The disproportionality of students placed in special education programs continues to plague the education community, particularly Black male students. "For too many Black male students, learning difficulties or challenging behaviors come to be equated with disability, often without consideration of the way in which the environment of schools and classrooms contribute to student difficulties" (Jordan, 2016, p. 33). This study examined the lived experiences of resource teachers who lead Multi-tier Systems of Supports (MTSS) implementation in their schools. The study reviewed the extent to which their perceptions, perspectives, understandings, and feelings drive their problem solving and decision-making regarding referrals to special education and specifically regarding Black male students. The study involved seven resource teachers (N=7) who are charged with leading the employment of MTSS in their schools. Data of semi-structured interviews were transcribed and analyzed for the emergence of themes. The study resulted in three overarching themes, including (a) expected outcomes of implementation, (b) clear expectations for implementation, and (c) sufficient support and technical assistance. No subjects discussed the overidentification of Black males to special education. This study reveals the need for a district commitment to (a) allocate a resource solely responsible for MTSS implementation, (b) create a uniformed job description that outlines skills necessary for the resource teacher role and provide MTSS procedural guidelines to carry out the functions of that role, and (c) provide ongoing training and professional development for school leaders responsible for hiring staff who lead Multi-tier Systems of Support (MTSS) implementations in their schools.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Learning Sciences and Educational Research
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Brooks, Fredrick, "Resource Teachers and Multi-Tier Systems of Supports: Black Males' Special Education Identification" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 184.