The State of the Special Education Profession Survey Report

Fowler, S. A., Coleman, M. R. B., & Bogdan, W. K.
2019

The State of the Special Education Profession survey was commissioned by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Pioneers Division and supported by CEC. It provides a current snapshot of the state of the special education profession and serves as a foundation for CEC leadership and program development. The goal of the survey is to support initiatives aimed at improving outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, their families, and the professionals who serve them. This report presents the results of this survey, to which nearly 1,500 special education teachers responded in the Fall of 2018.

The last CEC-sponsored survey on the state of the profession was launched in 1998, culminating in the publication of the CEC Bright Futures Study (Kozleski, Mainzer & Deshler, 2000). This current report has implications for special education practice and policy as well as teacher and administrator preparation for both general and special educators.

The educational landscape has changed significantly since Bright Futures was published 20 years ago. Increasing diversity within student populations, fuller implementation of inclusive practices, expanded use of evidence-based practices, greater emphasis on collaborative teaching approaches, a growing emphasis on access to the general education curriculum, and accountability for the learning of students with exceptionalities are among these changes.

This new State of the Special Education Profession survey explored special education teachers' perceptions of the impact of these changes on the state of their profession.The results of this survey provide a current snapshot of the state of the profession and serve as a data-driven foundation for CEC leadership activities in public policy, professional development, and development of standards.

Citation: Fowler, S. A., Coleman, M. R. B., & Bogdan, W. K. (2019). The State of the Special Education Profession survey report. Arlington, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.