Remedies for Disproportionality: It’s Time for a Root Cause Analysis

By: Edward Fergus  As a significant portion of my career has been dedicated to identifying the root causes of disproportionality through extensive research and observation, it became imperative to create an analysis of these root causes that is accessible and impactful for educators at all levels. Through my research, I created the Disproportionality Root Cause Analysis. When working with schools, a paramount question I consistently ask about the type and frequency of prior analysis on equity concerns is, “Has your school or district conducted a root cause analysis in the last two to three years?” The answers to this question [...]

2022-08-08T10:18:31-04:00August 2nd, 2022|

Interrupting Bias-Based Beliefs to Achieve Equity

By: Edward Fergus There are inherent challenges in creating a universal message of equity, particularly in an academic environment. Doing so requires leaders who are comfortable listening to others’ perspectives, considering those perspectives, and then making an equitable decision. Developing a universal message of equity is important – but it’s seldom that simple. In this article, we’ll look at some bias-based beliefs that are hurdles in the pursuit of equity as well as ways to interrupt those beliefs using a positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) framework that can help clear the way toward equity. How Bias-Based Beliefs Impact Equity [...]

2022-05-18T11:16:26-04:00May 18th, 2022|

Deficit-Thinking in Classrooms – and Four Steps to Interrupt It

By: Edward Fergus  Deficit-thinking, a common bias-based belief in the education field, is rooted in an ideology that explains academic performance by blaming individuals or groups for the conditions they find themselves experiencing. This type of thinking promotes the idea of cultural deficits in groups and discounts the presence of systemic inequalities that result from race-based processes, practices, and policies. Examples of Deficit-Thinking in the Classroom An unfortunate, yet common, example of deficit-thinking in today’s classrooms concerns low-income and racial/ethnic minority students. The effects can be devastating to these students because those on the receiving end of deficit-thinking beliefs are [...]

2022-04-20T09:51:06-04:00April 18th, 2022|

Three Ways to Mitigate Special Education Disproportionality

By: Dr. Edward Fergus Disproportionality within special education is not a recent trend. In fact, it was first identified and acknowledged in special education literature in 19681 and has increased in acknowledgement in the decades since. A report from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 found that Black students were twice as likely to be identified with emotional disabilities and 2.7 times more likely to be identified as cognitively impaired than their white peers nationally. Similarly, Native American students were nearly twice as likely to be identified with specific learning disabilities and 60% more likely to be identified as [...]

2022-03-15T15:35:56-04:00March 15th, 2022|
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