Intellectual Disabilities Reading #3
Intellectual Classification of Black and White Children in Special Education Programs
Using the WISCIII and the Cognitive Assessment System
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Third Edition and the Cognitive Assessment
System were compared for a sample of 78 White and Black students in special education
programs for children with mental retardation. Results showed that the WISC-III identified more
children as having mental retardation than did the Cognitive Assessment System. More
important, however, the WISC-III classified disproportionately more Blacks than Whites as
having mental retardation as compared to the Cognitive Assessment System. Results imply that
the problem of disproportionate representation of Black children in special education classes for
children with mental retardation may be addressed if the Cognitive Assessment System were
used instead of the WISC-III.
- Wechsler scales are the most widely used intelligence tests
- The they been criticized in recent years for being out of step with developments in
cognitive neuropsych
- Wechsler scales have been around for over 60 years
- It is believed that this test has limitations when it comes to children with disabilities and
minority children
- Black children consistently score lower mean IQ scores (therefore the test is believed to
be biased against minority children)
- This is also proven with the disproportionate representation of Black students in special
education classes
- Other tests have been used that are based on cognitive and neuropsyc research such as:
the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children and the Cognitive assessment System
- According to PASS, intelligence is based on planning, attention, simultaneous
processing and successive processing
- The Cognitive Assessment System believes that intelligence should be a cognitive
process, it should be measured using a multidimensional theory rather than general
intelligence and that it should be measured with tests that do not include academic
content
- This study wants to evaluate the differences in scores between races, identify how 2
instruments indentify mental retardation and examine correlations between the WISC-III
and the Cognitive Assessment System
Method:
- 78 children and adolescents ( 47 boys, 31 girls, 45 black and 33 white)
- Came from 4 states (Georgia, Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee)
- All children were in special education programs
- Ages ranged from 6.5- 16.8
- The parents of the children had low levels of education
- Most of the black children were in full time special education and most of the white
children were in it part time
- The WISC-II gives 3 IQ scores (verbal, performance and full scale)
- The Cognitive Assessment System is organized into 4 scales (planning, attention,
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Document Summary

Intellectual classification of black and white children in special education programs. Using the wisciii and the cognitive assessment system. The wechsler intelligence scale for children third edition and the cognitive assessment. System were compared for a sample of 78 white and black students in special education programs for children with mental retardation. Results showed that the wisc-iii identified more children as having mental retardation than did the cognitive assessment system. More important, however, the wisc-iii classified disproportionately more blacks than whites as having mental retardation as compared to the cognitive assessment system. Results imply that the problem of disproportionate representation of black children in special education classes for children with mental retardation may be addressed if the cognitive assessment system were used instead of the wisc-iii. Wechsler scales are the most widely used intelligence tests. The they been criticized in recent years for being out of step with developments in cognitive neuropsych.

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