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Do States Have Certification Requirements for Preparing General Education Teachers to Teach Students with Disabilities? Experience in the Northeast and Islands Region

July 9, 2010

With more than half of children with disabilities being educated in the general education classroom, and with federal education law requiring improved learning outcomes for these students, preparing general education teachers to work effectively with all students is critical.This report, prepared by REL Northeast Islands on teacher certification requirements in the nine Northeast and Islands Region jurisdictions, finds that eight of them require some coursework in teaching students with disabilities for initial licensure of general education teachers. It finds commonalities and differences both in how jurisdictions require general education teacher candidates to develop knowledge in special education and in the specific knowledge and skills required as part of teacher preparation.