PROJECTS & RESOURCES
The Equity Alliance at Arizona State University
Equity in Inclusive Education in Four Continents
Special Education Leadership for School-wide Equity and Access
Arizona State University (ASU) proposes to prepare “personnel to address the specialized needs of children with disabilities from diverse cultural and language backgrounds.” The project will prepare leadership personnel to conduct research, implement technical assistance in schools and districts, and work in teacher education and educational agencies. The program focuses on the urgent need to prepare leadership personnel that are prepared to address educational inequalities with research based strategies and approaches. The proposed leadership program responds to leaders’ preparation needs for addressing the complex equity demands of multiple policy requirements stemming from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 that shape the intersection of general and special education. Based on contemporary scholarship on equity in education, we will prepare specialized leaders on three key equity domains: teacher quality, programmatic, and achievement equity. Specifically, program graduates will have expertise on a key programmatic equity issue—i.e., the disproportionate representation of English Language Learners (ELLs) and Native American students in special education. These leaders will also be prepared on teacher quality equity matters as they will have the skills and knowledge to understand, study, and promote professional learning in high-need schools. Finally, the proposed program will prepare leaders on achievement equity issues; that is, they will specialize in the design and implementation of literacy RtI models with ELLs and Native American students as part of school-wide improvement plans.
The program foci respond to contemporary research, policy, and practice challenges located at the crossroads of general and special education. Over half of the special education population nationwide is served in high incidence categories and students from diverse backgrounds continue to be disproportionately represented. Unfortunately, the research knowledge base on disproportionate representation and the education of diverse students with these disabilities is scarce. The greatest dearth of research knowledge is related to ELLs and Native American students. This is surprising considering Native Americans are one of the two most overrepresented diverse groups in the nation and ELLs represent the fastest growing group in the country’s school population. In addition, despite RtI’s emerging promise, there is an urgent need to document and understand how these models are implemented and affect ELLs and Native American learners. Likewise, RtI must be designed and implemented as part of the more complex process of school improvement. This poses significant challenges for the coordination of curriculum and assessment, teacher learning, school change efforts, and the development of tools that will address multiple (often contradictory) reforms (including IDEA and NCLB). The proposed leadership program will prepare scholars and practitioner leaders to generate research knowledge and build capacity in schools and districts to address these significant contemporary challenges.
The purpose of this program is to prepare 6 doctoral students and two postdoctoral fellows in the field of high incidence disabilities who can (a) increase the amount and quality of interdisciplinary research on disproportionate representation and RtI models implemented in the context of school improvement efforts to better educate ELLs and Native American students, (b) use quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, (c) engage interdisciplinary theories about the cultural nature of student and professional learning to investigate achievement, teacher quality, and programmatic equity as it impacts ELLs and Native American students with disabilities, (d) provide educational leadership in program administration and personnel preparation for a culturally diverse student population and (f) ground school improvement efforts in evidence-based practice and inquiry.
Students and post doctoral fellows will be required to enroll full time and to follow a sequence of courses and apprenticeship activities (e.g., research and teaching internships and externships) with nationally renowned scholars in the target areas of the project to graduate in a timely fashion. The program of study will offer students research-based courses taught by core program faculty and post doctoral fellows will participate with the PIs in critical research, teaching, and service activities. Faculty will also meet regularly with students in the context of research lab groups to offer formative feedback and mentoring. Ongoing sponsored projects at ASU (e.g., NCCRESt, Leadscape, NIUSI) and project partners (RtI Center,) will be used to provide mentoring opportunities and authentic collaborative experiences to all program participants.
The 6 graduates of the project, along with the two post-doctoral fellows will become faculty members or educational leaders who can: (1) Evaluate the research literature on disproportionate representation and literacy RtI models for ELLs and Native American students with high incidence disabilities; (2) understand and analyze critically the links between the research literature on the education of ELLs and Native American students with high incidence disabilities and federal and state policy mandates (NCLB, IDEA, State learning standards); (3) design, secure funding, and conduct quantitative and qualitative research to generate new knowledge about literacy RtI and other models that reduce disproportionality of ELLs and Native American students, professional learning for preservice and inservice teachers, and school improvement and change processes that address the needs of the target learners; (4) work effectively in school-university partnerships and communicate (orally and in writing) skillfully with researcher and practitioner audiences; (5) prepare highly qualified teachers and school leaders who use evidence- and standard-based practices to educate ELLs and Native American with high incidence disabilities; (6) fulfill roles as special education directors, SEA/LEA administrators, and (7) play a visible and effective leadership role in IHE and SEAs/LEAs.
A Dual University Interdisciplinary Program to Prepare Culturally Responsive Special Education Professors
Arizona State University and The University of Arizona propose a doctoral training project with an explicit emphasis on the preparation of “personnel to address the specialized needs of children with disabilities from diverse cultural and language backgrounds.” We face complex challenges in the provision of special education services for children from diverse backgrounds with LD and E/BD. Over half of the special education population nationwide is served in these categories and diverse students continue to be disproportionately represented after 30 years of attention to this problem. Unfortunately, the research knowledge base on disproportionate representation and the education of diverse students with LD and E/BD is scarce. This state of affairs suggests there is an urgent need to prepare more faculty in the LD and E/BD fields to produce research on these key research, policy, and practice issues as well as to prepare personnel that can provide culturally responsive education to diverse learners. The goal of this project is to prepare 6 highly qualified professionals with a doctoral degree in special education who will (a) increase the amount and quality of interdisciplinary research on issues related to the placement and education of diverse students with LD and E/BD, (b) have expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, (c) use interdisciplinary theories about the cultural nature of human development to design and investigate assessment strategies, placement practices, and literacy instruction for culturally diverse students, and (d) are competent in personnel preparation for a diverse student population.
Students will be required to enroll full time and to follow a sequence of courses and apprenticeship activities (e.g., research and teaching internships) to graduate in a timely fashion. The program of study will offer students at both campuses similar research based courses taught by core program faculty. Students will enroll in courses at each other’s universities by using state-of-the-art videoconferencing and web-based technology. Faculty will also meet regularly with students in the context of research groups to offer formative feedback and mentoring. Ongoing sponsored projects at both campuses (e.g., NCCRESt, Verano en Mexico) will be used to provide mentoring opportunities and authentic collaborative experiences to program participants.
The 6 graduates of the project will become faculty members who can: (1) Evaluate the research literature on disproportionate representation, and assessment and literacy instruction for diverse students with LD or E/BD; (2) Understand and analyze critically the links between the research literature on the education of diverse students with LD or E/BD and federal and state policy mandates (NCLB, State learning standards); (3) Design, secure funding, and conduct quantitative and qualitative research to generate new knowledge about culturally responsive special education placement practices, assessment and literacy instruction, and personnel preparation for diverse students with LD or E/BD; (4) Apply research-based interdisciplinary knowledge about disproportionate representation and culturally responsive assessment and literacy instruction in their teaching and research; (5) Work effectively in collaborative projects and communicate (orally and in writing) skillfully with researcher and practitioner audiences; (6) Prepare highly qualified teachers who can provide culturally competent, evidence-based, and standard-based assessment and literacy instruction to diverse students with E/BD or LD; and (7) Play a visible, culturally responsive, and effective leadership role in IHE and SEAs/LEAs.
|School of Social Transformation
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Interdisciplinary B, Room B353
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PO Box 876103
Tempe, AZ 85287-6103