Ch 3_Challenge 5

5. Outcomes for students with disabilities differ significantly by race and ethnicity.

The government doesn’t report special education data broken down by race and ethnicity as well as by disability category. But racial and ethnic data about students with all types of disabilities (54% of whom are identified with either SLD or OHI) indicate that:

  • Approximately 35% of African American, Hispanic and Native American students with disabilities left high school without a regular diploma in 2014–2015, compared to less than 25% of Asian and white students.
  • Native American students with disabilities drop out at nearly twice the rate of white students with disabilities.


As these figures indicate, schools and communities must do more to improve the graduation rate of all students with disabilities, and increased focus and sensitivity are needed to improve outcomes of minority students with IEPs. Dropout rates will be discussed in detail in the next chapter.

Programs: