Paradoxes and Inequities in Special Education and the Law

  • Foundation: William T. Grant Foundation
  • Investigators: Adai Tefera (PI), Alfredo Artiles (Co-PI), Catherine Kramarczuk Voulgarides (Co-PI), and Pedro Noguera (Co-PI)
  • Info about the study: This interdisciplinary study seeks to understand how historical, social, and economic factors within school districts may affect the implementation and ultimate success of policy in reducing racialized outcomes in education. This mixed methods study will examine three suburban school districts in one major U.S. metropolitan city that have received federal citations for racial disproportionality in special education. Specifically, the study will (1) identify the impact of social contextual variables (e.g. racial demographics, risk ratios, district size, staffing characteristics, racial segregation) on the mediation of disproportionality across the three districts; and (2) explore district policy makers', educators', and leaders' interpretations, decisions, and assumptions as they attempt to address disproportionality. This study will generate new knowledge by offering an interdisciplinary lens that accounts for the historic dynamic of the interlocking of race with ability differences.