Parent engagement in reclassification for English learner students with disabilities

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Jamey Burho
Karen Thompson


Laws governing special education services and EL services specify different roles forparents in educational decision-making. Little research exists on home-schoolcommunication for families of English learner students with disabilities (ELSWDs), whoare navigating both sets of services. We conducted six case studies of ELSWDs toexamine parents and educators’ communication about educational services and,specifically, how parents were engaged in decisions about whether students should bereclassified and exit EL services. Findings suggest that educators conveyedinformation to parents using a one-way transmission approach (Nichols & Read, 2002).Parents often had incomplete or inaccurate information about their children’s services,had questions and concerns that they did not voice to educators, and sought out non-school sources to inform their decision-making.

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