WHY WE DO IT
Over the last decade, New Orleans public schools have seen unprecedented improvement in student academic outcomes, including the academic growth for over 4,000 students with learning differences, over 13% of the student population. However, these recent improvements and potential future advances in special education are threatened by a dearth of skilled teachers. A 2014 survey revealed that the supply of high-quality special education leaders does not meet the city-wide need. Skilled special education leaders are difficult to find, develop, and retain. This shortage is due to a lack of system-wide coordination and collaboration among educators to identify and share research-based best practices to educate students with learning differences. SELF has been specifically designed to meet the unique professional development needs of special education leaders, aspiring special education leaders, and their principals in New Orleans.