Thursday, August 1, 2013
Scott Bauries (Kentucky) makes some excellent points on Wednesday's post Special Education Teacher Jobs Filled with Teach for America Recruits:
This is a shame, but it's an old story. Before TFA came along, it was newly-minted teachers and "long-term subs." It's not like a bunch of successful, highly qualified special education teachers were dismissed to make room for these recruits. The problem is in finding highly qualified teachers who both want to teach special education and want to do it in these districts for the pay being offered. I have long been a proponent of significant pay differentials for special education teachers, but I'm not sure that would even solve the problem.
Great points. I remain skeptical that freshly-minted college grads, albeit bright and enthusiastic, are the "highly qualified" teachers that IDEA requires for special needs kids. Assuming for the sake of argument that school districts do not have or cannot find special ed teachers, then schools might retrain general ed teachers to teach special education. But Scott is right that this is a long-standing problem. The solutions then weren't good; the new ones are no improvement.