CSU Bakersfield

Using longitudinal data on students in the Houston Independent School District between 2006-07 and 2011-12, this study investigates whether otherwise similar students’ risk of classification with a disability varies depending on the qualities of their schools. If there are differences between schools, this could mean that some students are inappropriately placed in special education, while other students, who might benefit from these services, are excluded from special education. In contrast to perceptions of disabilities as objective individually and biologically rooted differences, this study’s findings suggest classification processes are at least partially dependent on the school environment.