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Special Education, Then & Now January 20, 1972; Hubert H. Humphrey introduces a Bill mandating education for children with disabilities. –I introduce…a.

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Presentation on theme: "Special Education, Then & Now January 20, 1972; Hubert H. Humphrey introduces a Bill mandating education for children with disabilities. –I introduce…a."— Presentation transcript:

1 Special Education, Then & Now January 20, 1972; Hubert H. Humphrey introduces a Bill mandating education for children with disabilities. –I introduce…a bill…to insure equal opportunities for the handicapped by prohibiting needless discrimination in programs receiving federal financial assistance… –These people have a right to live, to work to the best of their ability – to know the dignity to which every human being is entitled.

2 November 29, 1975 President Gerald Ford, upon signing federal legislation (94-142) to mandate education for children with disabilities: –…this bill promises more than the federal government can deliver, and its good intentions could be thwarted by the many unwise provisions it contains… –Supporters of this legislation…are falsely raising the expectations of the groups affected by claiming authorization levels which are excessive and unrealistic

3 A Special Education Controversy Who belongs in schools? How far do schools need to stretch to meet student needs? The debate continues into the new millennium Welcome to the front lines of the new All- American Hundred Years War!

4 A Challenge: Think for Yourself When was the first time you saw someone with a disability? What do you remember? Compare your recollections with those of someone one generation older – and one younger. The differences will be startling!

5 30 Years Ago Your local school could refuse to admit a child with a disability. There was no place in the local school for a child with a disability. The child and his/her parents were not welcome. The child and the parents belonged someplace else, any place but not this place – the local community school

6 A Parents Choice: 30 Years Ago Teach your child at home (or just have him spend his days there). Find a space in a kind school run by dedicated religious people. Have your child put away in a faceless institution for life (terminal care)

7 The Schools of Today Children with disabilities are the focus of concentrated attention. Trained professionals and researchers strive to understand disabilities and to address specific teaching methods and approaches. Teachers actively adapt instruction. Program options seem limitless. Isolation at home, in institutions or on the streets has been significantly reduced.

8 The Schools of Today: Part 2 Students with disabilities are separated into sections of the school where no one else ever goes. No one thinks to include students with disabilities in class parties, etc. Once formal schooling ends, many young adults with disabilities are without jobs because there is no guaranteed support

9 Special Education Arguments 02 Has the promise of special education been met or exceeded? Has society done too much or not enough? How have the dreams of Hubert Humphrey and the cautions of Gerald Ford been realized? Think about the people with disabilities you remember. I can never forget The Room nor the smells and things I witnessed at Walter E. Fernald School, Waltham, Massachusetts

10 Does Inclusion Work? Current legislation (IDEA97) supports inclusion as the best way to educate students with disabilities. Critics fear that these students will lose access to necessary, specially designed instruction in the inclusionary rush to return them to the very classrooms in which they experienced failure. What do you think?

11 What does Inclusion deliver? Disability advocates affirm the positive outcomes of inclusion. Public school administrators express concern that inclusion does not provide appropriate preparation for successful life following school. What do you think?

12 Least Trained & Most Needy Untrained teacher assistants spend too much time closely attached to individual students, often hindering the involvement of certified teachers and nondisabled peers. Professionally trained classroom teachers are often less prepared than some assistants to work with children in inclusive settings and are unprepared to supervise assistants. What do you think?

13 National Council on Disability An independent federal agency dedicated to promoting policies, programs, practices and procedures that guarantee equal opportunity and empowerment of all individuals with disabilities Reported in January 2000, that all 50 U.S. states are out of compliance with special education law and that must be remedied by increased federal attention. What do you think?

14 Is Special Education Too Expensive? Critics contend that the number of students identified with disabilities in increasing at an excessive rate because of funding systems that encourage over identification. Advocates say that enrollment and costs are increasing primarily because of the increased numbers of children with more significant disabilities. What do you think?

15 The Center for Special Education Finance (CSEF) Estimates that the cost of educating a child with disabilities is 2.28 times that of educating a child without disabilities. Actual expenditures vary widely based on individual need. The beginnings of special education shifted responsibilities away from institutions, hospitals, insurance companies, and social agencies to schools but money has not accompanied this shift in responsibilities.

16 What caused the big shift? Advances in medical technology Deinstitutionalization of children with special needs Privatization of services Economic and Social Factors including increases in the number of children in poverty and the number of families experiencing social and economic stress.

17 Medical Technology Advances Children who would not have otherwise survived due to prematurity or disability are now surviving. Those whose disabilities would have previously placed them in a hospital or institution are able to enter public school. Special Education services are often recommended at infancy and children are placed in early intervention programs.

18 Deinstitutionalization and Privatization The shift from state institutions toward a reliance on local school districts and collaborative or private placements is a positive one. It provides better services within a less restrictive environment; however, The financial resources to fund this shift did not come with the children.

19 A Challenging Dilemma Children enter schools with greater needs. These needs are identified at an earlier age. The increased cost seriously compromises regular education programs, often leading to things like larger class sizes. We need a solution that does not blame the children or those working with them and does not pit regular education against special education.

20 Special Education Is Costly PL 94-142 (1975) established a federal commitment to pay 40% of the excess cost of its special education mandate. Currently the federal government contributes approximately 12%. Is this a debate about cost or scarce resources? Is this an argument about how to pay or whether to pay?

21 The Reality of Costs Schools have done a good job containing costs. Schools have rigorously applied eligibility standards and provided regular education and inclusive programming for children as alternatives to special education services. The root causes of these increases have been factors beyond the control of schools.

22 Welcome to Special Education Despite nearly 30 years of growth and progress, arguments and controversy about special education continue. The history is short and defined by legislation since many elements of our laws are vague and undefined. Clarity is often achieved through litigation. The foundations of special education shift with a single court decision.

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