Special Education

Special Education

June 19, 2002 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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

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
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
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
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

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 L.A. Agrees to Do More After Failing on Special Education. Could Other Districts Be Next?
The district failed to meet the needs of students with disabilities during the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education found.
6 min read
Conceptual image of supporting students.
Illustration by Laura Baker/Education Week (Source images: DigitalVision Vectors and iStock/Getty)
Special Education Protect Students With Disabilities as COVID Rules Ease, Education Secretary Tells Schools
Even as schools drop precautions like mask requirements, they must by law protect medically vulnerable students, a letter emphasizes.
3 min read
Image of a student holding a mask and a backpack near the entrance of a classroom.
E+
Special Education Hearing, Vision ... Autism? Proposal Would Add Screening to School-Entry Requirements
Nebraska legislators consider a first-in-the-nation mandate to assess all children for autism before the start of school.
5 min read
Image of a student working with an adult one-on-one.
mmpile/E+
Special Education Florida Changed Rules for Special Education Students. Why Many Say It’s Wrong
The new rule contains a more specific definition of what it means to have a “most significant cognitive disability.”
Jeffrey S. Solochek, Tampa Bay Times
7 min read
Richard Corcoran, the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education sits next to Florida Department of Education Board Chair Andy Tuck as they listen to speakers during Thursday morning's Florida Department of Education meeting. The board members of the Florida Department of Education met Thursday, June 10, 2021 at the Florida State College at Jacksonville's Advanced Technology Center in Jacksonville, Fla. to take care of routine business but then held public comments before a vote to remove critical race theory from Florida classrooms.
Richard Corcoran, Florida’s education commissioner, and Andy Tuck, the chair of the state’s board of education, listen to speakers at a meeting  in June.
Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP