CCSA Works with Statewide Special Education Task Force to Improve Outcomes for Students With Disabilities

March 10, 2015

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On March 9, the Statewide Special Education Task Force released a report, "One System: Reforming Education to Serve ALL Students," advocating for a unified education system in which all children, including students with disabilities, are considered general education students as a priority. Gina Plate, CCSA's Special Education Advisor and Chair of the Advisory Commission on Special Education, said the report's recommendations are a critical step in ensuring all students receive a high quality education and that the next is to develop a unified voice and carry these recommendations to the next step towards implementation.

Members of the task force represent parents and advocates, teachers, administrators, and experts with deep knowledge of the issues. Recommendations focus on seven areas: early learning; evidence-based school and classroom practices; educator preparation and professional learning; assessment; accountability; family and student engagement; and special education financing.

"The Task Force recommendations capture the primary issues and barriers we are facing in the field of special education. I am proud of the work that went into drafting these recommendations, and know that they will ultimately lead to profound improvements in the options that are available to students with disabilities in California," said Gina.

Report highlights include:

  • Special Education was never intended to operate as a separate and distinct system from general education, but rather, was intended to offer supports and services necessary to ensure students with special needs were integrated into the general education setting. This report offers recommendations that support that original intent of the law, and require us to view education in California as one system.

  • Many charter schools are already effectively running fully integrated systems to support all students. Some charter schools are approaching teacher training and professional development with the intent of ensuring that staff is prepared to serve all students in an inclusive way.

  • The Task Force report offers recommendations for ensuring a multi tiered system of support (MTSS) which is an approach that many charter schools have adopted as they implement targeted programs for students at risk.

Read the press release.

Read the report.