Source: Journal Professional Development in Education, Volume 38, Issue 4, 2012, page 571-587
The Arkansas Department of Education Co-teaching Project was designed to assist Arkansas schools in the implementation of more inclusive service delivery models for students with disabilities. The project began due to a need to increase the number of students being served in less restrictive environments, but evolved into a systematic statewide program.
This paper provides the details of the systemic change occurring over a five-year period through a comprehensive evaluation model.
Participants in the project included five cohorts, 143 school districts, 208 schools, 789 teachers and 3920 students.
The results of the comprehensive evaluation plan indicate, over time, increases in the implementation of building-level supports, rated performance of co-teaching partnerships and grades for students with disabilities in co-taught classrooms. The evolution of the model extended to include web resources, interactive webinars, onsite coaching and specific evaluation feedback and recommendations to individual schools and teachers. This comprehensive approach to professional development was considered critical to the overall changes in state, district and classroom-based practices.