ERIC Number: ED483238
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Special Education: Additional Assistance and Better Coordination Needed among Education Offices to Help States Meet the NCLBA Teacher Requirements. Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, U.S. Senate. GAO-04-659
Shaul, Marnie S.
US Government Accountability Office
This report addresses issues related to highly qualified special education teachers, examining: state certification requirements, including use of alternative certification programs, for special educators and how they relate to No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) requirements; factors that facilitate or impede state efforts to ensure that special education teachers meet NCLBA requirements; and how different Department of Education (Education) offices help states address NCLBA teacher requirements. Researchers surveyed special education directors in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia regarding the study topics; interviewed education officials in six diverse states; interviewed about 20 federal education officials and representatives from eight national education organizations on the study topics; reviewed all states' Web sites to gather data on the subject; and analyzed agency documentation, legislation, and other documentation related to special education teacher qualifications and requirements. In the 2002-03 school year, all states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia required that special educators have a bachelor's degree and be certified to teach, and half required special educators to demonstrate subject matter competency in core academic subjects. State education officials reported that availability of funds to support professional development facilitated implementation of NCLBA teacher requirements, while other factors, including uncertainty about how to apply the subject matter competency requirement to special educators, impeded implementation. State education officials and national education organizations' representatives cited the need for more assistance from Education in explaining NCLBA's teacher requirements and identifying implementation strategies. Education has provided a range of assistance, such as site visits, Web-based guidance, and financial aid to help states implement the highly qualified teacher requirements. However, department coordination related to the implementation of NCLBA's teacher requirements for special education teachers has been limited. Appended are: thirty-one states with alternative routes to special education certification during the 2002-03 school year; comments from Education; and GAO contacts and staff acknowledgements.
Descriptors: Special Education, Teacher Qualifications, Teacher Certification, Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation, Special Education Teachers, State Standards, State Departments of Education, Federal Government, Federal State Relationship
U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; TDD: 202-512-2537; Fax: 202-512-6061.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.