Jul 07

Lighting the Path to Inclusion: How Beacons Embody Commitment to Students with Disabilities

Decades of research have established that school leaders are critical in creating robust, accessible, and inclusive educational environments for all students. Unfortunately, for a host of systemic and historical reasons, not all leaders share high expectations for our most complex learners: students with disabilities. Moreover, even those with the best intentions frequently lack the training and skills needed to realize such high expectations.

beaconsIn seeking to remedy this situation, we have examined the “pipelines” that provide leaders to the U.S.’s 7,500 charter schools, specifically focusing on individuals whose personal stories can illuminate the path to inclusion for others.

The first stage of our examination, which focused on programs and curricula, was synthesized in our brief, Charting a Path to Equitable Education for Students with Disabilities.

This publication, the second stage of our research, explores the stories of individual leaders we call “Beacons” for their exceptional commitment to improving education for students with disabilities. In the brief, we examine what drives these leaders and identify strategies for building that commitment in emerging leaders.