These are not my ideas, but after reading about them in the latest Marshall Memo, I gotta say, they make a lot of sense. In their Education Week article “Improving Special Education in Tough Times,” Stephen Frank and Karen Hawley Miles discuss a number of money-saving ways to improve special education.
The first that resonated with me was reallocating funds from one-on-one aides to better coaching for teachers. They say having an aide “does not always promote student independence, effective inclusion, or academic support.” I have been lucky to work with some really talented support teachers, and while they do a great job of helping students do their work, they do not, as a general rule, help students to become increasingly independent. Often, I’ve seen the opposite happen. With such intense one-on-one support, students become more dependent on the aide’s help, and less willing to believe in themselves. Continue reading