Jim Dewey and colleagues reported in 2017 that the number of special-education teachers declined more than 17 percent between 2005 and 2012; the number of students with special needs also decreased, but by only 4 percent. The student-to-teacher ratio in special education is now greater than the overall student-to-teacher ratio, suggesting that students with disabilities (SWDs) spend more time with general educators than with special educators. Even SWDs with the most significant needs, such as students with intellectual disabilities or autism, are often instructed by teachers without special-education certification. Since general educators are largely responsible for teaching SWDs, it is critical that we understand their role in teaching all students if we hope to improve outcomes for all. To learn more, read “Has Inclusion Gone Too Far?” on EdNext.org.

—Education Next

Last updated July 26, 2018