Interactions, relationships, and productivity of school based support teams for special education in New York City schools

Richard Bernard Rubin, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to determine how various relationships and attitudes among members of the School Based Support Team (SBST), their principal and the chairperson of the Committee on the Handicapped (COH) were related to the productivity of those teams in New York City public schools. This study examined the work of higher and lower-producing teams by using interviews and observations of the team members, principles and other individuals related to the team process. SBSTs in a representative community school in the Bronx were selected by examining their Educational Planning Conference (EPC) productivity statistics. The two selected teams were chosen from among 23 teams in that school district. The questionnaires used in the interviews for this investigation were original instruments developed by this investigator. The following were the major conclusions of the study. (1) A team that set higher expectations would have higher productivity than the team that set lower expectations. Productivity standards for individual clinicians were shown to have little meaning with regard to teams finishing cases at their schools. (2) Both selected teams were able to function and process their work, yet planning goals and communicating frequently on the higher-producing team helped the team accomplish more work. (3) When the SBST received strong leadership, both from someone acting as a team member and from an immediate supervisor in the school, productivity for the SBST in that school was higher. (4) The COH chairperson exercised little control over the team, and neither team perceived the COH chairperson as an immediate supervisor. (5) In-service training was not being done by the Board of Education to improve team relationships within teams and between the team and the school to which they were assigned. (6) The SBSTs needed their independent status from the principal to insure the fair and appropriate testing of all children.

Subject Area

Special education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Rubin, Richard Bernard, "Interactions, relationships, and productivity of school based support teams for special education in New York City schools" (1988). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8821962.