By Jane Meredith Adams
Under federal pressure to increase the amount of time special education students spend in general education classrooms, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing announced it will require all future teachers to learn techniques proven to foster the success of students with disabilities, including small group instruction, behavior management and using frequent informal assessments to identify and address learning gaps.
The new standards for general education teacher preparation are the first statewide change to emerge from a push to improve the academic outcomes of students with disabilities, prompted in part by warnings from the U.S. Department of Education about the poor academic performance of California students with disabilities, compared to their peers in other states. A second major improvement effort is expected this spring, when new standards for special education teacher preparation are scheduled to be released.
“We have to be more effective in our teaching,” said Teri Clark, director of the professional services division of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which sets standards for the state.