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Special Education

Virtual Personnel Preparation Programs for Special Educators: Several Approaches - In response to teacher shortages around the country, the number of virtual personnel preparation programs has grown dramatically over the past few years. The purpose of this document is to: (1) provide a brief overview of current research on virtual postsecondary education, particularly as it pertains to the preparation of special educators; and (2) describe the features of a variety of virtual personnel preparation programs for special educators. (Eve Muller, Project Forum/National Association of State Directors of Special Education, April 2009)...

How Well Prepared Are Teachers to Educate Students With Disabilities? PDF - This brief examines how well general and special education teachers were prepared to educate students with disabilities during the 2002-03 school year. Schools reported that most of their special education teachers were better prepared than general education teachers to instruct students with disabilities in every area surveyed. Special education teachers were well prepared to develop and implement individual education plans (IEPs), improve the academic performance of students with IEPs, and use accommodations in instruction and assessments. General education teachers were slightly better prepared to educate students without IEPs. Large numbers of both groups of teachers were not well prepared to use dropout prevention or recovery strategies, early childhood transition practices, or increase participation of students' parents or guardians. (Abt Associates Inc., 2005)...

Additional Assistance and Better Coordination Needed among Education Offices to Help States Meet the NCLBA Teacher Requirements - The Government Accountability Office investigated statesí implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) teacher quality requirements in special education. While all states demanded special education teachers hold a bachelorís degree and be certified within the state, only half require teachers to demonstrate competency in core academic subjects. The report cites confusion among state education officials about how to apply the competency requirements and a concern over lack of funding to implement structural changes. It also documents confusion over the differences between NCLB and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, specifically, which law takes precedence in special education related matters. Finally, the report suggests the U.S Department of Education clarify special education teacher requirements and that the Office of Special Education Programs become more involved in helping states meet the NCLB teacher requirements. (Government Accountability Office, July 2004)...

SPeNSE: Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education: Key Findings - This report summarizes the data of several studies and examines (1) the extent to which personnel are adequately prepared to serve students with disabilities; (2) variation in personnel preparation; and (3) factors that explain that variation. The authors found that positions for teachers of students with emotional disturbance seem particularly difficult to fill, and the teachers in those positions, as a group, are less well prepared than their colleagues. (Elaine Carlson, Marsha Brauen, Sheri Klein, Karen Schroll, Sharon Willig, Westat, July 2002) ...

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