Special Education

Special Education

June 19, 2002 2 min read

Parents Polled

Educators have heard many gripes from parents, teachers, and advocates who want to see change in special education.

But a new survey suggests parents of special education students tend to be satisfied with the services.

Sixty- seven percent of the parents of special education students interviewed rated their schools as “good” or “excellent” at providing special education.

A summary of the survey report, “When It’s Your Own Child,” is available from Public Agenda.

That finding emerged from the survey released last week by Public Agenda, a nonprofit, New York City-based opinion-research group, in a report titled “When It’s Your Own Child: A Report on Special Education From the Families Who Use It.”

The survey, based on 510 phone interviews of parents around the country conducted in April and May, was sponsored jointly by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, and the 21st Century Schools Project at the Progressive Policy Institute, a coalition with philosophical leanings across the spectrum.

Most parents disagreed with the notion that special education is a “dumping ground” for difficult students, the report says. Instead, they were more likely to say they had to struggle to get their children the services they needed. Only 11 percent said they felt their schools had been in a rush to find a problem with their children. More than half the parents said their schools took the right approach.

Nearly 69 percent said they believe early intervention could have kept many students out of special education. But they didn’t place the blame squarely on educators’ shoulders. About 70 percent said some children were losing out on special education because their parents were unaware of services available.

About half the parents rated their schools as “good” or “excellent” at providing enough resources for special education. A third of parents said their schools needed improvement. And 10 percent said their schools were “failing” to provide adequate resources.

Another finding suggests the stigma of being in special education could be receding: About 69 percent of parents polled think there is less of a negative association with special education than in years past.

One special education advocate said she was delighted at some of the findings.

“It’s heartening,” said Lynda Van Kuren, a spokeswoman for the Council for Exceptional Children, based in Arlington, Va. “We have been saying for years that special education is doing a good job. The survey bears this out.”

—Lisa Fine lfine@epe.org.

A version of this article appeared in the June 19, 2002 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education 'They Already Feel Like Bad Students.' A Special Educator Reflects on Virtual Teaching
In a year of remote teaching, a high school special ed teacher has seen some of his students struggle and some thrive.
4 min read
Tray Robinson, a special education teacher, sits for a photo at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos, Calif., on April 21, 2021.
Tray Robinson, a special education teacher, says remote learning has provided new ways for some of his students to soar, and has made others want to quit.
Sarahbeth Maney for Education Week
Special Education What the Research Says Gifted Education Comes Up Short for Low-Income and Black Students
Wildly disparate gifted education programs can give a minor boost in reading, but the benefits mainly accrue to wealthy and white students.
8 min read
Silhouette of group of students with data overlay.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Special Education What the Research Says Most Students With Disabilities Still Attend Remotely. Teachers Say They're Falling Behind
A new survey finds that students with disabilities are struggling in virtual classes, even with added support from teachers.
3 min read
Image shows a young femal student working on a computer from phone, interfacing with an adult female.
Getty
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Special Education Whitepaper
A Comprehensive Guide to the IEP Process
Download this guide to learn strategies for bringing together all stakeholders to plan an IEP that addresses the whole child; using relia...
Content provided by n2y