Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy - School Psychology


Human Services

First Advisor

Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey

Second Advisor

Dr. Elaine Turne

Third Advisor

Dr. Luis Aguerrevere

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Amanda Rudolph


Research shows that Black students are over-represented in special education for a reading disability based on the inaccuracy of teacher referrals. Teachers' accuracy in referring Black students to special education for a reading disability is not an extensively researched area. This study aims to determine if teachers' biases and attitudes toward Black students impacted their ability to accurately make a special education referral for a reading disability for this population of students. For this study, teachers completed a questionnaire, cultural competence self-assessment checklist, four vignettes, and a post-vignette question to determine if their personal biases and attitudes impacted their willingness to refer Black students to special education for a reading disability. A cross-tab, chi-squared test, and binary logistic regression were the methods used to examine the data. All data collected in the study were from school districts across the country and teacher pages via social media groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. The researcher hypothesized that whether Black students were struggling or not within the vignettes, teachers would refer them for special education services at a higher rate.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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