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10 Steps for Putting Special Education Equity Data into Action

Special Education

In our report series Crossing the Line, we explored special education classification rates – in particular, the diversity across states and local school districts and implications on equity.

We explored the perceived impact of policy and resources, district support and services, and even professional development on special education classification rates.

As we process through those findings, inevitably we have to ask the question, “What now?” How do we translate data into action?

These 10 steps for putting data into action are a great place to start (plus, we’ve compiled some additional resources from the Institute and Frontline Education to help you dive even deeper).

  1. Develop a common definition and shared understanding of equity and equitable practices

Read the blog post: How does the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) come to bear on equity?

  1. Examine data on classification rates

Get the report series: Dig into the data on special ed classification rates in our Crossing the Line report series.

  1. Review local policy to identify intended and unintended consequences that may jeopardize equitable practices

  2. Revise policy to prioritize equitable practices and address gaps identified

  3. Review allocation of resources to ensure equitable alignment to the needs of students in all sub-groups

Listen to the podcast: Deep Dive into the Special Education Teacher Shortage

  1. Engage in redesigning a multi-tiered system of supports – rooted in evidence-based practices – that maximizes resources aligned to student needs

Read the blog post: New Data Report: How Special Education Teachers Spend Their Work Day

  1. Use ongoing data from multiple measures to assess student learning progress

  2. Target closing gaps in achievement between special education students and their non-classified peers

Read the blog post: 5 Tips for Successful Collaboration Between General & Special Education Teachers

  1. Provide teachers voice and choice in professional learning

Watch the video: Learn how Greece Central School District provides “voice and choice” in their professional learning

  1. Assess impact of professional learning on student outcomes

Read the blog post: Measuring the Impact of Professional Learning – by Joellen Killion

Jo Ann Hanrahan

Jo Ann Hanrahan has over 20 years of experience in K-12 education serving students, teachers, district and state education leaders. She started her career as a classroom teacher and then transitioned into administrative roles in the areas of professional learning, teacher (alternative) certification, curriculum, assessment, & instruction, and educator effectiveness. With a Master of Arts in Education and decades of diverse experiences, Jo Ann is currently pursuing her Ph.D. and serves Frontline Education as the Director of Research & Data Analysis.