"District-Level Achievement Gaps Explain Black and Hispanic Overrepresentation in Special Education"
Regression analysis results indicated that Black– and Hispanic–White district risk ratios were strongly related to Black– and Hispanic– White district achievement gaps. These results reconcile findings from district-level data with those from student-level data and support the finding that, when compared to otherwise similar White students by controlling for group differences in achievement, non-White students are on average underrepresented in special education. That is, non-White overrepresentation in special education in most districts is explained by racial achievement gaps in these districts. Residuals from the regressions provide a more accurate way to monitor for outlier districts than the current practice required in federal regulations of using unadjusted risk ratios.