ERIC Number: ED407812
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reform for All? General and Special Education Reforms in Five Local School Districts.
McLaughlin, Margaret J.; And Others
This paper presents selected findings from a three-year research investigation of general and special education reform initiatives implemented in five local school districts across the United States (including a large urban, predominately minority system; two suburban districts; a small independent city district; a large county-wide system; two rural school districts; and an independent town.) Case studies were conducted in each of the districts to document and describe educational reforms in the following areas: standards, assessment, accountability, teacher policy, finance, and governance. Of particular interest were the interactions between special and general education reforms and their impact on classroom practices. Results indicate that: (1) special educators were almost uniformly focused on how to create more inclusive classrooms and these efforts were generally separate from the overall reform agenda; (2) state level initiatives to reduce numbers of students eligible for special education led to changes in special education programs and services in two of the districts; (3) there was little discussion on how general and special education collaboration related to larger issues of inclusion of students with disabilities in curriculum and assessment; (4) there was great variation among special education directors in their level of knowledge of standards, assessment, and other district reform initiatives; and (5) special education's endorsement of or opposition to a specific initiative appeared to have little influence on the direction that a reform might take. (Contains 21 references.) (CR)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Case Studies, Disabilities, Disability Identification, Educational Change, Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, Inclusive Schools, Knowledge Level, Policy Formation, Program Administration, Program Implementation, Regular and Special Education Relationship, School Districts, Student Evaluation, Student Placement, Teacher Collaboration
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Policy Research on the Impact of General and Special Education Reform, Alexandria, VA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).