An Examination of Differences Between Instructional Consultation Teams and Traditional Student Assistance Teams in Evaluation and Identification of Minority Students for Special Education Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • McDonough, Erin Marie
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine differences between traditional student assistance teams and an innovative consultation-based assistance team in terms of the risk ratios for minority students for evaluation and eligibility for special education services. It was hypothesized that the innovative consultation-based assistance team would be associated with lower risk of evaluation for and placement in special education services. Participants: Twelve schools in North Carolina elected to receive training in the Instructional Consultation Team (IC-Team) model during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 academic years. Within each school, the IC-Team and traditional team operated concurrently, so 12 IC-Teams and 12 traditional teams were studied herein. Methods: Each of the 12 schools submitted year-end program evaluation data containing the number of students served, the ethnicity/race of students served, the number of students referred for psychoeducational evaluation, and the number of students considered eligible for special education. Based on these data, the relative risks (i.e., risk ratio) were calculated for African American and Hispanic students, respectively. For each ethnic group, two relative risk indexes were calculated; one for the risk for evaluation and a second for the risk for special education eligibility. Secondary analyses were also conducted to examine differences between teams in risk indexes for African American, Hispanic and White students. Results: There were no significant differences between teams in terms of relative risk for evaluation for special education services for either ethnic group. Instructional Consultation Teams were associated with a significantly lower relative risk of eligibility for special education services for both the Hispanic and African American student groups. Risk indexes considered independent of the risk of White students indicated that IC-Teams were associated with lower risk for placement in special education for each racial/ethnic group. Descriptive statistics also revealed significant differences in patterns based on race between teams in terms of the proportion of students referred for evaluation and placed in special education. Conclusions: IC-Teams were associated with more equitable practices of referral and identification for special education services, while traditional assistance teams were associated with proportionally higher referral rates for White students.
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  • Knotek, Steven
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