747 research outputs found

    Below the Surface of Special Education Administrator Turnover

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    The field of special education administration has experienced a shortage of high quality special education leadership candidates for several decades. If school districts are to effectively address the turnover of educational leaders, they must know what is happening that affects turnover of their leadership team. The intent of this study was to determine what dynamics and perceptions contribute to special education administrators remaining on the job or leaving the position. The literature indicates a need for studies to address why these administrators remain in their roles. The literature also indicates a need for identifying what influences their decisions to remain or leave the role of special education administrator. The voices empowered within this work help us to see what is below the surface of special education administrator turnover. This research sought to determine perceptions and dynamics that motivate special education administrators to remain in their positions. Based on the results from the inquiry, this researcher concludes there are four interwoven themes that contribute to turnover of the special education administrator. The themes revealed include money, lack of support, stress and politics. These data are consistent with the previous literature. However, other studies did not include commentaries from those who held special education leadership roles. Data for this qualitative inquiry were gathered through an online survey and interviews with both current and former special education administrators. This study went below the surface of special education administrator turnover with its participants to determine what dynamics and perceptions impact decision making when considering to stay or leave their leadership position

    The role of the special education administrator as perceived by principals, superintendents, and special education administrators in West Virginia

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    This study examined the expectations held by key administrative personnel within West Virginia public schools regarding the role of the special education administrator. Existing differences in perception of the administrative functions of the special education administrator in West Virginia among and within groups of superintendents, principals, and special education administrators were investigated. Forty administrative tasks organized into seven administrative activities were examined in order to identify potential areas of conflict between the school system administrators. The responses analyzed pertained to both the perceived performance and the perceived importance of each administrative task.;The West Virginia school personnel that participated in this study included: (1) all 55 county superintendents of schools, (2) all 55 persons identified as special education administrators and (3) a random sample of 150 West Virginia public school principals. The survey instrument used was the revised Newman instrument. For the current study, the Newman instrument was revised to reflect changes in special education that have occurred since the instrument was used 12 years ago in the Sullivan (1986) study. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to answer research questions one through fourteen and an alpha level of 0.05 was set as the criteria for determining significance.;Analysis of the data indicated: (1) There were significant differences among the three groups of administrators on nine of the fourteen research questions; (2) There were significant differences among the three groups of administrators regarding the perceived performance of 28 of the 40 tasks and the perceived degree of importance of 14 of the 40 tasks contained within the seven administrative functions; (3) The significant pairing included the superintendents and the principal and the special education administrator and principal

    Special education administration: what does it take?

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    The purpose of this study was to learn about the practice of special education administration from veteran special education administrators. Research questions include: What institutional arrangements support special education administrators’ work? What personal and professional commitments keep special education administrators engaged in their practice? How do special education administrators manage the conflicts inherent in the position? What roles and functions are enacted by special education administrators in their school districts? A brief history of special education and the laws that have shaped the provision of services is given. Case law is examined in relation to components of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2012) and how the results of case law have altered interpretations of the law. The multifaceted and complex roles of special education administrators are discussed. Eight special education administrators in North Carolina were interviewed individually. The interviews were audio recorded. Each participant verified their information by reading the transcript of their interview. Data was organized by codes, categories, and themes. Each theme was then viewed through Bolman and Deal’s (2013) four frames. Describing, examining, and explaining the practices of veteran special education administrators provide rich information to inform local school districts and preparation programs on the required skills and qualities to be successful as a special education administrator. Four major themes emerged across all the information: focus on the individual student and his/her needs, collaboration among school level personnel, effective communication and trusting relationships, and support for special education within and beyond the district. Each theme includes categories that elaborate on the complex practices of special education administrators. These practices are done with humility, patience, kindness, discernment, flexibility, self-confidence, and with a sense of humor. The skills and qualities potential special education administrators should possess or have the capacity to learn include a knowledge base of all the aspects of special education programming including the laws and policies; fiscal and budgetary knowledge; recruiting, hiring and retaining qualified personnel; and advocacy skills. Organization and program development skills are needed to implement the requirements of federal, state, and local laws and policies. Research skills are needed to stay abreast of current research and using data to make decisions. Conducting program evaluations to determine their effectiveness is needed. Providing and securing professional development for teachers, teaching assistants, parents, and all other service providers as well as finding resources are practices found in veteran special education administrators. Collaboration with a variety of stakeholders is necessary for successful special education programs. Ideas for future research include looking at student outcomes in relation to the amount of time the special education administrator has been in the position, how other central office staff turnover effect the special education administrator, and how well superintendents understand the role of a special education administrator

    A Follow-up Study of Graduate Students Admitted to the Central Washington University Special Education Administrator Program

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    The purpose of this study was to determine characteristics of those candidates who had been admitted into the Central Washington University Special Education Administrator Program in order to draw conclusions concerning identifying profiles; ascertain the extent to which the respondents perceived the required courses of instruction as relevant to subsequent educational functions; and finally to determine specific reason(s) for non completion of program leading to Washington State Program Administrator Certification

    An analysis of the role of principals supervising programs for students with disabilities in effective schools as defined by Virginia\u27s Outcome Accountability Project

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    This case study was concerned with examining the role of principals supervising programs for students with disabilities in effective schools as defined by the Virginia Department of Education\u27s Outcome Accountability Project (OAP). In order to do this, three questions were framed, and after reviewing the literature, a research design was developed allowing data relative to the study questions to be collected. Multiple data sources were used in this investigation.;From the data collected in this study, three major conclusions may be drawn. The first finding is that the role of the principal in a school with an effective special education program, defined by the Outcome Accountability Project (OAP) indicators, differs from the role of a principal in a school with a lower OAP rating. Differences were found in practices that addressed behaviors in the following performance areas: communication, staff development, systematic evaluation of instruction, collaboration, and instructional programming.;The second conclusion is that interaction between the special education administrator and principal of an effective OAP defined school does differ from that of a special education administrator and principal in a school with less effective OAP ratings. Interviews with principals and special education administrators and results from responsibility charts delineated best practices for principals of effective OAP schools.;The third major finding identified the lack of time, lack of knowledge of special programs/curriculum and lack of central office assistance as the three main obstacles that impede the instructional effectiveness of principals. Supporting documentation from the interviews indicated the effects of these obstacles

    Empowering Students with Autism: An Investigation of School Practices Through the Lens of the Special Education Administrator

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    Author\u27s abstract: This qualitative study explored the perspectives of special education administrators employed in three school districts in Georgia regarding the empowerment of students with autism spectrum disorders. Participants were first given a screening survey and later interviewed via telephone in reference to empowering practices present in their individual districts. Participants were given the options to be included in the telephone survey. This study draws on the research from the National Research Council\u27s findings published in as Educating Children with Autism (2001) and other leaders in the field of educational interventions. This study provides an analysis of their responses and recommendations for districts to increase the empowerment of students with autism. The results of this study are based on both the survey and interview questions. Responses indicate that administrators consistently agree that teachers and staff who support students with autism need more specialized and intense training than other special education teachers. Participant also agreed that students on the autism spectrum need specialized social skills instruction. Another recommendation from the study is that students with autism need an increased level of support to increase in their ability to function in their environment. There was a single administrator who consistently reported a lack of support for students in her district. It was obvious to the researcher that this administrator was, nonetheless aware of their need; however, she lacked the ability to implement practices she felt would provide benefits to the students. The findings of this study show that in order to empower students with autism districts should invest in training opportunities for both staff and students, incorporate a social skills instruction program, and support their ability to function in their environment. These recommendations may require additional staff, additional planning time, and/or additional financial resources for full implementation. These conclusions as well as others are presented, along with implications for future research in the area of empowerment of students with autism

    A study of the special education administrator\u27s role related to secondary transition: Management and leadership dimensions

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    The primary purpose of this study was to explore the complex role of division level special education administrators relating to secondary transition services. Management and leadership dimensions of the role of special education administrators related to secondary transition services were explored by surveying all special education directors (133) in the Commonwealth of Virginia using a survey instrument specifically designed for this study.;Analyses of the data revealed significant overlap between the management and leadership components of the role suggesting that the two constructs can not be separated. The dimensions of management and leadership were highly correlated and ratings for importance of tasks related to both constructs fell between some extent and great extent on the survey scale.;There was, however, significant difference between special education administrators\u27 perceived ideal role and their real role. Transition related tasks were rated in importance between some extent and great extent , while ratings for the performance of those tasks in the real role fell between small extent and some extent .;Administrators identified enablers to their ability to administer transition services in their divisions as support of a committed knowledgeable staff, adult agencies, community, general education, and their own personal vision and knowledge. Primary barriers included lack of time, resources, knowledge, and community support. Comments on factors related to enablers and barriers seemed to be linked with both management and leadership tasks as defined by this study

    The special education administrator role as perceived by principals, superintendents and special education administrators in West Virginia

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    This study was designed to examine the expectations held by key administrative personnel within West Virginia’s county school systems regarding the role of the special education administrator. Seven functional areas of administration containing forty specific tasks were examined to identify potential areas of conflict among and between special education administrators, superintendents and principals. Data resulting from 202 returns of the questionnaires and demographic surveys from the 260 individuals contacted were analyzed to test fourteen null hypotheses. Respondents were asked to rate perceived performance of tasks as well as their perception of the degree of importance of each. Demographic data were used to develop a profile of the three respondent groups. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test all hypotheses. An alpha level of a .05 was set as the criterion used to reject the null hypotheses. In instances where the null hypothesis was rejected, the Scheffe’ method of multiple comparisons was used for post hoc analysis. In some instances, the Scheffe’, because it is a very conservative test, did not identify where those differences indicated by the ANOVA occurred. In these instances, the Duncan Multiple Range Test was applied to pinpoint those differences. Analysis of the data resulted in these major findings: There were significant ( .05 level) differences among or between the three groups of administrators regarding the perceived performance of all seven functions. There were significant ( .05 level) differences among or between the subject groups regarding the perceived performance of twenty-one of the forty tasks contained within the seven functions. There were significant ( .05 level) differences among or between the three groups of administrators regarding the perceived degree of importance assigned to six of the seven functions. There were significant ( .05 level) differences among or between the three subject groups regarding the perceived degree of importance assigned to eighteen of the forty tasks contained within the seven functions

    Understanding Administrative Support from the Perspective of Special Educators

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    A lack of support from administration is one of the most common reasons special educators are leaving the field of education (e.g. Sutcher, et al., 2016). The purpose of this study was to better understand how special educators view and experience support from their administrators. This study surveyed 23 special educators in public schools in Illinois and Wisconsin to identify, what do special educators identify as essential actions of supportive administrators and how administrators have shown or missed opportunities to show support toward special educators. Researchers found five major themes of supportive actions including, (1) promoting collaboration amongst staff, (2) respecting the expertise of special education staff, (3) being present and aware to increase knowledge related to special education needs, which includes three minor themes including (4) student and family management which includes the minor theme, and (5) administrative responsibilities with special education in mind which includes the minor themes.Keywords: Special Education, administrator, support, retentio
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