ERIC Number: ED307793
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: 0
The Regular Education Initiative as Reagan-Bush Education Policy: A Trickle-Down Theory of Education of the Hard-To-Teach.
Kauffman, James M.
Proposals for restructuring and integration of special and general education, known as the regular education initiative (REI), represent a revolution in the basic concepts related to the education of handicapped students that have provided the foundation of special education for over a century. Education policy, as presented by Presidents Reagan and Bush, has consisted of: fostering an image of achieving excellence, regardless of substantive change; federal disengagement from education policy; and block funding of compensatory programs. All three strategies are viewed as having a negative effect on programs for special needs students. Thus, the REI is considered a flawed policy initiative which focuses on a small number of highly emotional issues such as integration, nonlabeling, efficiency, and excellence for all. Further objections to the REI are that it does not have the support of critical constituencies, rests on illogical premises, ignores the issue of specificity in proposed reforms, and reflects a cavalier attitude toward experimentation and research. Several changes in direction are recommended for the achievement of meaningful reforms; these include obtaining the support of critical constituencies, increasing attention to the effectiveness of educational strategies rather than the place in which they are implemented, and focusing efforts on incremental improvements in the current system. (Author/JDD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Virginia Univ., Charlottesville. School of Education.
Note: Supported in part by the University of Virginia's Commonwealth Center for the Education of Teachers. To be published in the Journal of Special Education; v22 n3 Fall 1989.