UF received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs to establish a center to support the development of school and district leaders in serving students with disabilities.
The Collaboration for Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform center will be located in Norman Hall. It is scheduled to open in January.
Co-principal investigator and UF special education professor Paul Sindelar said the center will work with states in revising standards for classroom teachers, special education teachers and other school leaders, aligning preparation programs with new standards and evaluating the programs. The grant will provide $5 million each year for five years, Sindelar said.
Each year, states will undergo an application process in order to receive assistance. Principal investigator and UF special education professor Mary Brownell said the current system is not set up to serve students with disabilities as well as it could.
“They are probably in many ways the most vulnerable school population; they perform more poorly than another subgroup of students,” Brownell said. “With really good instruction, they can really achieve a lot of different things, including college.”