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The South: Educating A Growing Hispanic Population

1083 words - 4 pages

Introduction
For many years the United States minority population mostly consisted of African Americans. In 2003, the statistic changed to Hispanics becoming the largest minority population in the United Sates (Parrado & Kandel, 2010). With the increase of the Hispanic population, education concerns of this population have started to arise. In some cases, Hispanics are being over referred to special education programs. This phenomenon is linked to the presence of a language barrier as well as other characteristics of the children in this population (Guiberson, 2009). Although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) specify that language barriers should be ruled out, it seems that this phenomena continues, but could be corrected with proper education techniques (Ornstein & Levine, 2007).
Statement of the Problem
Due to the increased representation of the Hispanic population it is likely that this population has also increased in the nation’s grade school educational system. With the change in demographics it is important to uncover the best way to educate the current population, without causing any educational setbacks. Currently there are little to no research that has been reported on how the educational system has addressed this issue in southern United States.
Review of Literature
Over the last two decades, immigration to the United States have grown significantly. In a study conducted by Guiberson (2009) the Hispanic population has to become the largest minority in the US. Within the geographical boarders of the US, the southern states collectively have been reported to have had a 204 percent grow rate during the 1990s (Parrado & Kandel, 2010). It is expected that this growing population would also show significant number in the U.S. educational system, but reports have shown that this population has started to show disproportionate numbers in special education programs (Guiberson, 2009).
A study conducted by Guiberson (2009) has found that the enrollment numbers of Hispanics in special education was disproportionate to the population in the schools themselves. He also finds that these issues is not present in all schools but have linked the issues to several criteria some of which are the diversity among students, the size of the school district, and per student spending (Guiberson, 2009). In Guiberson (2009) study he found that 49 percent of the bilingual special education students may not have been learning disabled. The students may have had difficulties that were related to their language and culture and not a learning disability.
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004 has several different procedure and document that are to be followed when assessing individuals for a special education program. In Guiberson's (2009) research he suggests that some educators may be unprepared to work with diverse student populations. In a 200 participant survey of speech pathologist a study found that a third of...

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