Friday, October 17, 2008

Q&E takes a closer look at the Quality Schools and Healthy Neighborhoods report

Erin Dillon over at the Quick and the Ed digs into the details of the recently released Quality Schools and Healthy Neighborhoods report and breaks out special education participation in DC for SY2006-2007 by race.
While only 6 percent of white students are identified for special education, 50 percent of those identified end up in private school placements. This is compared with 17 percent of Black special education students and 10 percent of Hispanic special education students.

And this trend appears to be related to wealth—the report found that almost half of public special education students in Ward 3, one of the higher-income areas of D.C., attend a private school paid for by the school district. In the other seven wards, this number is only 15 to 20 percent of the special education population. Regardless of the legitimacy of these placements, it’s clear that the money going to support private school tuition for special education students is not distributed equitably across the city.
So why the non-equitable distribution? Are the powers-that-be in DC favoring Caucasian / Middle Class / Ward 3 residents in doling out SpEd placement? Or are those with means better able to navigate the process to get their kids into SpEc in the first place?

1 comment:

Mari said...

Lawsuits. I knew a girl whose sister was special needs and sent off to a private school that DC had to pay for. She mentioned that her parents had sued the city for a 'proper' education of her sister. They were white and upper middle class.