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This issue describes how researchers are studying ways to reduce the overrepresentation of students from minority backgrounds in special education. It begins by discussing problems associated with inappropriate classification and placement of minority students, including being denied access to the general education curriculum, being placed in separate programs with more limited curriculum that may affect the students' access to postsecondary education and employment opportunities, and being stigmatized with a misclassification that may negatively affect the student's self-perception, as well as the perceptions of others. Efforts by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, to support research that addresses disproportionate representation are then described. The program Skills Profiled through Arts, Reading, and Knowledge (SPARK) is profiled as a model preschool creative arts curriculum for teachers of young children with developmental delays or at risk of developing delays. Other studies are described that are investigating literacy strengths and difficulties faced by language minority students with learning disabilities, developing a demonstration model that provides a community-based program focused on serving children with emotional disturbance in a culturally competent manner, and establishing teacher training programs to prepare teachers to teach culturally and linguistically diverse populations. (CR)

Descriptors: Access to Education, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Curriculum, Disabilities, Disability Identification, Disproportionate Representation, Elementary Secondary Education, Exceptional Child Research, Federal Aid, Language Minorities, Minority Group Children, Preschool Education, Research Utilization, Special Education, Teacher Education

ERIC/OSEP Special Project, The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, The Council for Exceptional Children, 1920 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1589; Tel: 800-328-0272 (Toll Free); Tel: 703-620-3660; Tel: 703-264-9449 (TTY); Web site:

Autor: Research Connections in Special Education, n7 Fall 2000


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