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Dismantling Disproportionality

A Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Systems Approach

192 pages
Teachers College Press

This book positions disproportionality as not solely a special education issue but, rather, a broader issue of educational inequality. Disproportionality in special education parallels a persistent history of chronic socioeconomic and racial inequalities relating to the country’s history of denying educational opportunities to students of color, multilingual students, students with disabilities, and those at the intersections of these identities. This book draws on the authors’ experiences as technical assistance providers with the Center for Disproportionality, coupled with the latest research findings on the causes of racial disproportionality in general and special education. Dismantling Disproportionality examines four district case studies, showing how each progresses from theory to practice in delivering educational services to all students. The authors conclude that the most effective way to address disproportionality is to use a culturally responsive educational systems approach that critically engages practitioners at the intersection of beliefs, policies, procedures, and practices.

Book Features:

  • Offers a concrete, multipronged approach to disrupt and dismantle disproportionality in education.
  • Takes a systemic approach to disproportionality that centers culturally responsive and sustaining education.
  • Describes a framework that can be used at the teacher and school building level, in teacher and leadership preparation programs, and with districts and state education agencies.
  • Provides useful reflection questions, key takeaways, and tools for readers.
Author Bio

María G. Hernández for over a decade has coached pre-K–12 educators in developing culturally responsive education systems that address disproportionality and equity by providing technical assistance and training, and developing evidence-based solutions. David M. Lopez delivers technical assistance (TA) and expert consultation, develops research and evidence-based tools and resources, and provides research and policy support to state education agencies, district leaders, and school-based educators, focused on creating culturally responsive and equitable systems. Reed Swier is a former elementary teacher and administrator and brings this experience with him as he trains educators and works with district leaders to foster more culturally responsive and sustaining school environments.