Dr. Bettini has a PhD in special education from the University of Florida, and is currently an assistant professor at Boston University. Previously, she taught students with emotional and behavioral disabilities in self-contained and inclusive settings in Connecticut and Arizona. She has won several awards for her research, including the Council for Exceptional Children's Quantitative Dissertation Award.
In her research, Dr. Bettini examines how special educators' working conditions influence the quality of their instruction and their retention in special education. Students with disabilities have some of the most significant learning needs. To make progress, they require skilled instruction. Yet, their teachers are disproportionately likely to be uncertified and to leave teaching early in their careers, before developing strong skills. As a result, students with disabilities are disproportionately like to be served by the least skilled teachers. Dr. Bettini's research examines how working conditions in schools can better support special educators in developing strong instructional skills and in remaining committed to serving students with disabilities throughout their careers.