The Troubling Lack of Special Education Know-How

Type: Article
Topics: Equity, School Administrator Magazine

April 01, 2024

My View

After I joined the professoriate, prior experiences in the superintendency motivated my research on leadership training deficits involving conflict resolution, legal literacy and special education.

One of the past encounters I drew from in my new work occurred immediately following a meeting over an individualized education plan.

A visibly frustrated principal complained to me about the time he felt was “wasted” through attempts to build common ground with the student’s family. Not long after, however, elated members of the IEP committee entered the principal’s office, celebrating the astounding breakthrough that had just been realized with their greatest challenge.

The new administrator immediately recanted and subsequently confided in me that he had no training or experience dealing with exceptional needs to draw from. While learning on the job, he recognized that improving parent relations was an essential part of the role as principal, never more so than on sensitive matters involving special education.

This Content is Exclusive to Members

AASA Member? Login to Access the Full Resource

Not a Member? Join Now | Learn More About Membership


Thomas R. Hughes

Associate professor of educational leadership

Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz.