Sunday, December 16, 2012

Group Tackles Evaluation of Special Education Teachers


For several years now, teacher evaluation has dominated education-policy discussions in statehouses and otherwise. But for the most part, the country's 430,000 special education teachers have been left out of the discussion.
The Council for Exceptional Children is trying to change that. In October, the advocacy group released a paper detailing its position on special education teacher evaluation. And today, about 30 leaders from membership organizations, state and local education offices, and schools gathered in Arlington, Va., to discuss the CEC's recommendations.
The topic is quite complicated—even more complicated than, well, general teacher evaluation. As the CEC President Margaret McLaughlin explained, special education teachers can serve in any number of capacities—as intervention specialists, co-teachers, lead teachers, and consultants to general education teachers—and with students who have a wide variety of needs. The central issue, McLaughlin said, is figuring out how to evaluate performance in a way that "can accommodate the breadth and variety of experiences and expectations we have for the teachers of these students."
Read more of guest blogger Liana Heitin's On Special Education article HERE.
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