22 • Texas Lone Star • August 2018 • texaslonestaronline.org
percent in 2006-07. What is even more telling is a deep dive into this
data by ethnicity (see chart on page 21).
It is easy to see the disparity in identification and service to children
both overall as well as by race. In Texas, we have seen variations among
populations that are out of alignment with their overall enrollment
trends over the last decade. While this may be in part tied to overall
declines in special education during this time, the fluctuations cannot
be explained by this alone. Identification and representation in special
education is a complex issue that impacts both having too many and
too few in a given population. Unfortunately, the research tells a rather
convoluted story with matching fluctuations in the numbers.
When school board members consider how to improve special
education in their district, it may be helpful for them to reflect on the
• What can be learned from the history of special education?
• What are the trends of identification in our district?
• Are the actions and decisions in special education identification
reflective of the philosophy we want in our schools?
• What underlying factors might be affecting how we identify and
serve students in special education in our district?
• What can we as a school board do in our district for students with
disabilities of various ethnicities?
Special Webinar Series
The topic of race and special education continues to receive attention across the country. Here in Texas, the Texas Initiative in Disproportionality Representation in Special Education Project, conducted through
a partnership between TEA and the Region 1 Education Service Center
(ESC), seeks to address disproportionality in special education.
A series of free statewide webinars, entitled “Back-To-School Equity
Talks,” will be presented live by TEA and ESC 1 on August 21-22,
featuring Baruti Kafele, principal and transformational leader at several
schools, including East Orange, Plainfield, and Newark, New Jersey,
schools; Edward Fergus, assistant professor of Policy, Organizational,
and Leadership Studies at Temple University; and Paul Gorski, associate
professor of Integrative Studies and a Research Fellow at George Mason
The webinar series is designed to align schools in providing services
to a diverse student population. Registration is limited; for more information, call 956.984.6241 or 956.984.6175 or go to https://apps.esc1.