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Where Special Education Students Are Succeeding Under the Common Core

The Hechinger Report

At Public School 172 in Brooklyn, New York, special education students performed much better on state assessments than their counterparts across the state. Sixty percent of special education students scored proficient or above in English language arts and almost all were proficient in math.

Teachers receive lots of professional support, often from other teachers, who work as coaches to support their peers. Ultimately, Principal Jack Spatola says, “If you [as a teacher] do not respect yourself as a learner, how could you inspire others to be learners?” Educators attribute the success to personalized learning based around the Common Core. “We really try to create that individualized educational experience that’s going to help every kid as they move through the standards,” says Erika Gundersen, assistant principal at PS 172.

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