New special education report raises questions about bias against Boston’s Black and Latino boys – The Boston Globe

by | Nov 20, 2022 | Education

AdvertisementRaymond Hart, the council’s executive director, called the disproportionate representation of Black and Latino males in special education programs “glaring” and said BPS falls well behind the nation’s other large districts in integrating students with disabilities into general education classrooms. Most other urban districts have made inclusive classrooms routine practice.Specifically, the report found that 29 percent of BPS students with disabilities are taught in “substantially separate” classrooms — a rate more than twice that of state and national averages.“I know there’s going to be pressure from the community and others to change immediately, but taking time out to plan before implementing changes will be important and making sure the community understands that will be critical,” Hart said in an interview. “The challenges have been decades in the making and you can’t flip a switch and immediately change systems that have been in place for as long as these ones have.”BPS commissioned the review as part of a state-mandated district improvement plan to address wide-ranging problems with operations, management, and instruction, including the disproportionate segregation of students of color with disabilities. The state over the years has repeatedly found BPS special education programs in violation of state and federal laws. A 2020 audit of the district concluded that its special education services were in “systemic disarray” and hamstrung by high turnover in leadership that has continued since then.AdvertisementReviewing special education in BPS is somewhat familiar territory for the Council of the Great City Schools, which conducted a similar evaluation for BPS in 2009. That evaluation found many of the same problems. .Problems with special education go well beyond the lack of inclus …

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