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From the Reporter
The Project
San Diego Unified underwent a sea change in how it handles special education in 2008. After hearing from concerned parents and teachers, we wanted to know how the transition was going. Given the complexity of the story, we decided to tell it differently. Rather than laying out everything we learned in one big bundle, we opened up the subject for discussion with our readers while doing our reporting. Here’s what we found.
Conclusions
• Interviews with more than two dozen teachers, principals, experts and parents revealed a haphazard rollout of the new special education model that was plagued by a lack of vision and leadership.
• On the issue of training, specifically, there was confusion. Despite advocates pushing for mandatory training for teachers, nobody at the district ever tried to make that happen.
• There’s also disagreement about how principals were trained for the big change. The top official at the district’s Special Education Division says she was blocked from approaching principals to tell them about training. But that claim is refuted by her former boss, who no longer works in San Diego.

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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