EdStat: Between 2005 and 2012, the Number of Special-Education Teachers Declined More Than 17 Percent

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


Notify Me When Education Next

Posts a Big Story

Business + Editorial Office

Program on Education Policy and Governance
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone (617) 496-5488
Fax (617) 496-4428
Email Education_Next@hks.harvard.edu

For subscription service to the printed journal
Phone (617) 496-5488
Email subscriptions@educationnext.org

Copyright © 2024 President & Fellows of Harvard College