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ERIC Number: ED358985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reforming Special Education.
Fishkin, Anne S.; Sullivan, Michael
This paper describes education reform as an integrated effort to modify not only the structure and elements of the education system but also the culture or belief structure of that system. Central to any discussion of school reform are the elements of restructuring, empowerment, and change. Current reform efforts in restructuring revolve around a top-down management approach that contradicts true education reform. In order to transform and empower rather than simply restructure, expectations for schools must be matched with current practice. It is essential that clearly defined goals are jointly developed by all involved stakeholders. In addition, change requires allocation of fiscal and human resources and teacher support systems if continuous improvement is to result. In West Virginia, a predominantly rural state with a large percentage of small schools, several tiers of "reform" activities are uncoordinated and contradict basic premises of successful reform. Although recent legislation established faculty and school improvement councils to involve schools and communities in education decisions, a state agenda aimed at downsizing school systems has effectively preempted local decision-making. Additionally, West Virginia has driven headlong into the regular education initiative that promotes inclusion of exceptional students with their peers but fosters a top-down management approach as opposed to a quality management approach. This paper predicts that inclusion models may be the single greatest special-education-related issue threatening a quality management approach to school reform. (LP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia