EDUL 6023 Managing Special Education Programs in Schools

Activity 1
EDUL 6023
Kenneth Bickmore
Although I have been teaching for almost 8 years I was very enlightened by what
is required in special education inclusion practices. The first example, called
mainstreaming, sounds more like the phrase “survival of the fittest” than inclusion. The
idea that students must “earn” the right to stay in the class by “keeping up” makes it seem
like the student does not have the right but must earn it, it is a reward. The next example,
inclusion maintains that the child benefits from the commitment to educate each child to
the maximum extent possible and the aspect of being included and not isolated from
peers. The special services are provide for them make progress, but not necessarily to
keep up. The final example requires full inclusion regardless of handicapping condition
or severity.
There are two laws that provide guidance for inclusive practices. The first is the
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The term inclusion does not appear
in the wording but the essence is with the phrase “least restrictive environment”. This
leads to the regular classroom. The placement begins with a committee to determine the
least restrictive environment and with the maximum extent possible.
K-12 schools must address the needs of all students, regardless of disability and
that all students must receive services within peer groups unless those groups are deemed
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the other law that mandates that
handicapped children must be educated in the “least restricted environment” meaning the
regular classroom. This must be done unless it is demonstrated that educating in the
regular classroom with the use of supplemental aides and services cannot be achieved
Implications across state law
The authors cited four case laws which occurred in four different judicial districts.
(Greer vs Rome City School District, 11th Circuit Court, 1992; Sacramento City Unified
School District vs Holland, 9th Circuit Court, 1994; Oberti vs Board of Education of the
Borough of Clementon School District, 3rd Circuit Court, 1993; and Poolaw vs Parker
Unified School District, Federal District Court Arizona, 1994). Although each of these
cases took place in a different judicial district, there are similarities across case law.
In the first case law decided that money could not be the deciding factor, but also
said that the district did not have to provide a personal teacher. Removal from the regular
classroom could only take place if all options and supplemental aides would not enable
the student to succeed. The second case cited that removal could not take place without
considering non-academic benefits, these are: 1) educational benefit of full time
inclusion, 2) non-academic benefits, 3) the effect the child would have on peers and the
teacher, 4) and the costs. The third case was very direct in stating three factors to be
considered. 1) The district must make every reasonable effort to accommodate the child,
2) The benefits of the regular and special education classrooms must be compared to
identify the most beneficial, 3) also, how will this placement effect the education of the
regular education students.
These three cases all identify four common ideals for inclusion:
1. Every opportunity must be afforded the student to succeed before considering
2. Other students must be considered along with the special education student
benefit and detraction of education.
3. Non-academic along with academic benefits must also be considered.
4. Regular education must be the starting point for all consideration.
Reference: Special Education Inclusion found at