Special education appears as offering education or giving knowledge to the learner's possessing special needs. This type of education happens to be offered in a different method from the normal method of offering education to the learners with no disability. Such education appears to be offered in a way that deals with differences of each individual. Some special needs of these students include physical disabilities, disorders of development, communication problems, and behavioral challenges among others.
Beginning from the year 1960s to the year 1970s, children with disabilities were given their educational rights. Funding programs laws for special education were passed by approximately forty five legislatures. Federal courts also made a ruling stating that no school was allowed to discriminate against any student having any kind of disability.
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The congress concluded that such children were to be given an education in the least restrictive environment possible. These children were also to be offered non-educational services along with educational services with the appropriate curricula used. To date advocates for students who have different disabilities have continued to seek special education funding separate from the funding of ordinary education.
Before the year 1970s, many children with disabilities were not allowed to enroll in the majority of public schools. However, the few who were fortunate enough to enroll appeared not to be given or offered the required services. But since gaining support from government officials, the advocates for special education resorted to fighting for education rights. Moreover, between the year 1970 and the year 1973, the federal courts stated that every school be it public or private owed every student equal protection without any discrimination regarding disabilities. The courts also gave the parents the rights to appeal any decisions made by schools regarding their children. In the year 1971, the state decided to offer free public education for children suffering from mental retardation (Groof, 2003).
The special education director position appears as unique to other upper level management positions because the director of special education has general responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include guiding the development and implementation plans used to achieve goals for special education. They also happen to direct special educational services to all the learners with disabilities. In doing this, they would be making sure that all the learners have access to the core curriculum.
All the programs concerning special education appear to be monitored by special education director. If there seem to be services that should be coordinated with special education program, the directors of special education will liaise with the director of student services to incorporate certain services. However, school superintendents see themselves more as instructional leaders. This appears so because they happen to focus more on the instructional leadership methods.
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Nevertheless, the director of special education is also tasked with responsibility of overseeing the ESY program (Extended school year). Special education director also collaborates with central office administrators when discipline of students with disability happens to be concerned. Moreover, they also participate in the matters of solving disputes with the department of education and civil rights office concerning students with disabilities.
Another major responsibility of special education director is to oversee distribution of special education staff to different schools bearing in mind different needs of different students.
Special education director requires various skills and abilities. He or she should be able to work in collaboration with school principals when implementing and monitoring special education programs. This director is also required to have the ability to work in a collaborative manner with all the staff working in different departments of various offices. Moreover, such director is to have master's degree, most preferably CAS/EdD/EdS/PhD. However, there appears to be no physical requirement needed for one to become a director of special education.
Groof, J. D. (2003). Special Education. New York: Springer.