ERIC Number: EJ772098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: 19
Two Acts, One Goal: Meeting the Shared Vision of No Child Left Behind and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004
Handler, Beth R.
Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, v80 n1 p5-8 Sep-Oct 2006
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 04) demonstrate a focused attempt by the U.S. Congress to improve the educational outcomes for students with disabilities through shared responsibility and accountability of both general and special educators. In this article, the author illuminates the complementary and parallel legislative language of NCLB and IDEA 04 and considers two related challenges that need to be addressed if the shared goal of increased academic achievement for students with disabilities articulated in these laws is to be realized. The author suggests that if people are to succeed in realizing the shared vision of NCLB and IDEA 04 for greater academic achievement for students with disabilities, the current approach to disability and special education must change. Instead of wholesale application of the psycho-medical approach to disability and perpetuation of the illusion that all struggling students require unique professional intervention, it is necessary to demystify disability and special education through collaboration and shared knowledge. Through collaboration and knowledge-sharing, special educators can facilitate general educators' skill development to increase the potential for their independently succeeding in teaching struggling students, disabled or nondisabled. Finally, special education processes and practices should be made transparent to all so as not create erroneous assumptions about the skills necessary to successfully teach students with disabilities.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Skill Development, Outcomes of Education, Educational Objectives, Special Education Teachers, Disabilities, Academic Achievement, Educational Legislation, Accountability, Teacher Responsibility, Attitudes toward Disabilities, Teacher Collaboration, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Mainstreaming, Teacher Competencies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001