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Which Students With Disabilities Are Placed Primarily Outside of U.S. Elementary School General Education Classrooms?

Thu, April 21, 4:15 to 5:45pm PDT (4:15 to 5:45pm PDT), San Diego Convention Center, Exhibit Hall B


We investigated factors that explained the likelihood of placement primarily outside of general education classrooms in U.S. elementary schools by analyzing longitudinal data from two independent samples of students with disabilities (Ns range 640 to 1,080) attending U.S. elementary schools. Explanatory factors included plausibly exogenous sociodemographic, academic, and behavioral risk factors measured in kindergarten in analyses of the samples as they attended the first, third, and fifth grades between the 1999-2000 and 2015-2016 school years. Results consistently indicated that experiencing significant academic difficulties by kindergarten strongly and consistently predicted whether students with disabilities were primarily placed outside of general education classrooms. This and the study’s additional explanatory factors largely explained initially observed racial and ethnic disparities in special education placement.