Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE)

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Fancsali, C. (2019). Special Education in New York City: Understanding the Landscape. New York City, USA : The Research Alliance for New York City Schools.


Nearly one in five New York City public school children is diagnosed with a disability, making them eligible to receive special education services. These students are diverse in terms of their skills, abilities, and background characteristics. Historically, students with disabilities have had less access to learning opportunities and lower academic outcomes than their general education peers. Furthermore, disabilities frequently overlap with other vulnerabilities. Some groups of students— including boys, students of color, and those living in poverty—are overrepresented in special education, both locally and nationally. Understanding who students with disabilities are and where they are being served is a first step toward improving their educational experiences and outcomes. In this brief, we present a snapshot of the landscape of special education in New York City, exploring the background characteristics of students with disabilities, the settings in which they are served, and their engagement with school as indicated by attendance and suspension rates. We focus on variation associated with race and ethnicity, poverty, and gender, as well as placement in special classrooms that are segregated from general education students. The brief highlights patterns we believe are most salient because they point to problems that may be addressed through policy or practice, successes that can be built on, or areas where we need to gather more information about the causes and consequences of disparities. We hope this work provides a useful starting point for conversation and the development of new lines of research.


Logos des universités associées au CRIFPE

Adresse civique

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
90, avenue Vincent d'Indy
Pavillon Marie-Victorin – C-536
Outremont (Québec) H2V 2S9

Adresse postale

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
CRIFPE – C-543
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 3J7