ERIC Number: ED359716
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-May
Reference Count: N/A
When School Isn't Special: A Call for Reform of Special Education in Baltimore City Public Schools. A Report by Students First.
Mintz, Mindy S.; Cuffie, Kevin L.
This report critically examines special education in Baltimore (Maryland) public schools and proposes major reform of Baltimore's special education system. Criticisms focus on: poor instructional quality (there is little "special" about special education); segregation of special education students from regular education; special education used as a dumping ground for slow learners and trouble makers; little attempt at early intervention; poor outcomes despite expensive programs; and an inefficient and ineffective bureaucratic system. A series of recommendations is preceded by a list of desired outcomes. These include higher self-esteem for special education students, early intervention to prevent unnecessary placement in special education, ending excessive bureaucracy and red tape, and raising graduation and attendance rates. Six initiatives are proposed: (1) creation of a mission statement; (2) taking responsibility to the schools; (3) creation of one system for all students; (4) staff development and support; (5) encouragement of family participation; and (6) improved management. A previous court-commissioned plan for reform is outlined and endorsed. Requirements of federal and state law as well as a 1984 consent decree are summarized. The report also offers recommendations to implement the six proposed initiatives. (Contains 35 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Advocates for Children and Youth, Baltimore, MD.