Organizing Schools to Serve Students with Disabilities

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In the year following the publication of Getting Down to Facts II, PACE heard from stakeholders in Sacramento and across the state that more knowledge on how to better serve students with disabilities was needed to guide policy and practice. The absence of practical knowledge on systems to support special education juxtaposed with the urgency that decisionmakers were placing on designing new special education policy made it well-suited as a topic of a PACE Policy Research Panel. On August 13, 2019, PACE hosted a meeting of key actors in special education policy, practice, and research (see below) to reimagine how students with disabilities are served in California and to identify the knowledge needs to make that vision a reality for all students. While discussions of special education in California often focus on issues of special education finance, the emphasis of the PACE Policy Research Panel on Special Education was to clarify the type of system we seek to build to serve all students – including students with disabilities.  The full set of publications were released on February 18, 2020, with a webinars on February 27, March 5, and March 10 to share findings. 

Recent Initiative Publications
Report Gottfried Feb 2020
Students with learning disabilities are spending more time in general education classrooms than at any point in history, yet there remain concerns whether general education teachers are receiving adequate preparation to support these students.…
Policy Brief Stahmer Feb 2020
This brief provides recommendations for the professional development (PD) of teachers, administrators, and school personnel in order to improve student outcomes. The significant achievement gap for diverse learners—including students with…
Policy Brief Gee February 2020
Under California’s System of Support, differentiated assistance (DA) provides supports to eligible districts to boost student group performance levels. This brief describes the districts that were eligible for DA in 2019 based on the performance…
Report Humphrey Feb 2020
Lessons from Other States
California faces challenges in its efforts to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities (SWDs), especially regarding SWDs’ participation in general education originally mandated by PL 94-142. Research evidence consistently…
Policy Research Panel Members