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Preparing Principals to Assume Leadership Roles in Special Education
Unformatted Document Text:  D. Relevance: 1. The paper presents quantitative evidence to inform practice. Findings from the study were utilized for program improvement to better candidates to lead special education within their schools. 2. Resulting changes established exemplary practices within the program, particularly in terms of internship experiences. E. Implication for Action: The findings from this study hold major implications for educational leadership preparation programs, institutions of higher education, and K-12 general and special education. Clearly, highly qualified school administrators (those with a strong knowledge base in general and special education processes) are those who are best qualified to assume the daily challenges of promoting educational equity and increased achievement among diverse groups of learners, sustaining a highly effective, competent, and motivated work force within the school, and managing an ethically, morally, legally and pedagogically sound school culture that leaves no child behind. It is up to institutions of higher education to provide the highly qualified administrative work force that will be needed to realize the precepts, as well as the ideals, of NCLB. With the myriad of factors that encompass the integrated and collaborative professional culture coveted by school systems today, overwhelmingly, school leaders need to be diligent about leaving no child behind . Resolve alone will not bring this about; school administrators need a strong special education knowledge base on which to build inclusive schools. The results from this study have local consequences for our soon-to-be graduates, and far-reaching implications for K-12 education in general. With 70% of the participants answering less than two-thirds of the test items correctly, we can conclude that our candidates are generally not adequately knowledgeable on the topic of special education. Further, there is a strong likelihood that once they do become school administrators, they will not only feel poorly prepared to address special education issues, but unable to support the fastest growing attrition group in education today – special education teachers. The findings of this study suggest that we, as our candidates, can do better. A critical implication of these findings involves legal liability and culpability on the part of the school leader and general and special education faculty. Parents and their children are guaranteed specific rights under due process, which, when breached, pose significant legal and financial consequences to all parties. Beyond mediation are lawsuits which, when ensued as a result of legal noncompliance, become harrowing ordeals for administrators, teachers, parents and their children. Regardless of which party prevails at a hearing, no one wins. For long after legal issues have been resolved, distrust remains. And when trust is compromised, it is seldom regained.

Authors: Webb, Linda., Bessette, Harriete., smith, ann. and tubbs, eric.
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D. Relevance:
1. The paper presents quantitative evidence to inform practice. Findings from the study
were utilized for program improvement to better candidates to lead special education
within their schools.
2. Resulting changes established exemplary practices within the program, particularly in
terms of internship experiences.
E. Implication for Action:
The findings from this study hold major implications for educational leadership preparation
programs, institutions of higher education, and K-12 general and special education.
Clearly, highly qualified school administrators (those with a strong knowledge base in general
and special education processes) are those who are best qualified to assume the daily challenges
of promoting educational equity and increased achievement among diverse groups of learners,
sustaining a highly effective, competent, and motivated work force within the school, and
managing an ethically, morally, legally and pedagogically sound school culture that leaves no
child behind.
It is up to institutions of higher education to provide the highly qualified administrative
work force that will be needed to realize the precepts, as well as the ideals, of NCLB. With the
myriad of factors that encompass the integrated and collaborative professional culture coveted by
school systems today, overwhelmingly, school leaders need to be diligent about leaving no child
behind
.
Resolve alone will not bring this about; school administrators need a strong special
education knowledge base on which to build inclusive schools.
The results from this study have local consequences for our soon-to-be graduates, and
far-reaching implications for K-12 education in general. With 70% of the participants answering
less than two-thirds of the test items correctly, we can conclude that our candidates are generally
not adequately knowledgeable on the topic of special education. Further, there is a strong
likelihood that once they do become school administrators, they will not only feel poorly
prepared to address special education issues, but unable to support the fastest growing attrition
group in education today – special education teachers. The findings of this study suggest that we,
as our candidates, can do better.
A critical implication of these findings involves legal liability and culpability on the part
of the school leader and general and special education faculty. Parents and their children are
guaranteed specific rights under due process, which, when breached, pose significant legal and
financial consequences to all parties. Beyond mediation are lawsuits which, when ensued as a
result of legal noncompliance, become harrowing ordeals for administrators, teachers, parents
and their children. Regardless of which party prevails at a hearing, no one wins. For long after
legal issues have been resolved, distrust remains. And when trust is compromised, it is seldom
regained.


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