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INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS Susan Brody Hasazi Katharine S. Furney National Institute of Leadership, Disability, and Students Placed.

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Presentation on theme: "INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS Susan Brody Hasazi Katharine S. Furney National Institute of Leadership, Disability, and Students Placed."— Presentation transcript:

1 INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS Susan Brody Hasazi Katharine S. Furney National Institute of Leadership, Disability, and Students Placed At Risk College of Education and Social Services University of Vermont November 2003

2 Purpose of Presentation n Describe a four year study designed to explore implementation of state policies on local practices for students placed at-risk and those with disabilities n Discuss the critical role of leaders in promoting a culture for meeting the needs of all students n Articulate a set of leadership competencies and dispositions to ensure that leaders can address the needs of students with disabilities and those placed at risk

3 Research Questions n What has been the impact of recent state educational policies on local practices for students with disabilities and those placed at risk? n How have leaders contributed to implementation of policies on comprehensive services and reforms related to standards-based curriculum and instruction?

4 Method n Four year study using qualitative and quantitative measures n Representative sample based on geographic location, size, and grade levels. n 65 participating schools in 16 school districts n Four to six weeks per site visit, conducted by two researchers n Development of case studies and a cross- case analysis

5 Act 230 (1990) n Mandated a comprehensive system of educational services including Instructional Support Teams n Allocated 1% of state special education appropriation for professional development to increase capacity of general education to meet diverse student needs n Increased flexibility in the use of special education and other support services funding

6 Act 117 (2000) n Increase general education capacity to meet the needs of all students: Educational Support System (ESS) and Educational Support Teams (ESTs) n Improve consistency and cost effective implementation of special education programs n Identify factors that contribute to the significant increases in special education costs

7 Act 117 (2000) n Technical Assistance to school districts provided by SEA personnel n Financial audits by SEA of expenditures for students in need of educational support n Developed a partnership with higher education to improve teacher quality and preparation, and address shortages Provisions:

8 Act 60 (1997) Equal Education Opportunity Act n Redistribute state funds for general education to ensure financial equity across school districts Align curriculum with state standards n Publicly report student assessment on standard assessment measures Provisions:

9 Changing Policy Contexts and Systems Outcomes n Greater collaboration between general and special education teachers in inclusive settings n Focus on differentiating instruction in general education classrooms through professional development (1% of state special education budget) n More flexibility in use of special education supports n Vast majority of children served in general education settings n Development of Instructional Support Teams Level 1 - Reform Efforts 1990-1996:

10 Changing Policy Contexts and Systems Outcomes n Standards-based assessment and curriculum n Increased focus on developing educational support systems for all students n Increasing child count n Professional development focused on standards-based curriculum development Level 2 - Reform Efforts 1997-1999

11 Changing Policy Contexts and Systems Outcomes n Collaborations between general and special educators in order to align curriculum with standards, assessments, and standards-based IEPs n Less flexibility in use of special education funds related to serving all students n LEAs receiving additional resources through Act 60 using funds to expand Educational Support Systems which in some schools has led to decreased child count n Greater use of resource rooms, special classrooms/programs (especially for students labeled ED) n Leadership at both the central office and school has been critical to implementation of Educational Support Systems, standards-based curriculum and instruction, and collaboration Level 3 - Reform Efforts 2000-2002:

12 Contributions of Leaders in Developing and Sustaining Effective Services for Students Placed at Risk and Those With Disabilities

13 Leaders and Educational Support Systems (ESS) n promoted a systematic plan for developing and assessing supports and services needed by students with a full range of needs. combined significant resources from multiple sources to fund comprehensive Educational Support Systems. School leaders:

14 Leaders and Educational Support Teams School leaders: n Helped to identify appropriate structures for Educational Support Teams (ESTs) n Provided teams with resources, scheduled meeting times, etc. n Ensured that teams had clearly defined plans and follow- up processes to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and support services. n Participated as regular team members and/or facilitated meetings. n Helped to promote a climate in which teachers viewed the team as a valuable resource.

15 Leaders and Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment n Worked with central office administrators to implement a cohesive and consistent curriculum linked to state standards and evidence-based practices. n Set a climate for high expectations for all students Supported teachers in acquiring skills and knowledge around standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment School leaders:

16 Leaders and Professional Development School leaders ensure that: n Professional development is linked to district- wide vision and goals, as well as specific challenges identified at the school level. n Professional development is focused not only on aligning curricula with state standards, but on differentiating instruction in the classroom and using effective strategies for promoting positive behavior. n Professional development opportunities promote increased collaboration among general and special educators.

17 Leaders and Special Education Costs School leaders: n Use special education resources and staff in a strategic way that maximizes the use of professionals to deliver special education services. n Employ paraeducators judiciously through utilizing specific decision-making processes. n Focus on prevention through the Educational Support System, which in turn helps to reduce the rate of increases in special education costs.

18 Implications for Preparing School Leaders Leaders need to have the knowledge and skills to: n Promote a shared vision and commitment to enhancing the performance of all students, especially those who are not achieving standards. n Collaborate with leaders at all levels to ensure implementation of district-wide goals and reform efforts. n Be instructional leaders with expertise in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. n Provide opportunities for focused professional development to improve instruction for all students.

19 Implications (continued) Leaders need to have the knowledge and skills to: n Examine and use student data to identify strengths and challenges throughout the system to inform systems change. n Promote positive and collaborative relationships among school professionals. n Gain support from their School Boards and teachers in carrying out policy reforms and best practices for students with varying needs. n Intervene as necessary when adult conflicts arise.

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