Student Homelessness and Special Education

How technology is closing the opportunity gap for homeless and high poverty special education students

Homelessness is a major problem, impacting the lives of children and young adults throughout the country. Some 1.4 million students – 2.7% of the nation’s total student population – are without stable homes. Of that population, many require special education support. A 2015 report prepared by the Child Trends Data Bank, found that “Children without homes are more than twice as likely… to repeat a school grade, be expelled… or drop out”.  According to the same report, 75% of homeless youths live with families other than their own; 6% percent are housed in temporary accommodation, and an astonishing 42,000 live on the streets, and other “Places not meant for human habitation”. These appalling figures can be attributed to a range of factors, including domestic violence, and a lack of affordable housing. For “unaccompanied” students living on the streets, mental illness, and substance abuse can also play significant roles.

Homelessness and Special Education

Homeless and high poverty youth experience a variety of behavioral, emotional and cognitive issues placing them in urgent need of special education services. In 2016, some 6250 homeless students were reported as receiving special education services in the state of Washington, alone. Homeless students have been found to require special education services at two to three times the rate of housed students, with many demonstrating behaviors associated with ADHD, and other disorders, caused (at least in part), by their living arrangements.

Reports released by the Better Homes Fund, and Institute of Children, Poverty & Homelessness highlighted a significant problem: even though homeless and high poverty youths are amongst those in greatest need of support, they are less likely to receive special education services than other students. In 2001, the McKinney-Vento Act was signed into law as part of No Child Left Behind, and was designed to ensure that homeless youth have access to a free and “appropriate” education. Despite the ideal, adequate special education support has proved elusive, due to the many difficulties associated with evaluating learners. These issues can include loss of school records, as well as the requirement that schools exclude “environmental” factors as a cause behind the struggles faced by special education students.

Technology as a Solution

Implementing the McKinney-Vento Act, and providing adequate support can be challenging for many school districts; particularly those with under-resourced, high poverty schools. Technology, however, can be an affordable, and effective solution. Jennings County Public Schools in Montgomery County, Virginia sought to close the achievement gap, and “bridge the digital divide”, by increasing the access of homeless and high poverty students to technology. In a recent article for Learning and the Brain, Jennings’ superintendent Tiffany Anderson stressed her belief that limited exposure to technology adversely impacts academic performance: “high poverty students … are asked to make a high jump without the same running start [as] students who are not in high poverty homes. In underperforming high poverty schools, the use of technology is limited and in some cases, non-existent. In a standards based setting, there are many [technology-based] resources that should be used to master standards”. While technology isn’t the only solution, it can transform the lives of homeless students, who are often in danger of “falling through the cracks”, allowing educators to create a customized learning experience; districts like Jennings County Public Schools point a way forward in addressing a pressing problem with long term consequences.

Photo credit: IACAC

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Impossible Means I’m Possible

By ONEder Intern, Nimisha Rana

At 19, I lost my eyesight. Before losing my sight, I would have found it impossible to imagine life with a disability. I had to adjust to countless, seemingly small things which had once been a routine part of day-to-day life: from dressing, to eating, to staying alert when surrounded by strangers. First and foremost, I needed to be conscious of safety, even at home. Avoiding bumping and dashing into both things and people required skill, proficiency, and patience.

Sensitivity on Both Sides

My blindness made me impatient. I also experienced feelings of anger and anxiety, due to a lack of control over my surroundings. Eventually, I came to accept that no magic wand existed that could change my circumstances. Family and friends wanted to help, but lacked the knowledge necessary for dealing with a blind person. When people at both ends are ignorant of each other’s needs and requirements, chaos ensues. I came to learn that disabilities of any kind require sensitivity on both sides.

Finding ways to adjust to my new life became a challenge, that I embraced. I felt like a baby eager to learn new things – I could learn some things on my own, but others needed to be taught. Once patience kicked in, acceptance of my situation was easier. When I say patience, I mean remaining calm, and understanding yourself from another’s perspective, as well as giving others a chance to understand you. I grew to a point where I no longer considered myself incapable.

Learning from Experience

Dedication, for me, is accepting yourself in every situation, and committing to whatever goal you set. When I accepted my blindness wholeheartedly, I started loving myself again. How many people get to live two different lives? I am glad that I have had the opportunity to experience both the sighted and non-sighted worlds, and can now see from both perspectives.

It took time for me to understand this new way of seeing life, but a commitment to jumping over a rock is necessary if you wish to reach the far side of the river. When it occurred to me that I needed to use a cane for the remainder of my life, I assumed my cane would become a barrier on the path to success. It is childish to try and anticipate the future before experiencing it. After my first year without sight, I re-evaluated my way of looking at life, and decided to take chances — chances that would push me towards independence. The biggest mistake made by people with disabilities is their choice to view themselves as a burden to others; they do not realize such thoughts only make them a burden to themselves.

Braille, and the Power of Education

When I learned Braille, I felt a door had opened, and the path forward had been cleared. The power of six dots was mind boggling. On my first day using Braille, I felt I would never be able to learn. However, my dedication to self-improvement would not let me quit. Amazingly, I found that I had learned Braille in as little as six weeks — contracted and uncontracted — which some can take a year to learn. This success inspired me to take on further challenges, like learning JAWS — Job Access With Speech — a computer screen reader program that enables blind and visually impaired individuals to operate computers. Once I had mastered JAWS, the sky was the limit!

The idea of admission into college was daunting, as the American system is so radically different from anything in my native India. I took a deep breath and took the plunge. Once in college, navigating campus was tough, but I preferred asking for help to getting lost, which some blind and visually impaired friends avoid doing. They feel asking signifies powerlessness. However, I believe that asking for help is a way to give others a chance to learn about my disability; a disability they may know nothing about.

Close your Eyes

As an experiment, close your eyes and walk through your house with a cane. Ah and … no bumping into barriers, or hitting yourself against the wall. While difficult, believe me, it is doable; it just takes patience and the will to succeed. The milestones I have attained are the result of strong resolution. However, my resolution isn’t unique; it is within everyone’s grasp! My journey also wouldn’t have been possible without the trust of others. I appreciate and thank all who played a major role in my achievements. Believe in your dreams!

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VIDEO: Promoting Leadership in Special Education


What you Need to Know

A Video Recap of ONEder’s Promoting Leadrship in Special Education Conference

On April 26th 2017 at the Robert Treat Hotel and Conference Center in Newark NJ, ONEder held it’s Inaugural Anuual Promoting Leadership in Special Education Conference featuring an interactive workshop exploring the standards and principals promoting principal leadership.
Where’s Dan Off to Next?
Our VP of Business Development is coming to a conference near you!

June 26-28
MELC (Midwest Educational Leadership Conference)
Brekenridge, Colorado

June 27-28

New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE 15th Annual Summer Inclusion Conference)
Montclair State University – Montclair, New Jersey

July 10-13

NYCASE (New York Council of Administrators of Special Education)
The Gideon Putnam – Saratoga Springs, New York

July 11-13

TCASE (Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education)
JW Marriot – Austin, Texas

July 24-28

The Project SEARCH 11th Annual conference
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions – Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania
To find out more, email

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ONEder is Hiring! Director of Content Curation

Position: Director of Content Curation

Company description

ONEder is a leading provider of SaaS solutions for special education teachers and administrators across the United States. Based in Newark, NJ, we partner with school districts and agencies that serve individuals with disabilities who use our platform to make data-driven decisions, monitor student progress, facilitate co-teaching, and deliver their general curriculum content with appropriate accommodations and supports based on each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). We are looking for a full time Director of Digital Content Curation to develop and maintain an academic and functional online lesson library for educators.


Job description

In this newly-created role, the Director of Content Curation will be responsible for the creation and ongoing curation of our academic and functional online lesson library for educators, playing a vital role in every aspect of content development. You will be responsible for working closely with all departments within ONEder to ensure the successful development and implementation of our content library.  



Reporting to the VP of Operations, the Director of Content Curation will:

  • Develop a plan, budget, timeline, and process for developing our content library
  • Identify and initiate conversations with potential academic and functional content partners
  • Vet open source content for quality and accessibility
  • Build and manage a team of independent lesson writer contractors
  • Work under a tight deadline and creatively within budget
  • Collaboratively identify and meet clients needs with business development
  • Ensure co-branding messaging is on point with the marketing team
  • Work closely with operations to handle negotiations
  • Transform the online library vision into reality with the product team
  • Create measurable goals to monitor the on-going effectiveness of the content library
  • Ensure engagement and implementation of the content library with our educators
  • Continuous maintain the content library.



 The ideal candidate for the Director of Content Curation will have:

  • 5+ years of experience successfully managing large ed tech projects from start to finish
  • An interest in working for an educational technology in a startup environment
  • A positive attitude, be collaborative, and a flexible team player
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently
  • Understand principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), differentiation, and best practices for students with disabilities
  • Experience teaching, especially students with disabilities, a plus
  • Experience using project management software and creating efficient, effective development processes
  • Knowledge of common accessibility and accommodation requirements for students with disabilities.


Salary and Benefits:


  • Salary commensurate with experience
  • Full medical and dental benefits, 401(k)
  • 15 days of paid vacation per year
  • 8 paid holidays plus 1 floating holiday per year, 6 paid sick days per year


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ONEder is Hiring!

Position: Front End Developer


Product Description

ONEder creates an educational platform geared towards the special education market, allowing educators to create content tailored to their students’ needs and access it on multiple mobile devices and browsers.

Job Description

We are looking for a talented Web Developer responsible for translating the UI/UX design wireframes to actual code that will produce the visual elements of the application. You will also design the overall architecture of the web application and evolve it to ensure maximum performance and stability.


  • Design of the overall architecture of the web application
  • Building reusable code and libraries for future use
  • Optimization of the application for maximum speed and scalability
  • Translation of UI/UX wireframes to visual elements
  • Integration of the front-end and back-end aspects of the web application

Skills and Qualifications

  • At least 5 years’ experience developing web based UIs using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.
  • Excellent proficiency in AngularJS 1.x, including advanced features – component authoring, dynamic component compilation and performance optimizations
  • Excellent design and architecture skills – SOLID principles, clean code, design patterns, refactoring techniques, unit and integration testing
  • Experience developing mobile applications using HTML5 and Apache Cordova
  • Good understanding of TypeScript, LESS/SASS, Gulp, npm and bundling/minification
  • Good knowledge of jQuery, Kendo UI, module loaders and other JS client libraries – An advantage


  • BsC in Computer Science

For more information or for consideration, please contact

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A ONEder-ful Day! ONEder’s “Promoting Leadership in Special Education” Conference

By: Jamie Lupia

Over the years, I’ve attended my share of conferences, seminars, talks, and workshops and have come to recognize some of the positive elements that make such events successful. ONEder’s first annual conference on promoting leadership for the success of students with disabilities was filled with many such positive elements and opportunities. It was indeed well worth attending. When I saw that the program featured high caliber speakers and presenters Alice Parker, Alexa Posny, Johnny Collett, and Kaylan Connally, I knew the event would be packed with useful information, helpful ideas, and would be well worth my time. I wasn’t disappointed.

The conference began with a warm welcome from Jon Izak, ONEder’s founder and president, who described how his own personal quest to help his brother planted the seeds of invention and innovation to assist others with disabilities. John’s welcoming address was followed by Issac Zablocki, the founder of ReelAbilities, an organization that, through its film festival, aims “to promote awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities.” Issac presented a screening of the film Dancing on Wheels featuring dancer Kitty Lunn. Just as amazing as the film was the personal appearance of Kitty who spoke and participated in a lively question and answer session. As a dancer, teacher, and advocate, Kitty fit the bill as a perfect keynote speaker. Her passion for her craft, along with her strong advocacy, served as a reminder of why the work ONEder is undertaking in education is of such importance.
Dr. Alice Parker and Dr. Alexa Posny presented a comprehensive introduction and review of the latest Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL 2015) adopted by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration.

Their many years of experience helped to provide critical insight into the latest standards while highlighting the effectiveness of strong, informed, and compassionate leadership with regard to those with disabilities. They also shared additional viewpoints in an insightful question and answer session. Johnny Collett and Kaylan Connally also participated and shared their wisdom with conference attendees. A brief workshop got everyone involved to discuss and share their thoughts on the current standards, with the information that flowed around the room helping us focus on some of the work and challenges that are ahead.

A final capstone to the conference was a reception that was structured to allow for direct and meaningful networking with all of those who attended. I was pleased to discover that the conversations I participated in were just as interesting and thought provoking as the presentations at the conference. I look forward to future engagement with the many helpful and knowledgeable contacts I made at the conference.

ONEder’s conference was indeed ONEder-ful in every way, and I left feeling inspired, informed, engaged and uplifted as I continue my own work as an educator, and advocate.

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What, How and Why? ONEder’s Chigozie Nnodim on Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Individuals bring a variety of interests, needs and skills to learning, and neuroscience demonstrates these differences can be as varied and unique as our DNA.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is as an educational framework  that helps guide the development of “flexible learning environments”: environments that can accommodate the different learning styles of individuals.  According to the National Center on UDL, Universal Design for Learning  is “a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn.” UDL provides a blueprint for instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments, and provides flexible approaches, that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.  Three primary brain networks come into play:

  • Recognition Networks (The “What” of learning): How we gather facts and categorize what we see, hear, and read.
    • Identifying letters, words, or an author’s style are forms of recognition.
  • Strategic Networks (The “How” of learning): Planning and performing tasks. How we organize and express our ideas.
    • Writing an essay or solving a math problem are strategic tasks.
  • Affective Networks (The “Why” of learning): How learners get engaged and stay motivated. How they are challenged excited, or interested.

UDL helps all children, not just individuals with learning disabilities, and offers multiple approaches for students to assess the same material, and allows students to use different methods to demonstrate knowledge.  The word “universal” may confuse people because it may sound as though it’s all about finding one way to teach all kids but, UDL takes the opposite approach. Its goal is to use a vocabulary of teaching methods to remove any barriers to learning and give all students equal opportunities to succeed. It’s about building in flexibility that can be adjusted for every student’s strengths and needs.

UDL presents information in ways that adapt to the learner, instead of asking the learner to adapt to the information. It’s especially good for kids with learning and attention issues, because it gives them more than one way to interact with their material. UDL makes it easier for kids to use their strengths, and to improve their weaknesses. Universal Design for Learning is a framework for teaching and learning that includes proactive planning of curricula. Planning with UDL takes into account the variability of all learners. Now some people may ask, “isn’t UDL just for students with disabilities?”. The answer is no, all students can benefit from the types of supports that UDL provides. UDL encourages teachers to use different test formats, including oral presentations while also looking for different ways to keep students motivated.


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ONEder’s New Release, with Zoe Lubitz

Join our Product Manager, Zoe Lubitz, on a tour of the latest updates to ONEder!

We’re excited to share new updates to ONEder that will help you create content and track student data more easily. For more details on the new release, check out this video:




Updates to ONEder include:

  • New Science Standards and Grades. Easily create and tag science content with new Next Generation Science Standards in ONEder. New Jersey users will also have access to Pre-K standards.
  • New data tracking features: condition lines and notes. Dashboards now include new ways to track student progress.  Condition lines and notes features will allow teachers to annotate their student’s data.
  • More ways to customize media. New layouts allow greater flexibility to ONEder activities like “Stories” and “Media”. You can now add pictures and text in customizable layouts, and crop images within the ONEder editor.
  • Notifications Feed. Get updates to your content with new notifications. As soon as you log into ONEder, you’ll know when a collaborator has updated a lesson, when a student completed a lesson, and more.

  • Timers. You can now set timers for activities. Use this feature to turn ONEder activities into timed quizzes or help students time manage.

Specific support videos on the new release can be found in our support centre:


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An Interview with Johnny Collett, Program Director, Special Education Outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers

Johnny Collett, Program Director, Special Education Outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers, talks with ONEder about promoting leadership in special education

As former State Special Education Director in Kentucky, and Program Director, Special Education Outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Johnny Collett knows a thing or two about leadership. CCSSO worked closely with other members of the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) to develop the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL), a document designed to ensure that all school leaders – whether in preparation programs or current practice – have the skills and abilities they need to help children succeed.

In January 2017, CCSSO released, jointly with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, PSEL 2015 and Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities. The document is meant to supplement the PSEL 2015 and provide guidance on how the standards can be applied to support inclusive principal leadership in policy and practice and highlights aligned key principal competencies toward meeting those goals.

On April 26th, Johnny, along with CCSSO Senior Program Associate Kaylan Connally; Former NASDE president, Alice Parker, and Former Assistant Secretary of OSERS, Alexa Posny will explore the standards in-depth at ONEder’s “Promoting Leadership in Special Education” conference, in Newark, New Jersey.

RSVP Today

Can you tell us a little about your background? Where are you from, and how did you find your way into the field of education?

Prior to coming to CCSSO, I was the state director of special education in Kentucky. I also served as an assistant division director, and before that, an exceptional children consultant at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). Prior to working at KDE, I was a high school special education teacher.

How, and why, did you become involved with the CCSSO?

In early 2015, while serving as the state special education director in Kentucky, I became aware of a new position that CCSSO had established to focus on supporting states in their work to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. Having seen the work from various perspectives at both the local and state level, as well has having had the opportunity to engage in national conversations around improving outcomes for children with disabilities, I became increasingly interested in how I might lend my experience to add value to CCSSO’s efforts to support states in this space, and how we might all work together across the country toward collective impact in service to all kids.

Why is academic success for students with disabilities important to you?

The same reason that academic success for any student is important to me. While it is true that much progress has been made over the last 40 years since the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), it is also true that there is still much work to do to ensure that all children, including students with disabilities, are prepared for success. For example, states have learned that a focus on compliance under IDEA, while necessary, is not sufficient by itself to improve achievement and outcomes for SWD. States are not content to maintain environments where the achievement of compliance alone is viewed as success. As a result, the focus has expanded beyond compliance to include intentional focus around results and to improving achievement and outcomes for SWD, as well as associated staff development and school improvement toward that end.

What is the biggest challenge to the academic success of students with disabilities?

At CCSSO, we are committed to supporting states in their efforts to ensure that all students – regardless of their background – are prepared for success in college, careers, and life. And, we are mindful that for “all to mean all”, it has to mean each. So, as we think about and prioritize our work, the guiding question for us is always, “Is it right for each kid and does it lead to college and career readiness?” There are, of course, a number of challenges to improving outcomes for students with disabilities, some of which are deeply complex and historically rooted. As a result, there are often not simple solutions and needed changes do not happen overnight. However, we are committed to prioritizing equity in our work to support states and to ensure that each child has access to the resources and educational rigor they need, at the right moment in their education, regardless of their circumstances or background.

I will call out one challenge that is particularly on my mind lately, and one about which I often speak. I refer to it as the intersection of high expectations and appropriate supports. Here’s what I mean. I find that we tend to talk about one or the other of those. For example, we may talk about having high expectations for all students, but we may not extend that conversation to the resources and supports that kids need to be successful. Conversely, we may talk about the resources and supports that kids need, but, at the same time, perpetuate a culture of low expectations for those kids. I contend that conversations that focus on either side of this intersection, without the other, are equally wrongheaded. So, as we think about improving academic achievement and outcomes for students with disabilities, we must talk about both high expectations and appropriate supports. That may seem simple, but I would argue that we may not be as intentional around this as we like to think that we are.

Why did the CCSSO release the PSEL 2015 and Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities?

Principals are the second most influential in-school support to students and have the responsibility to create and foster the conditions for teaching and learning that provide them an equitable opportunity to succeed. As a result, ensuring that principals are equipped to meet the needs of every child is critical. CCSSO has a relentless focus on kids and believes in the power of both teachers and leaders to improve student outcomes. While having a highly effective teacher and access to rigorous curriculum is important, students must also have access to highly effective principals who lie at the nexus of high expectations and appropriate supports. Student success means making sure every leader has the preparation, development, and support they need. Building on an existing body work around educator preparation, including Promises to Keep: Transforming Educator Preparation to Better Serve a Diverse Range of Learners, this guidance includes a range of actions states can take to strengthen inclusive principal leadership in both policies and practices related to principal preparation and development.

Why is it so important to have a guidance document to the PSEL 2015 related to students with disabilities?

When principals cultivate an environment where all students feel safe, supported, and included, students with disabilities and other struggling learners thrive. In years past, school leaders primarily focused on complying with various Individualized Education Program (IEP) requirements, laws, and regulations related to educating students with disabilities. That focus has since expanded beyond compliance to one that ensures that students with disabilities are ready for college and careers when they leave high school. While the PSEL 2015 calls out the importance of principals in ensuring the success of each and every child, it also extends to all school leaders—not just principals. It is important to call out the principal’s critical role in supporting equitable learning opportunities for each student and in leading inclusive learning environments that enable them to succeed. The guidance calls out those aspects of the standards that are particularly relevant for principals to effectively support teachers to meet students’ diverse learning needs and highlights key competencies aligned to the standards that principals need to lead inclusive schools.

Who took part in developing this document?

CCSSO and the CEEDAR Center convened the Principal Competencies Advisory Group from January through October 2016 to inform this guidance document. The Advisory Group comprised principals; leaders from state and local departments of education; members of the higher education community; and representatives of professional associations serving educational leaders. These individuals guided the conceptualization, organization, and content of this document after an in-depth review and synthesis of the relevant literature on principal leadership.

How did you find the exemplars included as examples for the standards?

Many of the examples included in the document are those informed by practitioners in the Advisory Group. We felt it was important to provide examples to bring the document to life and help illustrate what inclusive principal leadership “looks like” in practice straight from the practitioners themselves.

What input did you get on the standards from educators, families, or students with disabilities?

CCSSO and CEEDAR shared initial draft guidance at several convenings of SEA leaders and educators. The Advisory Group itself comprised principals or former principals and provided extensive revisions to ensure clarity and maximum impact. An in-depth review and synthesis of literature on principal leadership for serving students with disabilities was integrated into the working group’s recommendations and the final guidance document.

While the document is intended for chief state school officers and state education agency staff, what is the biggest take-away for school leaders?

The standards focused on literature that refers directly to principals rather than special education administrators, special education coordinators, and/or school-level non-administrative special education leaders. This was a deliberate choice because of the principal’s primary role in creating and leading learning environments that foster the success of students with disabilities. The PSEL 2015 standards, on which this guidance document is based, extends to all school leaders—not only to principals. We thought it was important to call out those aspects of the standards that are key for supporting and ensuring principals can meet the needs of diverse learners and foster equitable learning environments where each child can succeed.

What additional resources are available for school leaders and educators?

The CCSSO website has many additional resources available for both teachers and leaders. PSEL 2015 and Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities is part of a suite of guidance documents created to stimulate a more nuanced conversation about school leadership and strengthening the instructional capacity of principals. Along with PSEL 2015, these include 2015 Model Principal Supervisor Standards, and CCSSO’s Our Responsibility, Our Promise and Promises to Keep. The latter two publications outline how states can transform educator preparation so teachers and principals are better equipped to help all students achieve. The suite also includes the forthcoming National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards from the National Policy Board for Education Administration. These standards align directly with the PSEL 2015 and inform the preparation of aspiring educational leaders and the process by which preparation programs seek accreditation. CCSSO supports and engages member states in the use and application of such resources through membership meetings as well as through various collaboratives and working groups.

How have the standards been received?

Positively. A subset of states has revised leadership standards to align with the PSEL 2015 and are beginning to use the standards for professional learning for principals, evaluation and feedback, and informal coaching. They’re also beginning to apply the standards to their licensure and certification requirements. And many more states have plans to revise their leadership standards to align with PSEL. Now is the time to support states in advancing inclusive principal leadership in policy and practice.

What’s the best anecdote you’ve heard about implementing the standards since they were launched?

We recently hosted a group of aspiring special education leaders for a meeting at CCSSO. The group, comprised mostly of current principals and special education teachers or coordinators, wanted to learn more about our organization, membership, strategic support to states, and federal policy influence. At the meeting, we shared copies of the PSEL 2015 and Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities. A participant shared that she wished this document had informed her principal preparation program—she hadn’t had the opportunity to study or practice all of the skills and competencies included in the document. Luckily, she was a former special education teacher and could extend her knowledge of meeting students’ diverse learning needs based on her former role. But she emphasized how that is rare in the current principal landscape. Many principals are not former special education teachers, and those in her cohort often leveraged her and her knowledge of the supports needed by students with diverse learner profiles. She highlighted how much this document is needed in current principal preparation policy and practice to support all principals to lead inclusive schools.

What’s next for CCSSO?

CCSSO recently held, in collaboration with CEEDAR and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL), a convening of national experts focused on principal supports and students with disabilities. Thirty-two individuals representing federally-funded TA centers, national organizations, and CCSSO staff discussed the critical role of principals in supporting teachers and improving outcomes for all students, with a particular focus on students with disabilities. Each organization committed to take their learnings and share them back with their colleagues and made specific commitments for how they will move this work forward within their particular scope of work. To facilitate this ongoing collaboration and ensure we are all communicating a consistent, rather than conflicting, message regarding strengthening support for school leadership, CCSSO is committed to supporting this group in collective work to advance inclusive principal leadership in both policy and practice over the next year.

To learn more about CCSSO’s work on inclusive leadership, RSVP Today

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Dancing on Wheels

Join ONEder on April 26th at Robert Treat Hotel and Conference Center in Newark, New Jersey for our conference “Promoting Leadership in Special Education“, which will feature a special screening of the film “Dancing on Wheels“, and a Q&A with the film’s director, Qingzi Fan, and star, Kitty Lunn.  View the trailer below!

Effective leadership is essential for the academic success of students with disabilities. In our conference “Promoting Leadership in Special Education” we will explore the standards and principles promoting principal leadership during an interactive workshop on Wednesday, April 26th. Workshop Facilitators will include Former NASDE president, Alice Parker; Former Assistant Secretary of OSERS, Alexa Posny;  and Senior Program Associate at the Council of Chief State School Officers, Kaylan Connally


RSVP Today




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