ADVANTAGES

We examined the extent to which state departments of education are including (a) goals for student social behavior in their mission statements; (b) criteria for individual student, classroom, and schoolwide behavior support in certification standards for general education teachers, special education teachers, and principals; and (c) state initiatives focused on improving student social behavior. Web-based information from state departments of education from all 50 states and from the District of Columbia were reviewed in the fall of 2004. Results indicated that only 16 states (31%) include a focus on student social behavior in their mission statements. Individual student behavior support practices were identified in the curriculum for general educators in 30 (59%) states and for special educators in 39 (76%) states. Classroom behavior support practices were required for general education teachers in 39 (76%) states and for special educators in 40 (78%) states. Schoolwide behavior support practices were most likely to be required for principal certification, and they were formally identified in 20 (39%) of the states surveyed. Character education was the most common state initiative cited for improving social behavior in schools.

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