Special Report

Special Education: Practice & Pitfalls

Teaching and Learning in Demanding Classrooms
December 5, 2018
Special Report v38 15 SpecialEducation
Mike Bradley for Education Week
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.