IRA is concerned that lack of appropriate reading instruction and early interventions among low-performing minority children contributes to their overrepresentation in special education programs. We advocate for effective early reading instruction for all children and for intervention before children are referred to special education. Attention to such issues as ineffective classroom instruction, lack of coordination across programs and teachers, and the frequent overlooking of children’s culturally relevant language skills will help to reduce the number of unnecessary special education referrals for minority students.
The position statement includes additional recommendations expressly for the U.S. federal and state governments, school districts, classroom teachers, Title I teachers and reading specialists, special educators, principals, teacher educators and professional developers, and parents.
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