Do you feel confident about the way you grade students with atypical learning needs? Most teachers have some difficulty devising ways to grade students with educational disabilities, those who are struggling learners, and those who are still learning the English language. They want grades to be fair and accurate but are not sure just how to do that.
Preschool education, and preschool special education in particular, is conflicted and confused at the present time. With accelerated academic rigor and high level expectations in the upper grades, there has been increased academic focus placed on children in preschool in order to get them “ready” for elementary school. That, in itself, is not a bad thing. However, preschool curriculum cannot overlook or skim over all areas of development, particularly social-emotional development in favor of academics.
A recently released (June 2013) review by the National Council on Teacher Quality underscores the inconsistencies in traditional teacher preparation programs across the country. In short, the report indicates that teachers are not entering the field with common skills or understanding of the expectations of their positions. In the field of special education, it is not uncommon for teachers to earn their certifications through alternative methods with even less consistency and oversight than traditional programs.
This book should be required reading for any school administrator new to your school system. It provides a very basic overview of special education in the context of the responsibilities of a school principal or assistant principal. While many have learned these concepts during their professional training, this book serves as a refresher and provides common language and understanding of essential ideas necessary for effective leadership related to special education.