I wanted to highlight the following article from Education Week back on October 13, 2011 print issue. The article written by Anthony Rebora provides information on the issue of overrepresentation of students of color in special education and what we can do to address the issue. He interviews some leading researchers including
Janette Klingner a professor of education at the University of Colorado and co-author of Why Are So Many Minority Students in Special Education?: Understanding Race & Disability in Schools
Edward Fergus-Arcia, deputy director of New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Urban Education
Elizabeth Kozleski, a professor at Arizona State University and a principal investigator with the Equity Alliance
H. Richard Milner IV, an associate professor of education at Vanderbilt University and the author of Start Where You Are, But Don’t Stay There: Understanding Diversity, Opportunity Gaps, and Teaching in Today’s Classrooms
Amanda VanDerHeyden, an education consultant and researcher
Claudia Rinaldi(myself :). Assistant Director of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative (www.urbancollaborative.org)
The author does a great job summarizing a variety of education fields working on this issue and provides solid recommendations to begin looking at the program. I hope he does a follow up article in the near future.
Here is the link:
Professor Claudia Rinaldi is the Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Her areas of research are the implementation of the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework in urban settings with English learners, teacher education in bilingual special education, and diversifying the teacher pipeline. Claudia has authored peer-reviewed publications and a book for educators called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers. She lead and developed a graduate certificate program in Teaching Bilingual Students with Disabilities for general, ESL and special education teachers geared towards applying research-informed practices to the questions and processes of identifying whether it is a language difference or a learning disability. Claudia developed a college mentoring program called Pathways to Teacher Diversity for districts and teacher education programs to partner in identifying and supporting underrepresented high school students interested in teaching careers to successfully access and persist in college. She serves in various boards including the National Center for Learning Disabilities and serves as an expert for Understood.org and the National Center for Intensive Interventions.
Professor Claudia Rinaldi believes that it is critical to prepare teacher leaders who may serve as advocates and allies and who will respond to the belief that all students can learn and succeed beyond barriers like culture, language, disability poverty, and marginalization in our country and globally.