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Special Education   >   Program Review    >   Significant Disproportionality

Significant Disproportionality

Washington’s Definition of Significant Disproportionality (WAC 392-172A-07040)

Washington defines SIGNIFICANT DISPROPORTIONALITY as a weighted risk ratio of 4.0 or greater for three consecutive years for any racial/ethnic group in any of the following areas:

  1. The identification of children as children with disabilities,
  2. The identification of children with a particular disability,
  3. The placement of children in particular educational settings (LRE Tables 2, 3, 28, or 29), or
  4. The incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions.
A minimum “n” size is used for both target and comparison groups.

The weighted risk ratio is a measure of the risk that a student from a specific racial/ethnic group will be served in a specific disability category compared to the risk of all other students being served in that category. For example, a weighted risk ratio of 1.00 means that students from that group are as likely to be served in the category as all other students. A weighted risk ratio greater than 1.00 indicates the degree to which students in the racial/ethnic group are over-represented. Therefore, a weighted risk ratio of 4.17 in the EBD-Black category means that Black students in the district are 4.17 times more likely to be identified in the EBD category than all other students. A weighted risk ratio less than 1.00 indicates the degree to which students from the racial/ethnic group are under-represented. For example, a weighted risk ratio of 0.50 in the ID-Hispanic category means that Hispanic students in the district are half as likely to be identified in the ID disability category as all other students.

Weighted Risk Ratio (WRR)

≤0.5 >0.5 to <0.67 0.67 to 1.5 >1.5 to <2.0 ≥2.0 to <3.0
(3 consecutive years)
≥3.0 to <4.0
(3 consecutive years)
≥4.0
(3 consecutive years)
Disproportionate Under- representation At Risk for Disproportionate Under- representation No Disproportionate Representation At Risk for Disproportionate Over- representation Disproportionate Over- representation* At Risk for Significant Disproportionality Significant Disproportionality*
*Note: The results of the calculations will be verified using multiple methods.

 Resources:

  1. Summary Planning Worksheet – Districts may use this worksheet as an optional self-review tool.
  2. Additional resources related to disproportionality (Indicators 4, 9, and 10) can be found on OSPI’s Disproportionality Technical Assistance Web page.
  3. Individual district data related to indicators 4, 9, and 10 can be found on the District Profiles.

 

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