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Our Most-Read Special Education Stories of 2019

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Education Week's most-read special education stories of 2019 examined the past and future of special education, the aftermath of the lead crisis in Flint, Mich., teachers' lack of confidence in their abilities to meet the needs of special education students, and how 'twice-exceptional' students are often overlooked in gifted education.

1. Special Education is Broken

Forty years since students with disabilities were legally guaranteed a public school education, many still don't receive the education they deserve, Education Week associate editor Christina Samuels wrote in an essay from January.

2. In Flint, Schools Overwhelmed by Special Ed. Needs in Aftermath of Lead Crisis

The children exposed to high levels of lead-laced drinking water are entering schools now and the school system is straining to meet their special education needs

3. Most Classroom Teachers Feel Unprepared to Support Students With Disabilities

The nation's teaching corps lacks confidence in their ability to meet the needs of millions of children with disabilities in public K-12 schools, according to a survey from the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Understood.org.

4. Overlooked: How Teacher Training Falls Short for English-Learners and Students With IEPs

Many English-learner students and students with disabilities spend lots of time in general education classes, but teachers lack training in how to meet their needs. This story was from an Education Week special report, "Blind Spots in Teacher Professional Development." Read the full report

5. 'Twice Exceptional' Students Miss Out on Gifted Classes

Students who both have disabilities and are gifted are often overlooked when it comes to screening for gifted education. The story, written and reported by Alex Harwin, a quantitative research analyst for the Education Week Research Center, was part of a special report that explored how schools screen students for advanced academic programs and how they might cast a wider net. Check out the full report. 

Image Credit: Ebony Dixon, center, said she is struggling to get special education for her daughter, Alexus Smith, 6, and her son, Torea Gibson, 7, in Flint, Mich.

--Brittany Greeson for Education Week

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