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Conroy Report 1999

Conroy Report 1999

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Published by mtuccitto
Center for Outcome Analysis in Pennsylvania report from 1999
Center for Outcome Analysis in Pennsylvania report from 1999

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Published by: mtuccitto on Nov 19, 2013
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09/10/2014

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Connecticut s
Special
Education
Labeling
and
Placement
Practices:
Analyses
of
the
ISS IS
Data
Base
Submitted
by:
.James
w
Conroy,
Ph D
The Center
for Outcome Analysis 1062
Lancaster
Avenue
Suite
18C
Rosemont
PA
19010 610-520-2007
and
610-520-5271
FAX
e-mail jconroycoa@aol.com
March,
1997
Revised
September 1999
 
 urpose
This is
a
report
on
a series
of
investigations
of
Connecticut's
practices
in
special education.
The .analyses utilized Connecticut's educntion
data
set,
called
ISSIS,
obtained via
the
CARe
v.
Tir07 zi
lawsuit. The original intent
of
working with
the
data
was
to understand labeling
and
placement practices
at
the macro level. and also
t
be
able
to
draw
a representative sample
of
students
for
in-depth
study.
These
activities
were
planned
as
part
of
he
lawsuit.
The
data
reveal extremely wide variations in labeling
and placement
practices across school
districts.
Mental retardation labeling rates vary from less
than
I
of
labeled children
to more
than
20 .
Learning disabilities labeling
vary
from
20
of
the labeled students to more
than
70 . 1 do
not
believe such wide variations
can
be
accounted
for by
genuine prevalence difierences.
These
extraordinary variations
have
led
me
to
examine other
ri bles~
including gender, ethnicity, age,
and
integration, Variations were found across these variables as well,
and we
believe
some
of
these variations have important policy implications.
This
brief
report summarizes
my
basic findings to date.
The
d t
show that:
1
Labels vary so
wildly
across districts
that
they cannot possibly
be
reliable;
2.
Placement
and
integration are strongly related
to
a
student's
label; 3. Labels
vary sharply
by gender and ethnic group;
4.
Therefore
placement and
integration are strongly affected
by
gender and
ethnicity; 5. Students
with
the
mental retardation label are far less integrated
than
others; 6. Integration decreases rapidly with
more
severe mental retardation; 7.
The
disproportionate JabeJing
of
minorities
with
mental retardation combines
with
discriminatory
placement and
integration practices to
put
minority
students
in
double jeopardy; 8. Integration practices vary tremendously across districts for students
with
mental retardation; 9,
From
1986-87
to
1995-96. the distribution
of
labels
has
not
ehanged
greatly,
although the severity
of
mental retardation labels has decreased, and
the
number
of
students labeled mUltihandicapped
h s
roughly
doubled;
to
The
general patterns indicative
of
gender and ethnic bias,
and
exclusionary effects, have
not
changed
a great deal from the 1986-87 to the 1995-96 school year.
2
 
Methods
.
Data
Base
The
data base utilized for these analyses
was
the
1SS1S
ISS1S contained one basic record
for
each
studentinvolved
in special
education,
The data were colle<..ied
on
the forms called
ED-
331, ED-332, and ED-333. Each record contained the
student s
age, grade, gender, primary
and
secondary exceptionality labels, placement type, and a variety
of
other demographic
and
progrnmmatic infonnation.
n
1995-96, 95,442 children were
in
special education programs, according
to
the ISSIS data.
I
excluded
from
my
analyses
the children with the labels
shown
below. uncategorized
infant ~
gifted
art
talented
regulaT
ed
3,876
16,516 1,865
57
I selected. only
the
children between age 6 and
21
who had a disability label, and there were 69;549
of
them
in
the
1995-1996 data set.
Procedures
The
original
data
files were provided
on
tapes from a mainframe computer. The first year
for
which ISSIS data were sent was 1986-1987. The
d t
were provided as ASCII (American
Standard
Code for Infonnation Interchange) files. The ASCII
data
files
residing
on that tape were read and downloaded to a personal computer for analysis.
The
data dictionaries provided
by
the state were translated into programs to read each
bit
of
information about each student. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was utilized to read the
data and
perform analyses. The 1995-1996 data were supplied
on
a ZipDisk
in
SPSS format.
3

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