• The Disproportional Representation Dilemma: A Meta-Synthesis

      LeFevere, April D. (University of Alaska Southeast, 2013)
      A disproportionate number of students, with specific identifiable characteristics like ethnic background, race and socioeconomic conditions are being erroneously referred and placed in special education and left out of programs for the gifted and talented due to problems within the systems of both regular and special education. With a shifting in the representations of the majority ethnic group and overall increases in the number of minorities attending public school, a system built with one norm (White, middle class) and matching leadership is unable to meet the needs of a diverse population of children. Teacher training programs and district in-services for current staffs need to address the diversity teachers will face in classrooms. New ways are needed to identify and measure abilities in order to help address individual student needs along a continuum of progress to build programs based on student strengths and not deficits identified through biased means. This paper is a metasynthesis of the literature surrounding the dilemma of disproportionate representation in special education with a specific focus on over representation.