Education & Teaching Question

Important Notes:

Teaching Students with Special Needs: A Guide for Future Educators is the book needed to complete this assignment. The book I purchased through Vitialsource. I will provide the access information:

Access Info:

VitalSource:Product ISBN: 9781792448539: Students Special Needs


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When you log in, click on Kevin’s bookshelf at the top to go to the book.

Part 1

Read chapter 4 of the OBrien book, which addresses providing Special Education support in Urban Schools. Pick one of the following topics related to Urban Education to discuss (Quality of Services, Issues of Poverty and Disadvantage, or Disproportionate Representation). Then, locate 1 peer-reviewed article related to the topic you chose and present three paragraphs in your Discussion Post that discuss the following:

  1. Summarize the topic as presented by the textbook.
  2. Discuss the similarities and differences between the textbook and the article you chose.
  3. Discuss your thoughts on the topic.
  1. Each thread must be at least 500 words and three paragraphs,
  2. Demonstrate course-related knowledge,
  3. and contain a minimum of 1 citation in the current APA format to support assertions.

Part 2: 3 Student Replies:

In addition to the thread, you must reply to 3 other classmates threads. Each reply must be:

  1. a minimum of 200 words,
  2. demonstrate course-related knowledge,
  3. and contain a minimum of 1 citation in current APA format to support assertions

Rebecca Rhodes:

Freeman-Green et al. (2019) highlighted issues in the quality of educational services in urban schools and the impact of various factors. Many students in urban schools are English Learners (ELs), and many teachers, especially novice teachers, are not well-trained in the needs of this population and, as a result, may have negative attitudes towards this population (Freeman-Green et al., 2019). Of particular importance, Freeman-Green et al. stated that many teachers may not be well trained in understanding how a second language is acquired and may incorrectly identify ELs with learning problems and refer the students for special education needs. A lack of experience with diverse populations coupled with poor teacher training on how to best support and teach ELs leads to ineffective or inappropriate classroom teaching, especially with academics, according to Freeman-Green et al. Another concern Freeman-Green et al. noted was that while educators may be aware of the barriers, such as poverty, students in urban schools face, these barriers are often used as an excuse to justify low performance instead of focusing on what impacts the quality of teaching. When looking at a significant challenge urban schools face, Freeman-Green et al. discussed how these schools lack qualified and experienced teachers. Urban schools are often served by new teachers who lack the training to adequately serve the unique needs of students in urban schools, leading to high teacher turnover, as explained by Freeman-Green et al., and impacting student performance. Teachers in urban schools also commonly have different cultural backgrounds than their students, creating challenges in teachers ability to connect with their students (Freeman et al., 2019). When looking at the area of special education, the previously mentioned challenges, coupled with a nationwide shortage in special education teachers, directly correlate to special education classrooms in urban, high-poverty schools being severely impacted, according to Freeman et al.

Jacob (2007) discusses similar concerns regarding the quality of educational services faced in urban, high-poverty schools as Freeman-Green et al. (2019). Both discussed how urban schools serve more impoverished students than suburban schools (Freeman-Green et al., 2019; Jacob, 2007). In addition, Freeman-Green et al. and Jacob highlighted the difficulties with recruiting and obtaining highly qualified teachers. Specifically, they noted that the teachers in urban, high-poverty schools were often new (Freeman-Green et al., 2019; Jacob, 2007). Freeman-Green et al. and Jacob also explained how bureaucratic issues hindered hiring desirable teacher candidates. Jacob noted that slow hiring processes controlled by districts Human Resources (HR)caused schools to miss out on candidates who took jobs at other schools while waiting. One particular difference was noted in the authors of the Jacob study, which discussed the importance of determining if highly qualified teachers equated to effective teachers. How highly qualified teachers were determined varied widely, with many workarounds making the term easily attainable for districts to fill staffing concerns. Jacob cautioned against hiring teacher candidates and using this as the only metric for finding candidates.

Urban, high-poverty schools face too many challenges for educators and stakeholders to ignore. Preservice teachers may benefit from their teacher programs shifting to include more robust classes on how to serve ELs and better serve students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Schools may also benefit from training their current staff members who may have never received this training but currently serve these populations in the classrooms. While higher pay may seem like a solution to attract good teacher candidates, Freeman-Green et al. (2019) and Jacob (2007) provided compelling evidence that better pay without the proper training and support would not impact the retention of these candidates. These solutions will take a collective effort to change both university teacher programs and school districts. However, they may be worth it if people in the education system are serious about making improvements for students in urban, high-poverty schools.


Jacob, B. A. (2007). The Challenges of Staffing Urban Schools with Effective Teachers. The Future of Children., 17(1), 129153.

Freeman-Green, S., OBrien, C., Kolano, L., Lachance, J., & Perez, T. (2019). Providing special education supports in urban schools: High-needs communities and culturally, linguistically, diverse

students. In C. OBrien, J. Beattie, & D. Sacco (Eds.), Teaching students with special needs: A guide for future educators (3rd ed., pp. 85-111). Kendall Hunt.

Kara Westerman:

Disproportionate representation in urban education refers to the phenomenon where certain demographic groups, such as racial or ethnic minorities, low-income students, and students with disabilities, are overrepresented or underrepresUrban areas often have higher concentrations of poverty, which can lead to disparities in educational opportunities (Gallo & Beachum, 2020). Low-income families may lack access to resources such as high-quality schools, tutoring services, and enrichment programs, which can hinder their children’s academic success. Historically, urban areas have experienced segregation in housing and schooling, resulting in unequal distribution of resources and opportunities. Segregation can perpetuate disparities in educational outcomes by concentrating disadvantaged students in under-resourced schools with fewer opportunities for academic success (Gallo & Beachum, 2020).

Educational systems may perpetuate inequities through policies and practices that disadvantage certain groups. For example, disciplinary practices such as zero-tolerance policies may disproportionately affect students of color, leading to higher rates of suspension and expulsion. Urban areas often have diverse populations, with students from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds (Gallo & Beachum, 2020). Language barriers and cultural differences can challenge students in accessing and succeeding in education, primarily if schools must provide adequate support for English language learners and culturally responsive instruction.

Urban schools may receive fewer resources than their suburban counterparts, leading to overcrowded classrooms, outdated facilities, and limited educational materials and technology access. Inadequate funding can exacerbate existing disparities and hinder efforts to improve educational outcomes for all students. Addressing disproportionate representation in urban education requires systemic changes to ensure equitable access to high-quality education for all students (Gallo & Beachum, 2020). This includes investing in resources and support services for disadvantaged communities, implementing policies to promote diversity and inclusion, addressing systemic biases in educational practices, and fostering partnerships between schools, families, and communities to support student success.

Once a student becomes eligible for special education, a determination is made regarding the type of instruction and support they will receive, commonly known as their placement (Gallo & Beachum, 2020). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) operates under the fundamental principle that students should be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE). This principle emphasizes that students with disabilities should be integrated into general education classrooms alongside their nondisabled peers to the fullest extent possible. Research consistently demonstrates the advantages of inclusion, which involves educating students with special needs in general education classrooms alongside their peers who do not require special education services. When inclusion is implemented early, and support is integrated into the curriculum, students experience improved outcomes, such as higher test scores and graduation rates (Gallo & Beachum, 2020).

Only a tiny percentage of students are being educated in a separate setting or a classroom explicitly designed for students with disabilities. Most students with disabilities spend more than half of their school day in general education settings. However, data indicates that students from specific racial and ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be placed in more restrictive environments (Gallo & Beachum, 2020).In these settings, they miss opportunities to interact with their general education peers and are deprived of rigorous learning experiences.

Placing children in special education programs inappropriately leads to both short-term and long-term harm, particularly affecting students of color, those from low-income backgrounds, and students belonging to both groups. When students are misidentified as having disabilities and placed in these programs, they are deprived of opportunities and access to a rigorous curriculum vital for their academic success. Moreover, even when correctly identified, students of color face disproportionate isolation and harsh disciplinary measures within unique education settings. The consequences of these actions are extensive and detrimental, although the experiences may vary among students from different racial or ethnic backgrounds. Local school districts, states, and federal lawmakers must recognize the pervasive inequities and implement measures to improve practices and policies (Gallo & Beachum, 2020). This is essential to ensure every child receives a high-quality public education tailored to their needs.

Gallo, G. & Beachum, F. (2020). Framing implicit bias impacts reduction in social justice leadership. Journal of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 3(3).

Sharon Powell

Discussion Thread: Urban Education

The text examines the background knowledge of special education in schools. According to O’Brien, Beattie, & Sacco (2019), high-need urban schools exposed difficulties faced by poverty and disadvantage or disproportionate representation. The author encountered numerous obstacles, including low expectations, poverty, and limited resources. Additionally, he witnessed racism, discrimination, family contextual barriers, and subculture language (Ebonics) firsthand, which inspired him to find ways to overcome these challenges to serve his students better. Despite the adverse conditions and challenging circumstances, the author persevered to discover ways to navigate these difficulties. Some of the obstacles faced included dealing with a culture of poverty, subcultural language, environmental contaminants, community blight that caused health issues, and a high number of single parents who experienced high rates of crime and drug abuse, leading to a cycle of poverty due to an insufficient support network. The text discusses avoiding the Deficit Mode in urban schooling, introduced in Ruby Payne’s “A Framework for Understanding Poverty.” This resource served as a guidebook for teachers to follow. O’Brien, Beattie, and Sacco (2019) reported that many urban educators viewed these challenges as a “double-edged” sword. They believed that these inabilities were a result of life experiences.

Additionally, English Learners and second language acquisition posed significant difficulties. According to O’Brien, Beattie, and Sacco (2019), one of the challenges faced in the education system is the shortage of qualified teachers and the continuous turnover of teachers in and out of schools, particularly those serving economically disadvantaged students. The authors noted that even teachers who completed their training at state universities needed help effectively connect with students with diverse learning needs. Furthermore, the authors highlighted other issues, such as disparities in the referral, assessment, and placement processes, which contribute to disproportionality and low outcomes for minority students in urban schools.

According to Saran et al. (2023), states in the article chosen for comparison with the textbook revealed certain similarities and differences in certain urban circumstances, such as high poverty levels, limited educational resources, communication gaps, the systematic nature of oppression, and the need for understanding. Similarly, both works highlighted the need for further research and evidence to better comprehend the impact of poverty on people with disabilities to develop effective interventions aimed at improving their social inclusion outcomes. Additionally, both articles highlighted the effectiveness of inclusion interventions in low- and middle-income settings. However, the article’s focus was on the discrimination faced by people with disabilities due to poverty, which resulted in exclusion, poorer health, and limited economic opportunities.

My perspective on the subject is that I encountered similar difficulties while working in predominantly rural areas with scant resources, rampant racism, and meager expectations among both teachers and students. The school in my district grappled with chronic teacher shortages, inadequate funding for professional development, and waning community support. Moreover, issues such as single-parent homes, drug abuse, and the overrepresentation of minority students in special education plagued the district. The pervasive effects of poverty were also evident daily. Unfortunately, as indicated by my article, the existing evidence base on “what works” is limited and mainly concentrated on low- and middle-income settings (Saran et al., 2023). In conclusion, we cannot ignore the stark reality of poverty.


O’Brien, C., Beattie, J & Sacco, D. (2019). (Eds.), Teaching students with special needs: A guide for future educators (3rd ed., pp. 85-111). Kendall Hunt.

Saran, A., Hunt, X., White, H., & Kuper, H. (2023). Effectiveness of interventions for improving social inclusion outcomes for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 19, e1316.