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ERIC Number: ED535176
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Applying Systems Thinking to Improve Special Education in Ohio
Levenson, Nathan
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
This report was written at the request of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, to inform the discussion of state-level policy makers and other stakeholders on how to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of services provided to Ohio's students with special needs. It is critical for Ohio to find ways to deliver high-quality cost-effective services given the state's and school districts' persistent fiscal challenges. Funding of special education is not a new topic for policy makers, but this report looks at it from a new perspective--applying systems thinking across all relevant funds, agencies, and service providers. Simply put, systems thinking views all the parts of a system in the context of and in relation to the other parts, rather than as isolated elements. Optimizing the entire system as a whole yields better outcomes with fewer unintended consequences than analyzing and improving each element on its own. When done well, systems thinking can create a reality in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This report suggests opportunities to create greater operational effectiveness and efficiencies by more formally integrating statewide agencies to serve children with disabilities. Appended are: (1) Selected funding data; and (2) About the research. (Contains 3 tables.) [Foreword by Bart Anderson and Terry Ryan.]
Thomas B. Fordham Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Institute; Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Ohio