Indicator 9: Disproportionality-Child with a Disability - Percent of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services that is the result of inappropriate identification.

Data Source: NJSMART (Collections December 1, 2007 and October 15, 2008) and Fall Surveys ( October 2007, October 2008)

NJOSEP defined disproportionate representation from both a functional and statistical perspective.

Functional Definition: Implementation of policies, procedures, and practices in the general education instructional, behavioral, and intervention process and/or the special education identification, referral, evaluation, or eligibility determination process that results in a systemic, pervasive, persistent pattern of inappropriate over-identification/under-identification of students with disabilities of a specific racial/ethnic group as eligible for special education and related services.

Statistical Definition - NJOSEP used multiple measures to statistically determine disproportionate representation. The measures included three descriptive statistics: unweighted risk ratio; risk rate comparison; and a measure of impact comparing expected vs. observed numbers of students identified as eligible for special education. The measures also included a statistical test of significance chi square.

Districts were ranked on each of the three measures for a two year period ( 2007-2008, 2008-2009. Ranks for the two year period were totaled and those districts with the lowest ranks (i.e., ranks of 1 to 50) were targeted for a review of policies, procedures and practices of factors that may be contributing to disproportionate representation that is the result of inappropriate identification.

Calculations:

Risk Ratio: Risk Ratio answers the question – What is a specific racial/ethnic group’s risk of receiving special education and related services compared to the risk for all other students?
For the risk ratio:

1. Calculate the risk rate for a specific race/ethnicity. Divide the number of special education students of specific race/ethnicity by number students of a specific race/ethnicity enrolled in district.
2. Calculate risk rate for all other students. Divide the number of all other students in special education by the number of all other students in the district.
3. Calculate the un-weighted risk ratio.

Risk Rate Comparison: Risk Rate Comparison answers the question – What is the difference between the classification rates of specific racial/ethnic group of students compared to all other students?
For the difference between the risk rates:

1. Calculate the difference between the risk rates. Subtract risk rate of all other students from risk rate of a specific racial/ethnic group of students.

Impact: Impact Calculation answers the question – How large was the impact on a particular racial/ethnic group?
For the number of students of a specific racial/ethnic group impacted by the over inclusion

1. Multiply the number of students of specific racial/ethnic group in district by risk rate of all others.
2. Subtract the result from the number of students in a specific racial/ethnic group in special education.
3. The result is the impact of a specific racial/ethnic group in special education.

Chi Square:
5. calculate chi square test.
6. eliminate non-significant districts
7. rank #3
8. rank #4
9. rank #7
10. sum the rank scores for each district
11. select the districts with the lowest sum of ranks for review.

Local districts that were identified for disproportionate representation completed a self-assessment review of district policies, procedures and practices and identified areas that may be contributing to disproportionate representation. Based on that review they have developed an improvement plan to address areas of compliance and/or continuous improvement.

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