Inclusion of Special Needs Students

Inclusion of Students with Special Needs:
How Effective is it

The public school system in the United Stated is based on the same principles the country was founded on, democracy and equality for all. This means that every student that walks through the doors of a school is entitles to receive the same quality of education. From a glance this may seem easy, however, this includes children with any type of disability, physical or mental. To enforce the idea of equality the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was created. The basis of this act is that a student needs to be place in the “least restrictive environment” possible to foster not only their academic but social growth. Again this is something more easily said than done. Much is left to interpretation and it has been followed through in many different ways. Schools do not always do what may be best for the student, instead they interpret the rules to their own convenience. This is a major problem in school systems across the nation, and is a major issue that needs to be dealt with.
Since how inclusion in schools is handled has been a discussion for a long time there has been a lot of research done on the subject and a lot of articles have been written. They all, however, come to similar conclusions. Palley in her article titled “Challenges of Rights-Based Law” talks about how the IDEA is implemented verses how it was intended to be implemented. In a similar article entitled “Educating Students with Mental Retardation in General Education Classrooms”, Williamson and her colleagues discuss what the laws regarding inclusion truly mandate. They also talk about many court cases that were brought before the Supreme Court, and what their results were. The article “Is implementation of the "least-restrictive environment" equitable for all students?” is a collection of quotes by teachers regarding their opinions on inclusion and their personal experiences with it. Finally, Friedlander writes...