LC Journal of Special Education


Debates on the overrepresentation of minority students, particularly African- Americans, are not new in special education and have characterized research in this field for over three decades. Regardless of time, legislative debate and a host of research theories, this problem remains. “In general, research has supported the public concern but the picture is unclear because studies have varied so much with respect to definitions of minority representation in findings across ethnic groups and technical methods (Coutinho & Oswald, 1999, p. 66). It is on the definition of minorities, the methods used to calculate date and the identification of minority students that most studies focus in an attempt to address this overrepresentation. The purpose of this paper is to identify the concept of overrepresentation, discuss the factors that cause it and recommend strategies to address it.