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Since 1975 Special education has helped students with learning disabilities receive an education tailored to their needs Blanchett 25 However while originally intended to spread the benefits of education to all Special Education has become biased in regards to minorities specifically African Americans Not only are more minority students being placed in special education classes but African American students make achievements and exit special education classes at a slower rate This is the result of several factors including inappropriate resource allocation causing inadequate educators and curriculums that fail to embrace multiculturalism The root of disproportionate representation of minority groups in special education lies in white privilege and racismSpecial Education can trace its roots the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s however the concept of having a specific classroom meant for disabled students was made federal law in 1975 with the Education for all Handicapped Children Act Blanchett 26 The act has been further developed ultimately resulting in IDEA or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act This act defines children with disabilities as having any of the following types of disabilities autism deaf deaf-blindness hearing impairments mental retardation multiple disabilities orthopedic impairments other health impairments serious emotional disturbance specific learning disabilities speech or language impairments traumatic brain injury and visual impairments US Department of Education While Special Education has benefitted millions of students since its inception it has since become a crutch to poor educators and the inability to offer quality educations to all students While African Americans make up only 148 of students ages 5-18 they make up nearly 20 of students in special education African Americans are 241 times more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability than their white counterparts Harry 24 When wrongly placed in special education students are discouraged and results in a higher number of dropouts an inability to get a job and potentially turning to crime In 2005 The New York Times call attention to the disproportional representation
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