Special Report: Special Education: Practice & Pitfalls

Teaching and Learning in Demanding Classrooms

Educating children with disabilities is among the most challenging parts of any school system’s mission. Special educators are responsible for delivering a “free and appropriate public education” to 6 million students nationwide with a wide range of complex needs—and do it while navigating the mandates of federal law and often-fraught interactions with parents.

This Education Week special report takes a schoolhouse-level view at the nation’s special education system, with a focus on the experience of educators and students alike. It explores issues such as the crucial shortage of special education teachers, how co-teaching strategies enhance the effectiveness of special education and grade-level teachers alike, the growing role of technology in serving students with disabilities, how parents are using new tools and strategies to advocate for their children, and more.

It also showcases students who offer first-hand insights into how the special education system has helped—or fallen short—in preparing them on the path toward college and careers.


Special Report: Special Education: Practice & Pitfalls

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Subject-matter experts featured in this report include:

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Educating children with disabilities is among the most challenging pieces of the public school system’s mission—and regulations, funding, and legalities are just the start.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

Educating children with disabilities is among the most challenging pieces of the public school system’s mission—and regulations, funding, and legalities are just the start.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

The employment figures that states submit to the federal government are sometimes wildly wrong, complicating the task of responding to the nationwide shortage of special educators.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

When a special education teacher and a regular classroom teacher are teamed in the classroom, they can multiply each other’s strengths.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

There’s a push to equip all teachers—not just special educators—with the tools they’ll need to work with students who have disabilities.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

Fueled by technological advances, policy changes, and pressure from advocates, companies and researchers craft new tools and strategies to serve students with disabilities.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

Once isolated, parents are using social media and the internet to find information and communities to assure their children get the services they need.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

Jack Bradley spends half his school day in a resource room and the other half in AP classes. He says the system often fumbles in dealing with "twice exceptional" students like him.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

Darya Iranmanesh has experienced firsthand what a lack of empathy can mean for a young person living with a disability.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

Ella Griffith-Tager says the support she’s received in coping with her disability has varied year by year and school to school.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

Strong partnerships are crucial between schools and parents of students with disabilities. Both can take steps to keep the relationship civil and productive.
December 5, 2018 – Education Week

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