New Evidence on Special Education Teacher Preparation
Two recent CALDER studies published in Exceptional Children provide new evidence about special education teacher preparation and its implications for students with disabilities. The first study (Theobald et al., 2021) shows that special educators who received dual endorsements in special education and another subject had lower rates of workforce entry and retention in special education classrooms. The second study (Theobald et al., 2022) demonstrates that students with disabilities experienced greater reading gains when their district and their special education teacher’s preparation program both used/emphasized evidence-based literacy practices. Together, these papers suggest caution around state-level policies that seek to use dual licensure to address special education teacher shortages, but also suggest potential promise around better aligning special educator literacy preparation and practice as a policy lever for improving reading outcomes for students with disabilities. Future research could study specific policy interventions to design dual-license programs, address special educator shortages, and better align special educator preparation and practice.
Citation: Roddy Theobald (2022). New Evidence on Special Education Teacher Preparation. CALDER Policy Brief No. 31
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