Addressing Educator Shortages, Preparation Important Component to Reducing Reliance on Exclusionary Discipline

Discipline and Behavior Series. Preparing Future Educators to Proactively, Positively Address Behavior

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 3, 2023) – The director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) discussed preparing future educators to proactively and positively address behavior in the June Discipline Discussions blog released, June 29.

OSEP Director Valerie C. Williams highlighted statistics related to education and special education personnel shortages and emphasized Department of Education efforts to address these shortages.

“The impact an educator can have on a child is profound, which makes statistics about personnel shortages in education, particularly special education, alarming,” Williams said.

Williams recognized that education preparation programs need to prepare educators for classroom realities, which include supporting the social-emotional development and behavioral needs of students.

“When we provide educators with evidence-based practices, paired with systems that support their implementation, the result is often a reduced reliance on exclusionary discipline,” Williams said. “It is my belief that truly inclusive schools and early childhood programs, where all children and educators feel a sense of belonging, must start at the earliest stages of educator preparation.”

Williams asked the OSEP-funded Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center to expand on educator preparation programs, including programs’ using evidence-based and high-leverage practices, partnering with state and local communities, and leveraging already available tools and resources.

Suspension, Severe Discrepancy
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Last modified on July 3, 2023