Sindelar’s research has focused on changes in the special education teacher labor market and its implications for policy makers and teacher educators. In U.S. public schools, fewer special education teachers are employed today than were employed a decade ago. The reasons for the decline are unclear, although reductions in the number of students identified with learning disabilities, changes in service delivery, and the economic downturn are likely to be playing a role. Currently, Sindelar and a team of researchers are studying the impact of these changes on outcomes for students with disabilities and other struggling students. As Co-Director of the CEEDAR Center, Sindelar has focused on policy analysis, developing demographic state profiles, and project evaluation.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (5)
Labor Market Trends
Addressing Teacher Shortages in the COVID-19 Landscape: Viewing Teacher Candidates as AssetsExcelsior: Leadership in Teaching and Learning
Michael Rosenberg, Lucky Mason-Williams, Lois Kimmell, Paul T. Sindelar
2021 COVID-19 continues to impose dire consequences on all sectors of our public education system. Many students, particularly those from vulnerable populations, are receiving reduced amounts of direct instruction and are experiencing significant losses in learning. At the same time, educator preparation programs (EPPs) are struggling to ensure that teacher candidates have ample opportunities to apply their newly acquired pedagogical skills in high quality clinical placements. In this article we describe and provide exemplars as to how teacher candidates can serve as assets to school districts as they complete their field placements. We also offer specific strategies and practices for EPPs and school districts to maximize the productive and efficient integration of teacher candidates in both virtual and in-person environments.
Does Alternative Route Preparation Meet the Requirements of IDEA Assurance 14? A Policy AnalysisTeacher Education and Special Education
Myers Jonte, Kacey Gilbert, Paul T. Sindelar
2020 Persistent teacher shortages have led states to promulgate policies to support alternative pathways into teaching and hence supplement supply. Such alternatives may differ from traditional preparation in many ways, but each tends to tap non-traditional participants. Currently, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that special education teachers (SET) be fully certified and, if not, that they be enrolled in high-quality alternative preparation. The purpose of this study was to identify state policies supporting alternative route programs and to organize them into mutually exclusive conceptual models. We also determined whether and under what circumstances these models satisfy IDEA Part B assurances concerning SETs who are not fully certified.
Special Education Teacher Shortage: Differences Between High and Low Shortage StatesTeacher Education and Special Education
Paul T. Sindelar, Loretta Mason-Williams, Jim Dewey et al.
2020 In this study, using Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) personnel data from 2006 to 2014, we identified seven states with consistently low shortages of highly qualified special education teachers and seven states with persistently high shortages. We employed Guarino et al.’s framework to guide our assumptions and selection of demographic, supply, and demand variables and compared two groups in this descriptive analysis. We found significant differences across supply and demand variables. Low shortage states make greater investments in per pupil expenditures; have higher teacher salaries, generally; have greater preparation capacity; and produce more special education graduates. Taken together, our findings suggest that special education teaching is a relatively better job in low shortage states than in high shortage states.
Rethinking Shortages in Special Education: Making Good on the Promise of an Equal Opportunity for Students With DisabilitiesTeacher Education and Special Education
Loretta Mason-Williams, Elizabeth Bettini, David John Peyton, Alexandria Harvey, Michael Rosenberg, Paul T. Sindelar
2019 In this article, the authors describe the complexity of special education teacher (SET) shortage, how shortage undermines equal educational opportunity, and strategies that school districts and state and federal governments have used to combat them. The authors consider the economic consequences of shortage and describe how school budgets are burdened by turnover and, in some cases, litigation. The authors consider specific aspects of SET shortages, including the problems of staffing high-poverty urban and rural schools, recruiting and retaining teachers of color, and staffing alternative educational placements. The authors then consider more general factors related to shortage, including the valence of teaching as a profession, attrition, working conditions, and compensation.
Special Education Teacher Shortage: Differences between High and Low Shortage StatesExceptional Children
Paul T. Sindelar, Loretta Mason-Williams, Jim Dewey et al.
2018 In this study, using OSEP personnel data from 2006-2014, we identified seven states with consistently low shortages of highly qualified special education teachers and seven states with persistently high shortages. We employed Guarino et al.'s (2006) framework to guide our assumptions and selection of demographic, supply, and demand variables and compared two groups in this descriptive analysis. We found significant differences only in supply variables. On-average, low shortage states make greater investments in per pupil expenditures; have higher teacher salaries, generally; compensate SETs at least as well as general education teachers; have greater preparation capacity; and produce more special education graduates. Taken together, our findings suggest that special education teaching is a relatively better job in low shortage states than in high shortage states.