The purpose of this chapter is to consider a sampling of the critical events that demonstrate this history of inequity, with the understanding that they have contributed to the current status of American schools. To this end, we will explore relevant events related to the education of individuals of different racial, gender, language, and disability backgrounds. We do not intend to provide an exhaustive overview of the history of American education, nor will we provide a detailed account of the history of equity in the broader society outside of the educational sector. Rather, we will provide a cursory glimpse at some of the major issues that have emerged throughout history in an attempt to establish sufficient context for the construct of disproportionality (i.e., the overrepresentation of certain populations as recipients of special education services and disciplinary consequences) that is the focus of the remainder of the book.
Noltemeyer, Amity L., Mujic, Julie, McLoughlin, Caven S. "The History of Inequality in Education." Disproportionality in Education and Special Education. Eds. Amity L. Noltemeyer and Caven S. McLoughlin. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher Ltd., 2012.