Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Values and Beliefs Related to Disproportionality

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 External link opens in new window or tab.):

“…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.

Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 10, 2016
Recently Posted in Special Education
  • ACSE Meeting Webcasts (updated 22-Feb-2017)
    Live and recent webcasts of the California Advisory Commission for Special Education (ACSE) meetings.
  • ACSE Agenda February 22-23, 2017 (updated 17-Feb-2017)
    Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) meeting agenda.
  • Local Educational Agency Grants (updated 08-Feb-2017)
    Program summaries and information on specific federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act grants allocated to provide services to individuals with disabilities.
  • FMTA Contact Information (updated 07-Feb-2017)
    Focused Monitoring and Technical Assistance (FMTA) contact information for county assigned consultant(s).
  • Dyslexia Guidelines Work Group (updated 06-Feb-2017)
    Information about the Dyslexia Guidelines Work Group members, archived meetings, current law, and related documents and organizations.

  • NPS/A Certification Data Worksheet (XLS) (added 17-Jan-2017)
    Spreadsheet containing certification status, contact information and services provided by California Department of Education certified Nonpublic Schools and Agencies, along with instructions on using the data worksheet and definitions of the fields.