Culturally Responsive Evaluation: How Evaluator Background Influences Educational Evaluators in the Field of Special Education
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This study explores how the personal background of special education evaluators impacts the evaluation process. We focus specifically on the evaluation outcomes for students of diverse backgrounds including differences in race, language and socio-economic status. Educational Diagnosticians and Licensed Specialists in School Psychology were surveyed and interviewed to gather data on their level of expertise in applying the principles of culturally responsive practices when conducting evaluations, interpreting the results and making recommendations to teachers. Current data regarding disproportionality in eligibility codes, disciplinary placements and more restrictive educational settings from various districts was analyzed to support findings and make recommendations for future implications. The implications of this research can provide guidance for university students enrolled in diagnostician programs and support equitable and responsive practices for our most marginalized K-12 students.