According to WAC 392-172A-07040, Washington defines significant disproportionality as a risk ratio of >3.0 for three consecutive years for any racial/ethnic group in any of the following areas:
- The identification of children as children with disabilities,
- The identification of children with a particular disability,
- The placement of children in particular educational settings or
- The incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions.
A minimum “n” size is used for both target (10) and comparison groups (20).
The risk ratio is a measure of the risk that a student from a specific racial/ethnic group will be served in a specific disability category compared to the risk of all other students being served in that category. For example, a risk ratio of 1.00 means that students from that group are as likely to be served in the category as all other students. A risk ratio greater than 1.00 indicates the degree to which students in the racial/ethnic group are over-represented. Therefore, a risk ratio of 3.23 in the EBD-Black category means that Black students in the district are 3.23 times more likely to be identified in the EBD category than all other students. A risk ratio less than 1.00 indicates the degree to which students from the racial/ethnic group are under-represented. For example, a risk ratio of 0.50 in the ID-Hispanic category means that Hispanic students in the district are half as likely to be identified in the ID disability category as all other students.
Risk Ratio (RR)
|≤0.5||>0.5 to||0.67 to 1.5||>1.5 to||≥2.0 to
(3 consecutive years)
(3 consecutive years)
|Disproportionate Under- representation||At Risk for Disproportionate Under- representation||No Disproportionate Representation||At Risk for Disproportionate Over- representation||Disproportionate Over- representation*||Significant Disproportionality*|
*Note: The results of the calculations will be verified using multiple methods.
- Grade Level/Ages Served: Kindergarten through Grade 12.
- Groups Served: Only students who are not currently identified as needing special education or related services.
- Grade Level/Ages Served: Age 3 through Grade 12.
- Groups Served: Students who are not currently identified as needing special education or related services but who need additional academic or behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment; students currently identified as needing special education or related services (funds can be used primarily but not exclusively for this group).
- Revised Significant Disproportionality Regulations and New Washington State Significant Disproportionality Designation Calculations
- Revised Significant Disproportionality Regulations
- Fact Sheet: Equity in IDEA (USDOE, 12/12/16)
- Final IDEA Regulations on Disproportionality (Federal Register, 12/19/16)
- Model State Timeline and Gantt Chart for Significant Disproportionality Implementation (USDOE, 5/25/17)
- Significant Disproportionality (Equity in IDEA) Essential Questions and Answers (OSEP, 3/2017)
- Topic: Disproportionality and Success Gaps (IDEA Data Center)
- Summary Planning Worksheet – Districts may use this worksheet as an optional self-review tool.
- List of disproportionality resources.
- Additional resources related to disproportionality (Indicators 4, 9, and 10) can be found on OSPI’s Disproportionality Technical Assistance Web page.
- Individual district data related to indicators 4, 9, and 10 can be found on the District Profiles.