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More Paraeducators Added to Classrooms Nationwide

Paraeducators Continue to Grow in Classrooms Nationwide

Paraeducators may be taking over schools as more and more aides are providing one-one-one and small-group instruction with special needs students. 

These aides are becoming a significant part of the learning process, according to an article on DistrictAdministration.com. Recently, "paraeducators are helping to ensure that students with special needs keep pace with the Common Core State Standards,"  said the article.

According to Roxanne Dove, director of education support professionals for NEA, said based on U.S. Census data, the National Education Association found the number of paraeducators rose from 780,000 in 2001 to 830,000 today. 

"Greater numbers of bilingual students and increased class size have demanded more classroom help," said Dove, in the article.

A recent study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found teacher aides increased from 2 percent of the 3.4 million staff members in public schools in 1970 to 12 percent of the 6.2 million staff members in 2010. 

Marilyn Likins, director of the National Resource Center for Paraeducators, said "teachers and paraeducators need to work together in different ways, with paraeducators taking lesson plans that teachers develop and homing in on specific students to help them meet their goals."

Likins said paraeducators need a "sophisticated coaching model" to be put in place. 

Teachers need training on how to supervise [paraeducators], how to collaborate, how to engage paraeducators effectively. The administrators’ role is to understand all that and know how to support teacher-para teams, how to provide planning time and how to build better communication.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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