Date of Completion
Paraprofessional, Paraeducator, Disabilities, Students of Color, DisCrit, Disability Critical Race Theory, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, Race, Disability
Dr. Preston Green
Field of Study
Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Doctor of Education
This study examined the relationship between student characteristics and paraeducator assignment. A Disability Critical Race framework was chosen to investigate whether current models of special education service delivery, which rely heavily on paraeducator supports, may be further marginalizing Students of Color with disabilities. A secondary dataset from one school district of 322 students serviced under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in grades PK-12 was analyzed. This quantitative study utilized multivariate logistic regression with a focus on student characteristics as a predictor variable for paraeducator assignment. My first research question investigated whether individual student characteristics (i.e., race/ethnicity, disability category, gender, school level) were predictive of paraeducator assignment. Findings of the multivariate logistic regression yielded some significant findings. Students at the elementary school level and students with a low incidence disability were found to be more likely to be assigned full-time paraeducator support. My second research question focused on determining the risk of paraeducator assignment based on student race/ethnicity. Findings of the risk ratio analysis suggested African American and Asian American students had an elevated risk of full-time paraeducator assignment, and Asian American students and students of two of more races had an elevated risk of part-time paraeducator assignment when compared to all other students included in the sample. The small study size somewhat hindered the analysis, rendering only limited interpretations from the data. Replication of this research design with larger sample sizes across various school districts and states is recommended to further evaluate reported findings. Implications for students, schools, and policy makers are provided with corresponding recommendations.
Saccoccio, Christina, "The Para Predicament: Investigating the Intersectionality of Race, Disability, and Paraeducator Assignment" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. 1741.