ERIC Number: ED379816
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Separate Is Sometimes Better: A Case for Keeping Special Education Placements.
Fuchs, Douglas; Fuchs, Lynn S.
Federal legislation for educating students with disabilities guides the selection of educational placements on the basis of the least restrictive environment, which must encourage the promotion of social interaction between students with disabilities and their nondisabled peers and must provide students an appropriate education. Some advocacy groups believe that social interaction is, itself, the appropriate education for students with disabilities, and reject the idea of special education placements. These full inclusionists believe that special education placements are inherently unequal and that their elimination will result in transformation of regular classrooms into more responsible, resourceful, and humane systems. However, the "separate is unequal" position fails to recognize that special education programs can be nurturing, demanding, and empowering in a way that mainstream education is not. Good special education is individualized, in contrast to regular education's "one size fits all" approach. The full inclusionists presume to speak for everyone despite the fact that several advocacy groups have issued public statements strongly endorsing special education placement options. Full inclusionists, who generally advocate for children with mental retardation, cannot seek their policy agenda only for children with mental retardation, as such a qualification would be construed as support for special education placements and their children may be the ones so placed. (Contains 24 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A