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Reports on Issues Related to Personnel Development National, State and Local Level

These reports reflect the array of issues related to workforce development in special education, early intervention and the related services. 

Where is the Research Headed?

The National Center to Inform Policy and Practice (NCIPP) in Special Education Professional Development recently published a brief summarizing the literature base about special education induction. NCIPP’s brief summarizes potential research areas that could help the special education induction knowledge base.

Recruitment, Hiring, Training and Retention of Preschool Children with Disabilities: State Approaches

This document published by NASDSE’s Project Forum describes state-level efforts to recruit, hire, train and retain highly qualified personnel for preschool children with disabilities. Read the full report here to find out how states are meeting this goal.

Job-embedded Professional Development: What is it? How to do it?

The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center and the National Staff Development Council have published an Issue Brief to answer these questions!  Methods such as instructional coaching and mentoring are discussed and explained.  Read the brief how you can use ARRA funding to implement job-embedded professional development.

Why Partnerships? Reforming Teacher Education

The National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development recently published an analysis of characteristics of partnerships between local education agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs).  The researchers examined partnerships of different types and intensities as well as the conditions that enhance the impact of such partnerships.  The purpose of the report is to inform practitioners and policymakers of best practices for developing and sustaining IHE/LEA partnerships. 

Preparation: Early Recruitment Programs

The Center for Teaching Quality prepared a report for the National Education Association that examines early recruitment programs across the United States.  States such as South Carolina and Arizona have focused efforts on recruiting high school students to enter teacher preparation programs in high need areas.  Perkins Career and Technical Education grant funding is being used to create “teaching academies” in some high schools.

Given the importance of teacher quality to student achievement and the key role federal and state governments play in supporting teacher quality, GAO's objectives included examining (1) the extent that the U.S. Department of Education (Education) funds and coordinates teacher quality programs, (2) studies that Education conducts on teacher quality and how it provides and coordinates research-related assistance to states and school districts, and (3) challenges to collaboration within states and how Education helps address those challenges. GAO interviewed experts and Education officials, administered surveys to officials at state educational agencies and state agencies for higher education in the fall of 2008, and conducted site visits to three states.

Teacher Preparation: Multiple Federal Education Offices Support Teacher Preparation for Instructing Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners, but Systematic Departmentwide Coordination Could Enhance This Assistance
GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which teacher preparation programs require preparation for general classroom teachers to instruct students with disabilities and English Language Learners; (2) the role selected states play in preparing general classroom teachers to instruct these student subgroups; and (3) funding and other assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Education (Education) to help general classroom teachers instruct these student subgroups. According to GAO's survey results, most traditional teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education nationwide required at least some training for prospective general classroom teachers on instructing students with disabilities and English language learners. While the majority of programs required at least one course entirely focused on students with disabilities, no more than 20 percent of programs required at least one course entirely focused on English language learners. Additionally, more than half the programs required field experiences with students with disabilities, while less than a third did so for English language learners.
The American Association of School Administrators (ASSA) and the National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition teamed up in the Fall of 2009 to identify strategies that address the unique difficulties (i.e. lower salaries, geographical isolation and lack of adequate housing) rural school districts face when recruiting special education teachers. More than half of the survey respondents pinpointed monetary incentives as the most effective strategy.

Hiring and Retaining Teachers in At-Risk Schools
Is your current hiring system tedious and time-consuming? Does it actually hamper your ability to recruit high-quality teachers for your schools most in need? The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center) has issued a report providing administrators with new approaches to improving their hiring practices.

Changes to State Policies can Bolster Induction Programs
The National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Professional Development has issued a report describing how state policy can provide a structure for successful induction practices in local education agencies (LEAs). It also defines induction as much more than mentoring. NCIPP suggests induction practices include professional development and orientation, as well as reduced teaching loads. Specific recommendations for mentoring special educators are included.

The National Center to Improve the Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities (Personnel Improvement Center). A Cooperative Agreement, H325C080001, between the US Department of Education and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Project Officer: Maryann McDermott
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