What is it about?

There is evidence that there is disproportionate representation of certain populations in special education, often as a result of a child's racial or socioeconomic background. This study aimed to determine if there are biases in special education eligibility decisions based on a child's perceived race or socioeconomic status in the state of New Jersey. Speech-language pathologists, social workers, school psychologists, and learning consultants from the state of New Jersey were surveyed.

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Why is it important?

Unfortunately, it is possible that educators make decisions about a child's educational services unrelated to the presence of an actual disability; rather, these decisions may be influenced by educators' preexisting biases. This study provides insight into potential biases in the state of New Jersey, and how this may be influencing our public education system.


Our hope is that this study provides perspective regarding biases in our educational system and provides thought-provoking discussion regarding our biases as educators.

Megan Papandrea
Kean University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Identifying Racial and Socioeconomic Biases in New Jersey Special Education Eligibility, Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2023, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2022_lshss-22-00138.
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