|Grantee Name:||Chicago Public Schools, District #299|
|Project Name:||Teachers for Special Education (T-SPED)|
|Project Director:||Nancy Slavin 973-553-1129|
|Partner Districts/LEAs:||Chicago Public School District #299|
Teachers for Special Education (T-SPED)—will accelerate the pathway for 375 accomplished career changers and recent college graduates to obtain teacher certification while serving as classroom teachers of record in Chicago public school district #299. The retention of highly qualified, alternatively certified and endorsed special education teachers will reduce existing teacher shortages in this area. Building on effective practices piloted in the 2004 Transition to Teaching project, including outsourcing key functions, and incorporating technology, the CPS Department of Human Resources developed T-SPED with three proven partners: The New Teacher Project, The New Teacher Center, and National-Louis University. A unique characteristic of this project is that during the first year, T-SPED participants will be staffed as elementary teachers in an inclusion elementary classroom with a certified special education teacher. The rationale behind the first year is to prepare Special Education Teaching Fellows to: understand the significant work as the Teacher of Record; teach in collaborative settings with a special education teacher; attend IEP and meetings with the special education teacher; and learn classroom dynamics with two certified teachers in the classroom in relation to students needing special education. At the heart of T-SPED is the New Teacher Center's Formative Assessment System—a series of nine tools and protocols that guide collaborative mentor-teacher processes related to classroom work and professional growth and centered on the reflective examination of practice.