Opinion question: How often do you think students are misidentified as needing special education?

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More so than not!

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I believe, based on experience, that students with behavior issues - but not BD/ED - are often placed in SpEd because teachers struggle with classroom management which results in the teacher being “run ragged” and feeling like the student is the problem. This teacher behavior often puts the teacher in the situation of not looking past the behavior to question what the root of the behavior is. Then students mature and while they never had a learning disability, now they have learned helplessness which can look like a disability.

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I completely agree with this..

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Oh boy I think frequently!! Not to bash in general education teachers AT ALL but a lot of times it seems like if a student is behind they automatically assume they need to be classified. We have a major problem in my district right now where our tier 1 instruction is just not working. Kids are getting to 4th grade and they cannot decode at all and struggle to comprehend a read aloud. It's a mess! I feel a ton of pressure because typically I work with students who are "in the red" but it's almost half our grade level now! I'm kinda off topic here but basically I wanted to share a quote another special Ed teacher said recently that helped me take the pressure off myself "you can't tier 3 your way out of a tier 1 problem." Thanks for reading my pretty off topic rant lol!

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I like that quote! I am going to steal it!!

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At an alarming rate

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I don’t think many are identified that don’t need services. I feel moving from tier 2 to SPED takes way too long. Interventions should be monitored more closely. If they are not seeing any growth the process should begin. It should not take a year! Too much can be missed if we can’t get working with them sooner. My soapbox.
I also forgot, I have had students make the growth using tools and strategies and have been dismissed in a couple years. It’s a great feeling for all of us. I teach 2-6 math, reading, writing and social skills.

likehelpful

What are some of the programs you use to make gains allowing dismissal from special education?

As a special education teacher, all of my students need the services. I don't see many misidentified in our school

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Easy to get an IEP. Then never taken off

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I declassified students who no longer need services

likesmart

Kansas High School I love the self- reflection you lead the students through👍🏽

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Uses to be too many African Americans, now it’s the ELL stud ev it’s!!!

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You are absolutely right. Tests like the Woodcock Johnson are culturally biased, therefore leading to many more students of color in Special Education. Perhaps it's time for schools to look at the curriculum and instruction instead...

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My district is pretty strict about answering 3 questions: Does the student have a disability as defined by IDEA? Does the disability interfere with the student’s ability to access education? Does the student require specialized instruction in order to achieve FAPE? I am fortunate to work with a great school psych who, like me, is not willing to say a student has a disability unless we have solid data.

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Working in a large urban district, many of my students could have improved and began to perform close to grade level with a good RTI system in place.

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Frequently. Special Ed should generally mirror the school population. If 3% of the school population makes up 20% of the sped population there is a significant problem.

likesmart

More than we would like to think.

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I think they're misidentified a lot more than we realize. I'm taking a class on Multicultural Perspectives and feel like I've been an ostrich these many years with my head in the sand. I'm seeing that many students who are English learners are misidentified as needing SpEd services.

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I have been teaching in my district for 25 years and have never had a student that I didn’t believe needed special education. Students are looked at very closely.

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I think it is common for behavior issues to be diagnosed as special needs academically when it is purely behavior and defiance.

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All my students have autism and are appropriately placed but I teach for the county office and we serve those with the most severe disabilities.

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I’m more concerned about the lack of exiting students than I am over identification.

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