Welcome to Black Mail where we bring you Black History: Special Delivery!!
Today we are sharing some special education data. The data highlights disparities experienced by black students in the United States receiving special education services. Black students in the U.S. with disabilities are 1.5 times more likely to drop out of school than white students with disabilities. They also face harsher discipline than white students with disabilities.
Black students with disabilities are more likely to be identified with emotional or intellectual disabilities or emotional disturbances than all students with disabilities. The significance in the identification of disparities is highest for students with “subjective” disabilities According to the National Center For Learning Disabilities, “Subjective disabilities are those for which non-subjective tests are not available, meaning that identification depends on the professional judgment—and potentially the biases—of the assessors.”
Black students with disabilities are also restrained at disproportionate rates. They comprise approximately 19% of students with disabilities but account for about 36% of students who are restrained using equipment to limit their movement. Graduation rates are also disproportionately lower for Black, Hispanic, and Native students with disabilities than for White students with disabilities. Black students with disabilities are more likely to be targeted for disciplinary removal than all students with disabilities. They are also three times more likely than White students to be expelled or suspended. Black males from low-income households receiving special education services are suspended at the highest rates of any subpopulation.
Systemic racism and implicit bias are factors in the disparities experienced by black students receiving special education services. According to the National Center For Learning Disabilities, “Black students with disabilities are often denied the chance to be self-advocates because of societal views that cast them off as outspoken, disrespectful, or misbehaved.” Check out this video from the National Center For Learning Disabilities, where a student expresses her challenges in seeking special education services.
The disparities and bias present within the education system for black students and other students of color put students at risk and significantly threaten academic achievement.
Another installment of melanated mail has been delivered. Ponder, reflect, and pass it on.