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Excluded: How Race Plays a Role in Exclusionary Practices in Special Education in Minnesota

This brief explores how implicit bias and racialized perceptions of ability and disability lead to special education identification, placement into restrictive educational settings, and exclusionary discipline that negatively impact educational outcomes for students of color and American Indian students.

This brief covers:

  • Notions of ability have origins in structural racism and have changed over time
  • Intersections of race and ability in Minnesota’s public schools play a role in:
    • Special education identification
    • Student placement into restrictive educational settings
    • Exclusionary disciplinary practices (e.g. suspension or expulsion) for students who are of color and American Indian students with disabilities.

The brief concludes with recommendations for stakeholders and policy makers.

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