How to Reform Special Education
Special education in the United States has been struggling for years. For children who have been diagnosed with disabilities, it is meant to provide them with the necessary academic and therapeutic tools that are necessary to make them successful. Unfortunately, the current system has some systemic issues, which have prompted educators and parents to call for reforms. In this article, we will discuss the steps that are necessary to reform special education.
1. Increase funding
Most public schools do not have sufficient funding to provide adequate support and resources to children with special needs. Funding is necessary for hiring sufficient staff members, providing updated technologies and computers, and purchasing updated learning materials. Without adequate funding, the quality of special education suffers, making the issue even more complex.
2. Address the stigmatization of special education
The negative perception of special education is a problem that needs to be addressed. The stigmatization of the program needs to be addressed by creating public awareness that students with disabilities should not be stigmatized but should be supported and receive equal access to education.
3. Provide appropriate training and professional development
Special education teachers and staff need to experience appropriate training and professional development throughout their careers. Many of the current special education workforce is not well versed in the latest research and practices, and it contributes to ineffective teaching strategies. Adequate training and ongoing professional development would ensure that all employed staff has the necessary skills and knowledge to teach effectively and manage disruptive behaviors.
4. Remove racial and socio-economic barriers.
The racial and socioeconomic segregation that exists in many schools has affected children who need special education services. Poor children and children of color are more likely to be denied access to special education programs. This is unacceptable and must be reformed so that all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background, can access resources to help them succeed.
5. Increase collaboration between schools, families, and communities.
Successful special education programs involve a lot of collaboration. Schools must collaborate with parents, community members, and healthcare providers to deliver effective support to students with disabilities. This collaboration will lead to more successful interventions, better communication, and ultimately better outcomes for students with special needs.
Reforming special education is a necessary and urgent task. It is essential that schools, communities, and states work together to increase funding, remove stigmatization, provide professional development for special education staff, remove racial and socioeconomic barriers, and increase collaboration. With the appropriate reforms in place, we can ensure that all children with disabilities have access to quality education and can thrive in the classroom and beyond.