Examining Representation and Identification: Over, Under, or Both?

Significant disproportionality with regard to identifying children as children with disabilities or as children with specific disabilities is, by definition, overrepresentation. This resource clarifies what the term overrepresentation means and defines three related terms: over-identification, under-identification, and underrepresentation. This resource also provides several scenarios and initial guiding questions that show how the four terms are related. States can use their answers to the guiding questions, in conjunction with the Success Gaps Toolkit, to help identify and address the factors contributing to significant disproportionality (i.e., overrepresentation) within school districts.

Related Content

An IDC Resource

Format: Toolkits

Success Gaps Toolkit: Addressing Equity, Inclusion, and Opportunity

The Success Gaps Toolkit presents a process for using data and the Success Gap Rubric to identify root causes of gaps between groups of children in districts or schools. These success gaps occur when the education system is not meeting the needs of all groups of children and outcomes for some groups are different than outcomes for most groups. The toolkit, with its process and materials, provides a manageable and defined way for districts or schools to identify success gaps that are present and their root causes and then make a plan for addressing the gaps. The success gaps may be the graduation rate of students who are English learners compared to the rate of all other children, the out-of-school suspension rate of children who are Black compared to the rate of all other children, the identification of children who are Hispanic as children with specific learning disabilities compared to the identification of all other children, and other gaps.

An IDC Resource

Format: Applications and Spreadsheets

Equity Requirements in IDEA

This resource compares the three equity requirements in IDEA (disproportionate representation, significant discrepancy, and significant disproportionality) across various elements to explain the similarities and the differences among the requirements.

An IDC Resource

Format: Quick Reference

A Comparison of Mandatory Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) and Voluntary Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)

In December 2016, OSEP finalized new regulations on significant disproportionality (34 CFR §300.646). These regulations enforce the use of IDEA funds for mandatory CCEIS, which LEAs provide upon identification of significant disproportionality, and distinguish use of funds for CCEIS from the use of IDEA funds for voluntary CEIS. This resource is a handy chart that outlines the differences between CCEIS and voluntary CEIS.