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ERIC Number: ED558020
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 37
Supercharging Student Success: Policy Levers for Helping Paraprofessionals Have a Positive Influence in the Classroom. Policy Snapshot
Goe, Laura; Matlach, Lauren
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders
With nearly a million paraprofessionals working in elementary and secondary schools (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013), ensuring they are well prepared and supported is essential to their and their students' success. Paraprofessionals work closely with classroom teachers to support students from special populations and are typically supervised by a general or special educator. Because paraprofessionals often work with students who have a disability, are falling behind in critical skills, or are English language learners, it is important that they have the instructional and management skills needed to support these special populations. In addition, because of the widespread implementation of new college- and career-ready standards, paraprofessionals may require additional support to help students learn more rigorous content in new ways. When properly prepared and supported, paraprofessionals can be valuable, if not essential, members of the school community and can offer multiple benefits to students, teachers, and parents. In this Policy Snapshot, the authors summarize existing research about the instructional contributions of paraprofessionals to student learning and behavioral outcomes, as well as their noninstructional contributions. They also identify important state policy considerations for preparation, supervision, professional development, and career development for paraprofessionals and for teachers working with paraprofessionals. This Policy Snapshot provides information that governors, state legislatures, state boards of education, and state education agencies may wish to consider when designing and implementing policies related to paraprofessionals. To help states make informed policy decisions, the authors also include practical examples of paraprofessional programs and policies as well as other resources.
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. Available from: American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW Washington, DC 20007-3835; Tel: 877-322-8700; e-mail:; web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research
Identifiers - Location: California; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island