Elizabeth Bettini

Elizabeth Bettini
Boston University | BU · School of Education

About

64
Publications
17,135
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
761
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on how school and district leaders can cultivate and retain a staff of skilled, effective special education teachers. I am especially interested in how school leaders can shape working conditions in ways that facilitate special educators' efforts to learn and enact effective instructional practices.
Additional affiliations
July 2015 - present
Boston University
Position
  • Assistant Profesor
August 2011 - August 2015
University of Florida
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (64)
Article
Students with disabilities (SWDs) depend upon special education teachers (SETs) to provide effective instruction. SETs, in turn, depend upon school leaders to provide conditions necessary to learn and engage in effective instructional practices for students with the most significant learning needs. A promising body of research indicates that workin...
Article
A robust body of U.S.-based research demonstrates the importance of teachers of color to promote positive outcomes among students of color, and recent policies aim to increase the proportion of teachers of color. These policies are unlikely to succeed if they ignore how educational systems currently margin-alize teachers of color, particularly earl...
Chapter
Shared conceptions of special and general educators’ roles are essential to effective inclusive elementary schools. Yet extant research indicates there is wide variability in how their roles are conceptualized and enacted across different contexts, as educators have varied conceptions of the purposes of their roles, as well as broad discretion in h...
Article
Working conditions may be an important lever to support special educators’ reading instruction for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Thus, we explored how working conditions relate to the quality of special educators’ reading instruction in upper elementary, self-contained classes for students with EBD. Using mixed methods to...
Article
Retaining teachers is an important priority for school leaders, especially in special education, a field with chronic shortages. We analyzed a nationally representative survey using conservation of resources theory to examine how job demands and resources interacted with one another and with teachers’ assignments (i.e., as special and general educa...
Article
We used five waves of nationally representative data over 16 years from the Schools and Staffing Survey, National Teacher Principal Survey, and Teacher Follow-up Survey to descriptively examine how the roles, responsibilities, preparation, and supports for special educators have changed over time. We then used regression to investigate how these va...
Article
Special education teachers’ (SETs) working conditions play a crucial role in shaping the size, quality, and effectiveness of the SET workforce, and thereby shape the quality of instruction provided to students with disabilities. Valid measures of SETs’ working conditions are essential for conducting robust research on how to improve working conditi...
Article
Consistent evidence indicates the importance of teachers of color for experiences and outcomes of students of color. Fortunately, extant studies consistently indicate special education teachers (SETs) teaching students with EBD are more likely to be people of color than other SETs. These SETs require supportive working conditions, but, to our knowl...
Article
Special education teacher (SET) burnout is a significant concern, especially for SETs serving students with emotional–behavioral disorders (EBD), as they tend to experience higher burnout than other teachers. Working conditions, especially social support, have the potential to ameliorate burnout, but prior research has not articulated the sources a...
Article
Special education teacher (SET) burnout is a significant concern, especially for SETs serving students with emotional–behavioral disorders (EBD), as they tend to experience higher burnout than other teachers. Working conditions, especially social support, have the potential to ameliorate burnout, but prior research has not articulated the sources a...
Article
A schools’ collective social assets (i.e., school culture, administrative support, and satisfied colleagues) are especially important for beginning teachers at higher risk of attrition, including special educators, teachers of color, teachers in high-poverty schools, and teachers in schools serving predominantly students of color. These teachers of...
Article
Scholars have documented long-standing disparities in access to well-qualified, well-supported teachers, including disparities in access to special education teachers (SETs), based on student socioeconomic status. In response, policy initiatives have aimed to incentivize teaching in higher-poverty schools. Thus, we examined changes over time in dis...
Article
Special education teacher employment began to decline in 2006, concurrent with increased paraprofessional employment. At the same time, the prevalence of students with disabilities in several categories changed substantially, and the proportion of students being served in general education settings increased as well. The purpose of this study was t...
Article
Classroom observation research plays an important role in policy, practice, and scholarship for students with disabilities. When interpreting results of observation studies, it is important to consider the validity evidence provided by researchers and how that speaks to the intended use of those results. In this literature synthesis, we used Kane’s...
Article
Display rules—norms regarding the expression of emotion in professional settings—drive teachers' internal regulation of external emotional displays, and therefore have important implications for teachers' professional success. In this systematic review, we synthesize the findings of 32 studies examining teachers' perceptions of the display rules of...
Article
Full-text available
We examined changes in burnout across three timepoints in one school year, in a sample ( N = 230) of special educators serving students with emotional-behavioral disorders, in 15 school districts selected through stratified random sampling at the national level. Emotional exhaustion decreased at each timepoint in the school year and personal accomp...
Article
Students with emotional/behavioral disorders are increasingly included in general education settings, requiring their special educators to coordinate with other educators. Yet, research provides limited insights into their interactions with other educators. Thus, we qualitatively examined how special educators experienced and navigated interactions...
Article
Full-text available
When teachers return to work in the fall, the schools they reenter will look quite different from the schools they left behind in March. Schools are anticipating substantially increased demand to support student mental health, as many will return to school having experienced loss and grief, months of social isolation, and heightened rates of famili...
Article
Despite evidence that tiered instruction within response to intervention (RTI) frameworks is important for students with reading difficulties, no complementary professional development (PD) research demonstrates how teachers can develop knowledge necessary to implement coordinated evidence-based instruction across instructional tiers. One promising...
Article
Students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) in self-contained settings depend on special educators to deliver high-quality instruction and behavior management, and special educators depend on administrators to create supportive working environments. Yet, to date, no studies have examined how working conditions relate to special educators’ pr...
Article
Purpose Schools provide access to mental health services for traditionally underserved youth. However, there is variability in the types of school-based services students receive (e.g., school counseling, services in separate classrooms, or schools serving students with psychiatric disorders). Prior research has typically not distinguished among th...
Article
Special educators are responsible for providing quality reading instruction to students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), but they often experience difficulties fulfilling this responsibility, especially for students with EBD who are placed in dedicated settings, including self-contained classes. Administrators can help by ensuring spe...
Article
Special education teachers (SETs) are expected to use effective practices to improve outcomes for students with disabilities, yet even those who are well-prepared may not be effective in teaching these students, as problematic working conditions may limit their opportunities to teach effectively and their longevity in the profession. To complicate...
Article
Full-text available
Principals bear primary responsibility for supporting teachers. Principal leadership is especially important in alternative educational settings (AES; e.g., alternative schools, self-contained special education schools) that serve students with more substantial learning and behavioral needs, often with less-qualified and experienced teachers. We ex...
Article
In this article, the authors describe the complexity of special education teacher (SET) shortage, how shortage undermines equal educational opportunity, and strategies that school districts and state and federal governments have used to combat them. The authors consider the economic consequences of shortage and describe how school budgets are burde...
Article
Executive functioning (EF) is key to students’ school and lifelong success and reflects both genetic predisposition and sensitivity to negative and positive experiences. Yet there is less available literature investigating the relationship between typical experiences within school environments and student EF development. This is unfortunate, as sch...
Article
Induction is designed to support teachers’ effectiveness, improve their students’ learning, and foster their retention. We consider how high-leverage practices (HLPs) might provide an instructional framework for special education teacher (SET) induction. With sensemaking theory as a conceptual foundation, we posit that, by structuring induction exp...
Article
Special education teachers (SETs) who teach students with emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD) in self-contained settings are often less qualified, more stressed and burned out, and more likely to leave teaching than other SETs, resulting in a less effective workforce teaching students with significant behavioral and academic needs. Working cond...
Article
Schools experience difficulty retaining special educators to serve students with emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD) in self-contained settings, as they have higher rates of burnout and attrition than other educators. Administrators could prevent these outcomes by improving working conditions, but research provides limited insights into which c...
Article
This special issue of Remedial and Special Education is a collection of theoretical and empirical research addressing equity in the preparation of a diverse special education teaching force, with a focus on racial/ethnic diversity. The purpose of this special issue is to open a conversation about equity as it pertains to special education teachers,...
Article
High rates of attrition make it challenging for schools to provide qualified special education teachers for students with disabilities, especially given chronic teacher shortages. We synthesize 30 studies from 2002 to 2017, examining factors associated with special educator attrition and retention, including (a) teacher preparation and qualificatio...
Article
Secondary content-area teachers seldom use research-based practices for students with learning disabilities (LD), and prior research indicates they often conceptualize instruction in ways that align poorly with research about effective instruction for students with LD. However, prior research has focused on typical secondary content-area teachers,...
Article
Collaborative school reforms and teacher evaluation reforms both show promise for improving teaching and learning in American schools. However, these reform movements have largely been implemented separately from one another, and, because they are predicated on very different assumptions about how schools and teachers contribute to student learning...
Article
Propensity score (PS) analysis aims to reduce bias in treatment effect estimates obtained from observational studies, which may occur due to non-random differences between treated and untreated groups with respect to covariates related to the outcome. We demonstrate how to use structural equation modeling (SEM) for PS analysis to remove selection b...
Article
Full-text available
Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) often have deficient reading skills that require intensive intervention. Effective intervention is comprehensive in nature, addressing individual student needs. This article provides an overview and recommendations for one potential component of individualized support: the use of repeated readi...
Chapter
Over the past couple decades trends in federal and state policy have dramatically changed how special education teachers are prepared, evaluated and retained in schools. Alternative routes to the classroom proliferated and enrollments in teacher preparation declined, particularly as a lackluster economy reduced the demand for teachers. Once again,...
Chapter
Although there is growing evidence that teachers are important to student achievement, recruiting, preparing, and keeping a sufficient supply of qualified special educators continues to be a major challenge. This chapter provides a broad review of what is known about factors that impact special education teacher quality and effectiveness including:...
Article
Novice special education teachers (SETs) consistently report feeling overwhelmed by their workloads, and their perceptions of their workloads predict outcomes of concern, such as burnout and plans to quit teaching. Yet, to date, research provides few insights into feasible strategies school leaders could use to help novices better manage workloads....
Article
• Students benefit from having teachers who reflect their own background and the full racial/ethnic diversity of the US population. • Nationally, only 18% of special educators were teachers of color, while almost half of students with disabilities are students of color; however, there is marked variation in teacher and student racial/ethnic divers...
Article
Cultivating and retaining special educators competent to serve students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) has proven persistently difficult. Improving educational systems’ capacity to meet this challenge will require better understanding the roles special educators in these settings should be prepared for and supported to fulfill. The purpo...
Article
Students benefit from a teacher workforce that represents the full racial/ethnic diversity of the U.S. We examine racial/ethnic composition of general education teacher (GET) and special education teacher (SET) workforce using the Schools and Staffing Survey. We find that the teacher workforce continues to be primarily White. In 2011-12, 18% of SET...
Article
To effectively teach reading to students with and at risk for disabilities, special and general education teachers depend on principals who support effective specialized reading instruction. Yet, extant research indicates that principals have inadequate preparation for supporting specialized instruction. To address this issue, scholars have recomme...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we investigate the distribution of qualified special educators across elementary neighborhood schools and exclusionary public and private special education schools. Using the 2011–2012 Schools and Staffing Survey, we provide a descriptive analysis of measurable teacher qualifications (e.g., years of experience, preparation type, degr...
Article
Novice special educators (those in their first 3 years) consistently report their workloads are unmanageable. Yet, it is not clear whether their perceptions of workload manageability contribute to outcomes of concern such as emotional exhaustion (a component of burnout) or intentions to continue teaching in their schools and districts. This pilot i...
Article
Demand for special education teachers grew continuously from the passage of Public Law 94-142 in 1975 through 2005, when this trend reversed. From 2005 to 2012, the number of special education teachers employed by U.S. schools declined by >17%. The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine factors that contributed to this decline. We p...
Article
The purpose of this study was to review and analyze effective classroom reading practices for early graders, using information gathered from the existing content-general and content-specific observation protocols measuring teachers’ classroom reading practices. Dimensions and constructs from 28 observation studies were synthesized to identify class...
Article
Retaining teachers in high-poverty schools is essential for ensuring students who live in poverty have equitable educational opportunities. Understanding novices’ experiences can help school leaders improve novices’ retention in high-poverty schools throughout their careers. This integrative review of studies investigates novices’ experiences teach...
Data
In this study, we investigate the distribution of qualified special educators across elementary neighborhood schools and exclusionary public and private special education schools. Using the 2011–2012 Schools and Staffing Survey, we provide a descriptive analysis of measurable teacher qualifications (e.g., years of experience, preparation type, degr...
Article
Students with emotional disturbance (ED) depend upon special education teachers (SETs) to use evidence-based practices (EBPs) to promote their well-being. SETs, in turn, depend upon school leaders to provide working conditions that support learning and implementation of academic and social EBPs. We conducted an integrative narrative review of resea...
Article
Full-text available
Research investigating the relationship between teaching quality and student outcomes has found that teachers with higher knowledge for content and pedagogy are more likely to spend more time using effective practices while teaching than teachers with less knowledge. This is important, especially for teachers of students with specific learning disa...
Article
Full-text available
This investigation examined relationships among special education teachers’ working conditions (e.g., classroom characteristics, administrative support), personal characteristics (e.g., experience, certification status, self-efficacy), instructional quality, and students with disabilities’ reading achievement and behavioral outcomes. Data from the...
Article
This study aims to explore the influences of personal, vocational, and job environment related factors that are associated with job satisfaction of individuals with disabilities in South Korea. Data for wage-based working employees from a nationwide survey were obtained, which resulted in a total number of 417 participants. The six hypotheses and m...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence of the powerful impact teachers have on student achievement has led to an intensive focus on cultivating effective teachers, including special education teachers (SETs). Local special education administrators (LSEAs) share responsibility for cultivating effective SETs throughout their districts. However, the roles LSEAs play in this proces...
Article
Full-text available
Teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities face complex challenges supporting students’ academic and behavioral needs. These teachers require support from administrators, but administrators are seldom prepared to provide support. Furthermore, research seldom operationalizes support in ways that provide actionable advice to admi...
Article
Full-text available
Becoming an expert special educator is no easy task! Even if you have mastered the basic expectations for your job, those expectations are continually evolving, becoming increasingly complex and rigorous. Unfortunately, your efforts to develop the knowledge and skill to effectively meet these expectations and serve students with disabilities are pr...
Article
Special education teacher attrition has numerous negative impacts for students and schools. Administrators play an essential role in supporting special educators, but they seldom receive adequate preparation to provide this support effectively. The authors synthesize job characteristics theory, an area of research conducted by organizational psycho...
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of Head Start on early literacy skills relevant to school readiness of English language learners compared to their peers. The comparisons of literacy outcomes were conducted between English language learners and non-English language learners when both groups participated and were not in Head Start...
Chapter
Successful implementation of Response to Intervention frameworks in schools requires general and special education teachers to have well-integrated knowledge bases for providing instruction and intervention in reading and behavior. Implementation-focused approaches to changing teacher behavior, favored traditionally in special education, however, a...