deciding factor for qualification. Harry and Klingner maintain that we can educate all children. This book adds to the growing list of calls for addressing the issues of educating culturally and linguistically diverse students, and it provides us with a solution for doing so. Reviewed by Jacqueline Carlyle, Secondary Instructional Specialist for Closing the Achievement Gap Academic English Mastery Branch, LAUSD
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Author:Carlyle, Jacqueline
Publication:Childhood Education
Date:Jun 22, 2007
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