Identifying Mental Retardation

March 14, 2001 1 min read

African-American students were three times more likely than their white peers to be labeled mentally retarded and placed in special education courses, according to the results of four studies commissioned by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.

Black Students

Odds of Identification
Compared to Whites

1. Connecticut 4.76
2. Mississippi 4.31
3. South Carolina 4.30
4. North Carolina 4.08
5. Nebraska 4.08
6. Florida 3.91
7. Alabama 3.89
8. Delaware 3.61
9. New Jersey 3.60
10. Colorado 3.48

NOTE: Only New Hampshire and Vermont do not show significant overrepresentation. They show very slight underrepresentation.

SOURCE: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, 2001.

A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2001 edition of Education Week as Identifying Mental Retardation