The Essentials of Special Education Advocacy is a valuable tool for preservice and inservice special education professionals who seek to advocate for their students and their profession. Although significant progress has been made regarding the education of students with disabilities, much work remains. This book provides a framework and a step-by-step guide to systematically understand challenges and organize advocacy efforts for special education professionals to continue the historical progress and propel the next generation of change agents.
Andrew M. Markelz is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education, assistant department chair, and director of Graduate Studies at Ball State University. Dr. Markelz is editor of the Journal of Special Education Preparation and co-author of The Essentials of Special Education Law. Dr. Markelz is committed to expediting the novice-to-expert teaching curve by preparing special educators to implement proactive classroom management strategies and develop meaningful and legally defensible individualized education programs according to special education law.
Sarah A. Nagro is an associate professor in the Division of Special Education and Disability Research, director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Research and Development in Teacher Education, and professor in charge of the Special Education PhD specialization at George Mason University. Dr. Nagro is committed to identifying best practices for preparing professionready teachers who can sustain and grow in the profession to improve the learning experiences of all students including students with disabilities.
Kevin Monnin is a doctoral fellow in the Special Education Program at George Mason University. His research interests focus on studying strategies to attract, prepare, and retain high-quality teachers, often including nontraditional methods for preparing teachers in high-needs fields. Mr. Monnin previously worked as a special education teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. He earned his Master of Education in special education at George Mason University and received his bachelor’s in Government and International Politics.
David F. Bateman is a principal researcher at the American Institutes for Research. He is a former due process hearing officer for Pennsylvania for hundreds of hearings. He uses his knowledge of litigation relating to special education to assist school districts in providing appropriate supports for students with disabilities and to prevent and to recover from due process hearings. He has been a classroom teacher of students with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, intellectual disability, and hearing impairments. Dr. Bateman earned a PhD in special education from the University of Kansas and has published numerous articles and books pertaining to special education law and administration.
Section I: Foundations of Special Education
1 The Government
What Are the Three Branches of Government?
Table 1.1. Checks and Balances
Table 1.2. List of 15 Departments within the US President’s Cabinet
Figure 1.1. Geographic Boundaries of US Court of Appeals and US District Courts
Table 1.3. The US Circuit Court of Appeals
How Are Laws Created?
How Do the Three Branches of Government and Sources of Law Interact?
Figure 1.2. The Three Branches of Government
Why Is Knowing about the US Government Important for Advocacy?
Where Can I Find More Information about the US Government?
2 A History of Advocacy
How Has Advocacy Affected Special Education?
Figure 2.1. The Gears of Special Education
Who Are Some Key Historical Advocates in Special Education?
Why Advocate for Special Education Today?
How Do You Advocate for Special Education?
Figure 2.2. The Five Rings of Advocacy
Where Can I Find More Information on the History of Advocacy?
Section II: Rings of Advocacy
3 Ring of Self Advocacy
Figure 3.1. Self-Advocacy Ring
What Is the Self-Advocacy Ring and Why Is It Important?
What Are Some Current Opportunities for Self-Advocacy?
Table 3.1. Common Issues Facing Special Education Teachers
How Do You Advocate for Yourself?
Figure 3.2. How to Self-Advocate
Figure 3.3. The LAFF Don’t Cry Active Listening Strategy
Where Can I Find More Information on Self-Advocacy?
4 Ring of Classroom Advocacy
Figure 4.1. The Classroom Advocacy Ring
What Is the Classroom Advocacy Ring and Why Is It Important?
What Are Some Current Opportunities for Classroom Advocacy?
Table 4.1. Evidence-Based Practices across Subjects
• IEP Legal Compliance
• Self-Advocacy through Co-Advocacy
How Do You Advocate for Students in Your Classroom?
Figure 4.2. Strategies and Examples for Successful Classroom-Level Advocacy
Where Can I Find More Information on Classroom Advocacy?
5 Ring of School Advocacy
Figure 5.1. The School Advocacy Ring
What Is the School Advocacy Ring and Why Is It Important?
What Are Some Current Opportunities for School Advocacy?
How Do You Advocate for Students in Your School?
Figure 5.2. Organizational Leadership Structure
Where Can I Find More Information on School Advocacy?
6 Ring of State Advocacy
Figure 6.1. The State Advocacy Ring
What Is the State Advocacy Ring and Why Is It Important?
What Are Some Current Opportunities for State Advocacy?
How Do You Advocate at the State Level?
Table 6.1. Advocacy Meeting Checklist
Figure 6.2. Kingdon’s Three Streams Model
Where Can I Find More Information on State-Level Advocacy?
7 Ring of Federal Advocacy
Figure 7.1. The Federal Advocacy Ring
What Is the Federal Advocacy Ring and Why Is It Important?
Figure 7.2. Differences between Federal and State Laws
What Are Some Current Opportunities for Federal Advocacy?
Table 7.1. Federal Funding for Teachers
How Do You Advocate at the Federal Level?
Where Can I Find More Information on Federal-Level Advocacy?
Section III: Advocacy in Practice
8 Inclusion of Students with Disabilities
Figure 8.1. The Five Rings of Advocacy
What Are the Issues Concerning Inclusion of Students with Disabilities?
Table 8.1. Circuit Court Tests When Determining Least Restrictive Environment
How Do You Use the Rings of Advocacy Concerning Issues of Inclusion?
Where Can I Find More Information about Inclusion?
9 The Special Education Teacher Shortage
What Are the Issues Concerning the Special Education Teacher Shortage?
How Do You Use the Rings of Advocacy Concerning the Special Education Teacher Shortage?
Table 9.1. Strategies to Mitigate Special Education Teacher Shortages
Figure 9.1. The Five Rings of Advocacy
Where Can I Find More Information about Teacher Shortages?
10 Inequities in Special Education
Figure 10.1. The Five Rings of Advocacy
What Are Some Issues Concerning Inequities in Special Education?
How Do You Use the Rings of Advocacy Concerning Issues of Equity?
Figure 10.2. The Purpose of an Equity Team
Table 10.1. Disaggregated Discipline Referral
Where Can I Find More Information about Inequities in Special Education?
About the Authors
This book is an essential advocacy tool for all educators—not just those working with special education students. The authors’ 'rings of advocacy' approach provides a practical and thoughtful framework to implement when working through complex situations involving students, special education policies and laws, and difficult decision-making processes. Using these processes will not only support students as learners but also bolster how educators demonstrate and share their expertise when navigating the complex processes that exist within special education today.
Children benefit when teachers are empowered to act as agents of change. This book is a terrific road map for how teachers’ advocacy can make a meaningful difference in the educational experience of students with disabilities.
This is a great book for any educator looking to make a difference in the field of special education. The authors share the 'rings of advocacy', provide multiple advocacy opportunities within each ring, and guide you through the process of advocacy at all levels. This book would make a great addition to any college course, professional development, or even school book study!
The Essentials of Special Education Advocacy is a key resource for many audiences—preservice teachers and administrators, working teachers and administrators, parents of children with disabilities, and advocacy organizations can benefit from this text. I especially recommend this text for survey courses in undergraduate and graduate special education and professional development for special education teachers and administrators. Each section has clearly explained content with up-to-date information grounded in realistic case study examples, and the tables and figures are well developed and support the content. Each topic area is covered thoughtfully with excellent connection to current research.
As a parent, guardian, and special educator I found that The Essentials of Special Education Advocacy was an excellent resource for new and current advocates for the rights of individuals with exceptionalities. This book is a family friendly resource that explains complex topics of special education in a way that all can understand. I plan on adding this advocacy book to my Legal Issues in Special Education course required reading.
This book provides a much-needed resource for parents, school administrators, teachers, advocates, and anyone else who cares about individuals with disabilities receiving a quality education. With an understandable review of how the U.S. government passes laws, a history of advocacy and a description of its importance, Markelz, Nagro, Monnin, and Bateman explain advocacy in a way that allows it to be actionable rather than something one knows they should do but is not sure how. The five rings of advocacy clearly explain the purpose for advocacy in each area with practical suggestions for how to advocate within that ring. Busy parents and professionals need quick, easy, and accessible resources to learn how to best support individuals with disabilities. This book masterfully accomplishes that mission by explaining advocacy and providing easy-to-implement suggestions in which anyone can participate. This is a must-read for anyone who wishes to be better empowered to evoke positive change for individuals with disabilities.
The Essentials of Special Education Advocacy is a much-needed and timely contribution to the field of special education—for both current and aspiring special education teachers. Utilizing the all-important advocacy lens to explore and analyze significant issues in the field today—such as inclusion, equity and the teacher shortage—offers readers a fresh perspective and strategy for changing situations that need addressing. The authors provide an overview of existing research on the issues and practical real-world examples, bringing the book to life for readers and outlining a path for action.