I'm for truth,

no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against.
Malcolm X

Glossary of equity terms


This glossary divides common equity terms into disproportionality terms and IDEA 2004 terms. A list of all terms is found in the right column for quick access.

Disproportionality Terms

Composition Index (CI)
The composition index describes the percentage of students in a specific category represented by a given racial/ethnic group. It answers the question: Are there more students from a given group in this category than we would expect, given their representation in the overall population? That is, we find that African American students represent 11% of our district's enrollment, but 25% of those enrolled in special education. The composition index for determining African American disproportionality in overall special education enrollment is found by:African American Composition Index (Special Education)In order to be interpretable, this composition index must be compared to the composition index of African American students in overall enrollment. This composition index is found by:African American Composition Index (Enrollment)
Risk Index (RI)
The risk index is the percentage of a given racial/ethnic group that is in a specific category. Thus, for instance, if we find that 8% of all Latino students in a school corporation have been suspended, then we can say that Latino students in that school corporation have an 8% chance of being suspended. The risk index answers the question: What is the risk that students in a given group will be in a specific category? For instance, the risk index for determining the percentage of Latino student suspensions is found by:Latino Risk Index (Suspension)
Risk Ratio (RR)
The risk ratio is a comparison of the risk index of the target racial/ethnic group and the risk index of all other groups. It answers the question: How much more or less likely than other students are students in a given racial/ethnic group to be in a specific category? That is, we find that, on average, the risk for Multi-racial students dropping out of school is 6%, but the risk for all other students is 3%. The risk ratio for determining multi-racial disproportionality in drop outs is found by:Multi-racial
Disproportionality refers to a particular racial/ethnic group being represented in a given category at a significantly higher or lower rate than other racial/ethnic groups.
A racial/ethnic group that has a number of its members in some condition in greater numbers than would be expected based on their representation in the population of interest.
A racial/ethnic group that has a number of its members in some condition in fewer numbers than would be expected based on their representation in the population of interest.

IDEA 2004 Terms

A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
Autism does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance as defined under emotional disability.
A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the criteria in the first paragraph of this section are satisfied.
Emotional Disturbance (ED)
A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:
  1. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
  2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers or teachers.
  3. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance under the first paragraph of this section.
Mental Retardation (MR)
Means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Other Health Impairment (OHI)
Means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to: chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
Disorders that are not included are learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, or mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Speech/Language Impairment (SLI)
A communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Least Restrictive Environment
To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
A state funding mechanism shall not result in placements that violate the requirements of the first paragraph, and a State shall not use a funding mechanism by which the State distributes funds on the basis of the type of setting in which a child is served that will result in the failure to provide a child with a disability a free appropriate public education according to the unique needs of the child as described in the child's IEP.
If the State does not have policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the above clause, the State shall provide the Secretary an assurance that the State will revise the funding mechanism as soon as feasibly to ensure that such mechanism does not result in such placements.
Regular Class
Students receive the majority of their education in a general education setting and receive special education for less than 21% of the school day in or outside the regular class.
Separate Class
A student spending 60% or more of their time outside of general education is classified as separate class. All students are educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate given their unique educational needs. Placement in a separate class setting occurs after it is documented that education in general education classes using supplementary aids and services cannot be satisfactorily achieved.

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