Special Education. Essay

1219 words - 5 pages

The goal of special education is to provide all students with and equal education. (Edwards, "Special Education") In 1997 Congress revised the Individuals with Disabilities Act to ensure that all students with a disability are given equal access to education. (Edwards, "Special Education") School districts must provide all children with disabilities a "free education" that meets their individual needs. (Edwards, "Special Education") "Special education programs" aim to provide high-quality education to students with mental, physical or emotional handicaps. (Edwards, "Special Education") By law school districts are required to pay more attention to special education students. (Wagman, "Districts adapt to rise in special education") Placing kids in separate classrooms, race, money making, improving tests score, these are just a few of the things that special education is used for. Do not get me wrong, some schools really want to help out disabled children but then you get the occasional school who just puts kids in special Ed. Because it gives them money and raises their test scores.Labels determine how teachers choose to educate children or whether they attempt to teach them at all. Special education classrooms often become convenient places for teachers to send students who struggle in their classroom away. In theory at least, special education is simple. A child thought by his or her parents and teachers to have learning problems are identified and special education is provided. Twenty-three states have funding formulas that reward school districts with more tax dollars if they place more students in special education programs. Two decades ago, when most disabled kids received little or no education, "weighted" programs made sense. The financial incentives prompted school districts to provide services to children with learning problems. Now, however, such weighted formulas often serve as moneymakers. (Shapiro, "Separate and unequal")Struggling to read, Alfred Profeet was forced to switch schools and end up in a separate class for leaning disabled children. He was assigned to a classroom where academic subjects were not emphasized. His basic math and reading abilities plummeted. His mom saw his self-confidence drop. She found a lawyer and a specialist who ran new tests on him.His real problem was he had trouble focusing his eyes, it is minor and can be dealt with in a regular classroom. He returned to his old school. Today he is working hard to catch up academically. His mother was bitter. Her son, she says, "lost two years out of his life." In some cases like Alfred's special education hurt him and his family. (Shapiro, "Separate and unequal") America's special education system was intended to give disabled kids and edge. But it is cheating many--and costing the rest of us billions. (Shapiro, "Separate and unequal")The No Child Left Behind Act mandates that special education students be separated from general student populations only when...

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