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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Have We Learned About Special Education in 20 Years?

From Education Development Center, Inc.

April 21, 2014

To mark its 20th anniversary, EDC's Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative will host a panel discussion that focuses on two decades of achievements in the field of special education and looks ahead to how the field may evolve.

The discussion will take place during the Collaborative’s spring meeting, April 30 – May 3 in Boston.The meeting’s theme is “Bridges to Learning: Providing High-Quality Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Supports to Students in Urban Schools.”

The Collaborative, a national network of approximately 100 school districts, works to improve educational outcomes and life opportunities for children and youth with disabilities in urban schools. More than 250 special education leaders and school district administrators supporting students with and without disabilities in urban schools are expected to attend.

They will share information and ideas on effective practices and discuss practical, real-world solutions to some of the challenges they face within their own districts.

EDC’s David Riley, the Collaborative’s executive director, will moderate the panel, “Educating Students with Disabilities in Urban Schools, a 20-year Retrospective.”

Participants include the following:
  • Thomas Hehir, professor of Practice in Learning Differences, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University
  • William Henderson, author and retired principal, Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion School, Boston
  • Cathy Jackson, special education teacher, Brockton Public Schools, Brockton, MA
  • Marcia Mittnacht, state director of special education, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Ana Morales, senior family support specialist, Seven Hills Family Support Center, Worcester, MA
  • Kay Seale, manager of special education and intervention services, Worcester Public Schools
“We are thrilled to have such well-known voices from the field share their thoughts with us as we mark our two decades of advancing education for students with disabilities,” said Riley.

“We’ve come a long way in terms of what we know about teaching and learning. I look forward to hearing from our panel and meeting participants their predictions of where we are headed.”

The discussion will take place Thursday, May 1, from 11:00am to 12:15pm at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel. The panel and all of the sessions are designed for both special and general education leaders. To learn more, go to www.urbancollaborative.org.


Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. EDC manage 250 projects in 30 countries. Visit www.edc.org.

The Urban Special Education Collaborative was founded in 1994 to provide leadership development and networking opportunities uniquely designed to support urban special and general education administrators. Celebrating its 20th year, the Collaborative has grown to include special education leaders in more than 100 urban districts.

Visit www.urbancollaborative.org.

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