Minorities Labeled Learning Disabled Because of Social Inequalities | US News

By Alexa Lardieri

The high number of racial minorities placed in special education for learning disabilities is largely because of social injustices separate from schools, not racially biased educators, according to a new study.

The study by Portland State University published in The Sociological Quarter used a statistical method to compare kids with comparable academic levels and socioeconomic status and found that racial minorities are actually less likely than white children to be labeled as having a learning disability, according to a press release from the university.

Dara Shifrer, lead author of the study and sociology professor in the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, believes a student’s socioeconomic status is a strong indicator of academic performance, which is often used to diagnose learning disabilities. Because African-American and Hispanic students are often at a socioeconomic disadvantage compared to white students, they may not perform as well, leading to a learning disabled diagnosis.

Source: Study: Minorities Labeled Learning Disabled Because of Social Inequalities | Education News | US News

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