Critical Values and Beliefs Related to Disproportionality in California Public Schools
The background for these critical values and beliefs related to disproportionate representation by race and ethnicity of students receiving special education services are summarized in the article Addressing the Disproportionate Representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education through Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (complete analysis ):
“…the genesis of disproportionate representation is located beyond the borders of special education and requires a solid understanding of the intersection of culture, learning, disability, and the socio-historical constitution of educational processes and outcomes. Two issues are associated with the persistence of culturally and linguistically diverse overrepresentation in special education, namely the issues related to understanding the complexity of this problem and also difficulties associated with the use of research knowledge to address it. Ultimately, what is needed is the transformation and improvement of educational systems in culturally responsive ways.”
The following are the critical values and beliefs used to support districts and select resources:
- All students are learners.
- Educators must provide all students effective opportunities to learn the California academic content standards based on the Common Core State Standards.
- Educators must be more responsive to race, gender, and national origin, in order to reduce disparities among and between groups in academic achievement.
- Effective educator practice is driven by an understanding of content knowledge, evidenced-based instructional practices, and a commitment to all students and their families.
- Effective educators require continuous professional growth.
- Local school districts and their communities are key stakeholders to engage in critical conversations about culturally responsive educational systems.
- Disproportionality can no longer be viewed solely as a special education issue.
- Disproportionality is an outcome of policies, practices and beliefs.
- Disproportionate representation is a complex phenomenon.