A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of All Children with Disabilities - 1996

National Personnel Agenda

Division of Personnel Development
Office of Special Education Programs

I. Context for the Agenda

To set forth an agenda for the Personnel Preparation Program, community members were asked to identify the needs, goals and objectives for achieving a pool of qualified, diverse, and flexible personnel for serving children and youth with disabilities.

II. Components of the Agenda

Program Targets

Recruitment and Retention. To make sure that the special education and related professions recruit and retain enough people of sufficient quality and diversity to meet the needs of children with disabilities, and of their families.

Professional Preparation. To guide a profession in which each succeeding generation of professionals has been rigorously and appropriately prepared, and is committed to the highest quality of special education and other services for children with disabilities for their families.

Professional Development. To foster efforts of continuing professional development that respond to both emerging needs and new knowledge, and to make appropriate professional development opportunities available to all who need them.

Leadership. To mobilize a system of resources and incentives, and the diverse, versatile leaders needed to prepare and support those who are directly involved in educating children with disabilities and their families.

Objectives to Achieve Goals

The objectives set forth the actions for leading to the achievement of one or more of the program goals. Because of the mutual reinforcement of goals and objectives in this agenda, the objectives are not necessarily tied directly to a single, individual target. Many of them apply across the program targets.

Recruitment and Retention

Expand and maintain a valid, comprehensive body of knowledge on effective recruitment and retention strategies.

Create outreach and information services that will encourage persons with ability and commitment to explore and prepare for careers in special education, related services, and early intervention. In particular, these information services should give attention to culturally and linguistically diverse persons, and individuals with disabilities.

Identify and implement incentives for qualified persons to enter and persist in careers in special education, related services, and early intervention.

Identify and implement strategies to recruit and retain qualified personnel in a wide range of difficult-to-fill positions.

Professional Development and Continuing Preparation

Expand and maintain a comprehensive knowledge base that describes the personnel needs of the profession, guides the tasks of preparing the next generation of leaders and direct service providers, and shapes continuing professional development.

Increase the capabilities of professional preparation programs and systems to prepare personnel and provide for continuing professional development beyond initial preparation.

Assure that the content of programs of professional preparation and continuing professional development is responsive to both the merging knowledge base of the field and its anticipated needs, especially the needs of changing and diverse populations.

Design and deliver innovative, rigorous professional preparation and continuing professional development programs.

Provide incentives for continuing professional development and effective practice.

Prepare all school personnel to provide appropriate services to students with disabilities.

Develop consortia to plan and offer programs of professional preparation and continuing professional development.

Standards for Professional Preparation and Certification

Adopt rigorous national standards for awarding professional credentials.

Develop credential levels that promote career ladders and professional growth.

Adopt national accreditation standards for programs of personnel preparation that encourage flexibility in design.

Strengthening the Link between Knowledge and Practice

Generate new knowledge that contributes to advance in practice and appropriately serves the distinct needs of diverse populations.

Translate new knowledge into effective applications and apply new knowledge and technologies in advancing professional practice.

Ensure that advances in practice are responsive to existing and newly identified populations and that they incorporate innovative service delivery models.

Ensure that educators and related professionals have the knowledge and skills necessary for effective coordination and collaboration at the classroom level.


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