TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap
Engaging External Systems
External systems can be a source of support or a barrier to implementing inclusive education. Engaging with external partners can enhance and sustain policies, procedures, and practices that facilitate inclusive education. Engaging with external systems may also be a means to reduce the impact of specific barriers that fall outside an organization's authority, e.g., a district policy that impacts how a school's master schedule is designed.
A partnership among the administrative levels within education (state, districts, school) is also beneficial to systems change for inclusive education. Additional external partners can include teachers' unions, parent groups, local colleges and universities, and community resources. Collaboration with a variety of external partners can lead to a more comprehensive approach to systems change.
Engaging with a variety of external partners, such as parent and community organizations, State Departments of Education (DOE), and local universities, can support and maintain inclusive education systems change. When partners are collaboratively engaged in creating inclusive school communities, change can happen more smoothly and more quickly. When partners work together, they can pool their knowledge and experience, develop collaborative approaches to identifying and addressing barriers, and support each other through the change process. The real-world example below illustrates how types and flow of information can be organized across education administrative levels.
As part of a district's work to build an inclusive system, they invited a state department of education (DOE) representative to join the monthly EILT meetings. This provided a means for the district to discuss the challenges they were facing and the support that would help the district achieve its goals. The DOE learned how state policies and practices were hindering or helping build inclusive education systems.