Literature Review - the Achievement Gap

In: English and Literature

Submitted By tbarnes20
Words 1243
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Literature Review
Taletta J Wilson
Liberty University


The following traditional literature review examines the disproportionate number of young African-American males who have been placed in special education. The articles highlight factors such as cultural misunderstandings and teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards African- American men. This literature review not only observes the misunderstandings, but it also looks at strategies and techniques that can be used to lessen the gap.

Keywords: African American boys, African American males, special education, overrepresentation, disproportionate, educationally disadvantaged, cultural

Literature Review
According to a recent study conducted by the Council of the Great City Schools, Black and Hispanic males constitute almost 80 percent of youth in special education programs. In addition, Black males make up 20 percent of all students in the United States classified as mentally retarded, although they are only nine percent of the student population (Barbarin 2011). Over the years, overrepresentation of African American males placed in special education programs continues to be a growing problem and it has not gone unnoticed that some of these identified minorities have been misplaced and inaccurately diagnosed. This paper reviews peer reviewed journal articles on this phenomenon. The authors attempt to explain, through qualitative and quantitative research, where the discrepancies originate – the process for student referrals and the roles of teachers, administration, and parents. They also look at what adjustments can be made as well as strategies and techniques that can be implemented to reduce the number of African American students misplaced. In each of the journals reviewed, the ultimate goal is a solution to the problem.

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