The System Works: Why We Should Not Fully Include Special Needs Students
Imagine this scenario. How is a blind student suppose to play a game of basketball with the rest of her sighted peers? It's impractical to put a beeper on the basketball hoop or somewhere on it's post. What if a student let's say her name was Rebecca was ordered to be integrated in to a physical education class and had to participate. Should the teacher or the aid for this individual stand by the hoop tapping the hoop with a cane, when the student has a chance to score a basket? That would be impractical wouldn't it? This teacher or aid would be more of an obstacle than help even if she is banging on the hoop with say the student's cane or a spare one. Is the student suppose to randomly aim at nothing in particular hoping she could score a goal? Is she to be the referee, and if so how is she to have the full experience of playing basketball? This humorouss problem is what happens when full inclusion or integration of disabled students is in place. I myself because of my parents wanting me to be fully integrated came across such a humorous situation. Not being allowed in the adaptive Physical education class produced such interesting results. The teachers didn't know what to do either so I was separated anyway, and got my own little class of adaptive PE by spending the entire time trying to make a basket, serve a vollleyball, pitch a lacrosse ball, kick around a soccer ball, throw a football, ECT which honestly wasn't very productive. Occasionally being in the regular PE course payed off by doing spin, rowing, gymnastic, exercise room such as on the treadmill, and swim with everyone else. I also had to do all the homework and memorize what the games was like and how to play them but promptly forgot because I didn't get to apply my knowledge. The full integration people would stay optimistic and would say there has to be a way. It's as ridiculous as one summer wen I went to summer camp for the blind, and people from this space education place came, and insisted that I should look harder and really look through this telescope to see stars, when I repeatedly told them, I wasn't able to see anything.
Or imagine this. A student, a middle school student, who has not been taught how to read and falls in the autistic spectrum is put in normal classes and is told to function. At most an aid is given to her to help her out. How is this student suppose to succeed? Or is she even suppose to? Keep the two interesting vignettes in your mind as you read this paper.
There are students who are included or mainstreamed in to classes, some that are but are only included partially, and yet others who is not even included in the classroom. 45 years ago students with disabilities was placed in public education. About 25 years ago the question of how much should students be integrated in to a general education classroom or mainstreamed, started being debated. Many papers have been written in favor of more mainstreaming most of these taking the idea of total inclusion or full inclusion practices and as many and as heated papers written to debate in favor of the status quo. I am almost everyone's vision of a textbook example of a success story of why full inclusion works and similar people like myself. I have been since the fourth grade been mainstreamed fully and integrated pretty much in to general education. So, I was supportive of the full inclusion model, but the more I researched the more I changed my mind. This paper is about why we should not look at mainstreaming anyone anymore than they already are deemed eligible for, especially not a full inclusion model which is the efforts to mainstream more. This paper explains why the system works and why we have probably the system which is best for our nations children in terms of inclusion.
Mainstreaming is a widely used term but according to Julian U Stein "The term "mainstreaming" is not found in any law or legal document (it was actually introduced in the early 1960s by Maynard Reynolds, a special educator from University of
Minnesota." 1 This is to describe the ideas that children who are disabled should be included in all activities and should be in the mainstream of life. Therefore, the terms inclusion or full inclusion or integration will be used synonymously with mainstream.
Let's discuss the law which all of this is based around. The idea was passed in 1975 by President Gerald Ford and the 94th congress with PL94142. This is a law that changed much of the civil rights of disabled children. Inside PL94142 or the idea has two central requirements The FAPE or free appropriate public education and the LRE which is Least restrictive environment. They work together because LRE states that children should be educated in The Least restrictive environment and that the education still has to be free and appropriate. According to Stein "One of the strengths of LRE principles has been that placement and curricular decisions are based on individual needs and abilities, not categorical generalizations that dominated special programs prior to passage of Section 504 and PL 94142." 2 The framers of Idea understood why Children should be educated even if they had a disability. Their motive was put forth as such by a committee member "P]ublic agencies and taxpayers will spend billions of dollars over the lifetimes of these individuals to maintain such persons as dependents and in a minimally acceptable lifestyle. With proper education services, many would be able to become productive citizens, contributing to society." 3 However, because the congress has put in place LRE does not mean that Least Restrictive requirements means mainstreaming all children in to general education classes. This is a reading by far a bit of a stretch. Some children are so severely handicapped that age appropriate curriculum would be futile. As stated by Robert Caperton Hannon "As a result, a child suffering from mental retardation will often have drastically different educational goals from those of a child without such a severe disability." 4 The spirit of idea is not to ram as much information in two the child as we can possibly fit in there. Education is a means to equality as stated in Brown VS Board of Education that it is "doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he [or she] is denied the opportunity of an education" 5 The idea of education is therefore Sufficiency. Thus according to Hannon "the substantive goal of the IDEA should be to enable each child to become self-sufficient. Only by addressing the unique needs of children with disabilities will this goal of independence, the true purpose of an educational system, be met." 6 The IDEA was introduced precisely because "Children with disabilities were not being served in regular education classrooms and physical education programs." 7 Sometimes for some putting together a sentence isn't really possible, much less achievable is reading a chapter book or writing a persuasive paper. It is better to focus on other tasks than academic ones because the use of such endeavors would be too ambitious. Yes, the courts did say "in order for a child to receive a FAPE, the IEP must be "appropriately ambitious" and "reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances.." 8 but it doesn't mean that such instructions needs to be academic in nature. For some ambitious is self-care, cleaning up, socializing with people, EtC… Therefore some are simply "seeking to attain skills "such as using money, taking public transportation, and developing personal hygiene skills" instead of seeking to master more traditional classroom topics" 9 A general education classroom would be an inappropriate LRE because that would be to Unrestrictive. This person would need a specialized classroom where a teacher can provide such life skills environment also helps because it' not as vigorous and it "focuses on the idea of smaller groups, a more close-knit environment, and one-on-one attention, which can help children with special needs feel safe while fostering creativity and learning." 10 A general education would be harmful and this was once expressed by the courts because "the court was concerned that the student would be simply "monitoring" the regular class" if a child who was severely mentally challenged was placed in a general education class with regular children. 11 The idea is that this could be potentially more harmful because in being optimistic that the child may learn something even minor may be harmful. Thus "school authorities should give consideration to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs." 12 So It comes down to this, a fundamental judgment partly especially in the bigger scheme of things to "predicated on an inquiry into the needs and abilities of the child" and not so much on one's agenda or wants. 13 There is actually statistics backing up these points. It is known that "Special class placement was thus found to be disadvantageous for students with below-average IQ, causing them to lose 7 percentile ranks. In contrast, it was found to be advantageous for students with LD or EBD, who improved by an average of 11 percentile ranks and were better off than 61% of their counterparts placed in general education classrooms." 14 This shows us that students who could have done better in a less mainstreamed setting or being able to be pulled out for parts of the day to complete these portions of their education in a resource room or a part time special education classroom would assist them. As it is, they have lost ranks in terms of testing and fell behind their counterparts in a more restrictive seting.
Another related factor and possibility is this. That a child could absolutely be educated in a general education class, but it would cost a costly amount. The courts have also ruled that "the cost of educating a handicapped child in a regular classroom is so great that it would significantly impact upon the education of other children in the district, then education in a regular classroom is not appropriate" 15 Sometimes what a child requires is too many aides to participate that the cost would be too much and the benefits are either just decent or not worth the cost. Keep in mind that funding is always a factor. It's an issue because "The costs of providing a FAPE for . . . severely disabled children are not adequately reimbursed by the federal government under IDEA. The federal government never made good on its promise to provide 40% of special education expenditures to school districts. At the present time, the federal government covers only 16% of the costs of providing special education services under IDEa." 16 Even legislator know and acknowledge this fact and know that funding is an issue. As one special Education head stated "Right now the issue of finance is overriding. We're in a situation that if it's not taken care of pretty soon, nothing else is going to matter," because without money nothing much can be done and issues and problems can't be solved nor is a good education possible. 17 When asked about issues they preferred to implement funding was a great cost to that factor, because "Superintendent and principal associations, although concerned about special education, focused their remarks on the diminished funding of education in general." 18 In addition a school which was practicing inclusive education knew exactly why the district wasn't fully supportive of them. As "Teachers, principals, and reform coordinators agreed that if there were adequate funding available to fully support general, special, and bilingual education in the district, the vision of district administrators and school site teachers and principals of the levels of financial support needed to promote inclusive education would be more aligned." 19 Finances are rather important in reform because any further move would be a financial burden. As pointed out at this Inclusive education site, "Financial resources are needed to support collaborative endeavors that unify programs, including support for staff development, team planning meetings, and the development through collaborative effort of individualized supports and adaptations to meet the needs of all students." 20 As stated by a teacher of how important funds were, "pretty much done on everyone's own free time," 21 because as stated by the school "There were few resources for regularly scheduled meetings to plan cooperative teaching or collaborative small-group instruction, to conduct joint assessments and develop academic adaptations, and to identify positive behavioral support strategies for students with challenging behaviors." 22 This school identified that district personnel had issues accommodating their type of school reform. According to a teacher who was part of this school arrangement They noted, "The place where we get the resources and the funding doesn't quite know how [inclusive education] looks. They don't understand all these experiences we've had; so I think that's actually the limitation of this district, that they don't have a full understanding or vision of what inclusion looks like." 23 This caused a problem because such programs are not even supported and the inclusive proponents even know this much. According to Hunt "the perception of teachers, principals, and reform coordinators who participated in our focus groups that these resources are sorely lacking." 24 It is even embedded in the system to have a separated out program for general and special education. The system is not meant to have an inclusive one track model for all students irregardless. As these researchers discovered in there research in six different states, "In all six states, the special education funding formulas contained inherent financial incentives to place students with disabilities into separate programs. As a result, all 18 sites experienced pressure to implement programs along a two-track system of special education and general education." 25 unlike visionaries who hoped and thought that inclusive types of arrangements "would in the long run cost less, or at least give "more control in containing runaway costs," which just isn't the case. 26 it was observable that most just didn't see it that way, because it was observed that "Most were skeptical about getting involved with shortlived incentive grants that were not clearly linked to the historically entrenched state categorical- funding mechanism," nor jumped to use their resources to mainstream or include students. 27 in fact an Administrator observed that "If we place children in general education settings and move away from the use of labels to identify students for particular types of services, we are in jeopardy of losing our funds," which is of course a even more undesirable outcome. 28 So many conventional non-integrated systems tended to see "the separate funding of special education and general education as a critical asset, and as such they worked diligently in following the route of precedent and conserving the status quo" 29 this is why cost considerations are actually so immensely important. In general funding is lacking for education but even so and with the funding of programs and education being tight "that because of its "protected" legal status, special education had yet to suffer cuts from the "legislative budget knife" as had other educational programs. Yet, because special education historically had been sheltered as the "untouchable" program it hasn't yet receive as great of cuts 30 Funding may be already tight but at least it isn't cut as other programs are, and one can imagine how much more difficult things can become if it did receive budget cuts, which is why feasibility in terms of cost must be really thought over carefully. This is not said arbitrarily in order to determine and set such a policy to mainstream more, and try out an inclusive classroom setting. You would have to justify the costs either way; however, "In an effort to justify the specialized, and often expensive and potentially stigmatizing, treatment of students with disabilities," we have to be careful in making such decisions. 31 There is therefore declared a few standards of how to judge what is sufficient Mainstreaming. However, I will give only one example, and this is a test assumed by the Rachel Holland court "1. Will the child receive an educational benefit, both nonacademic and academic, from the regular education placement? 2. What is the child's overall educational experience in the mainstreamed environment, balancing the benefits of regular and special education? 3. What effect does the special education child's presence have on the regular classroom environment and the education that the other students are receiving?"
As stated by Elizabeth Farrell In special education "we take the child where we find him" (individualization." 33 Often the teaching of a special needs child is quite specialized thus being special education. These teaching strategies "included literally dozens of techniques found to be effective for students with disabilities." 34 This is not a paper on teaching practices for research but merely one on a policy decision to go further on the LRE Clause or further than the LRE clause to produce a better FAPE under the IDEA or IDEIA. Even if one could list them, it's not as feasible as it sounds because "The field is so multifaceted and expansive that a single list of effective techniques is inevitably incomplete and even misleading. For example, effective practices for infants and toddlers with disabilities are quite different from those for young adults with disabilities involved in the transition from school to work." 35 This education "although it cannot and does not produce optimal outcomes for all students with disabilities, generally provides an added value to the educational opportunities and outcomes of the students it serves." 36 The reform of special education is another topic for another day, but at least there has been some effort and at least some students are actually benefiting.
Back to the point concerning LRE, "although it was possible for the effective practices described to be applied in general education settings, in reality many are almost never used in this environment and are, in essence, unique to special education." 37 This is the distinction between the two. In a Regular general education class there is usually typically 30 to 40 students. So the teacher has many students to work with. So generally although such practices may be useful they "do not transfer easily to most mainstreamed classrooms, where teachers have many students and often a different set of assumptions about the form and function of education" 38. Teachers are actually thinking of the practical and these methods are "unlikely to be used with all students because many teachers in general education do not recognize the need for them and/or do not know how to implement them." 39 There is a good reason for this, and it is simply not out of laziness or an undesirable dislike of special education students. The reason being "many of the techniques are too time-consuming and cumbersome to be used with all students;: 40 furthermore, General education students are quite capable and normal and can deal with use of normal strategies by teachers, and actually "learners without disabilities will likely succeed without these instructional techniques, learners with disabilities will likely fail without them." 41 therefore, "teaching techniques not often used with nondisabled students have been developed and used, labels have been applied to designate students served, and students have often been placed in separate environments with specially trained teachers." 42 This is because it is necessary because these students are not typical. The thing with special education is that they are unique. To keep pace with there special needs something has to be developed. So, it has been "To address the atypical needs and often unresponsive nature of the students that it serves, special education has traditionally involved providing something 'extra" and "different.'" 43.
It has also been determined that due to the fast paste and vigor of normal education, "research has shown that typical general education environments are not supportive places in which to implement what we know to be effective teaching strategies for students with disabilities" 44 Also in a general education classroom Teachers are looking at "general educators' greater interest in excellence than equity," rather than the opposite which is the tendency of special education teachers. 45 Also the aims of the two systems are separate. For general education it has been stated by Lamar Alexander
that the public policy goal here is "education is to set tough, clear standards of achievement and insure that those who educate our children are accountable for meeting them." 46 which in blending the two systems it's almost impossible to do so.
If the teacher is to keep on this track the special education students as noted above do not do as well or well at all. In schools that exerted effort in terms of integrating students in general education classes they found that when it was time to take the standard test that "Of the students with disabilities taking the test, only a small number met the requirements for minimal test mastery, but a few students did pass the test." 48 This is why "Teachers feel obligated to teach it, and students are held accountable for learning it," 49 Therefore, the standard Curriculum is taught because it's this standard that is uniform in teaching. HOwever, this is not the thinking of proponents of more mainstreaming practices, "the standard curriculum is anathema to many inclusionists because it creates de facto segregation within the mainstream" 50 This is because standard Curriculum type learning will distinguish and separate and to the proponents of more Inclusive practices in terms of full inclusion it's discriminatory. It is stated by research that "For most children with severe intellectual disabilities, it is usually unattainable." 51 In order to accommodate these children more must be necessarily done for these children.
Thus, "This means that mainstream teachers attempting to accommodate a wide diversity of students must orchestrate a greater number of activities and materials, substantially complicating their job," which is not desirable for these educators. 52 as discussed in length previously this is quite a bit of pressure because it "requires more planning which, for some teachers, can become reason enough to turn their backs on the inclusion concept." 53 Such an example is stated by a organization that represents Children with learning disabilities in saying that "students with learning disabilities sometimes require an intensity and systematicity of instruction uncommon to general education classrooms." 54 Now if we do allow full inclusion to happen and mandate it then the struggle of the teacher is to balance interests of those mentioned of the regular students and those with more needs. "it will be "When effective instruction is provided to all students, and teachers will be faced with the dilemma of maximizing mean performance versus minimizing group variance." 55
This is often done and the regular child wins out, and of course the proponents of full inclusion argue that it is the fault of the teacher who isn't competent and maybe we should evaluate the teacher or her methods. According to research It doesn't make as much of a difference as one would think and that "student failure should not be attributed solely to perceived shortcomings of teachers, more competent teachers did not necessarily possess more positive attitudes about students with disabilities" 56 The idea was that adaptations can be a challenge. There is some research that say "students with disabilities did not receive differentiated instruction or adaptations.
Even effective teachers were found to make few adaptations because of the belief that many adaptations were not feasible" 57 This is just the nature of general education and it is even built in to the training of the teachers, which makes implementing public educational policy in contrary to that impractical. If you considered preparedness, "regular educators are not trained to provide diversified instructional methods or to cope with the needs of diverse learners." 58 Teachers mind-set was conformity, not accommodationn," and this was taught in the training also. 59 The teachers attitudes reflected this because in this research "only about one quarter of the teachers believed that they had sufficient classroom time for inclusion efforts, that they were currently prepared to teach students with disabilities, or that they would receive sufficient training for inclusion efforts." 60 Furthermore, as a starting attitude because of their level of knowledge in this research that was done "Among about one third of the sample, these two factors appeared to be associated with the belief that including students with disabilities would have a negative impact on the general education classroom." 61 Some teachers were concerned enough to voice it at their teacher union meetings. Thus, "Teacher associations, however, were concerned about the implementation of LRE policy because of related issues regarding overcrowding of classrooms, lack of skills to implement policy, and too few resources." 62 This had such an effect that in some areas these issues "were emerging as issues to be included at the bargaining tables in the near future." 63
What would have to change is their program in terms of training, but in that effect what also may have to be changed is the way that we educate our children in this nation. As discussed above there are reasons that this system works or would have to work even less optimally for these special needs children, because of an effort to boost academic performance. Another factor which has to change in quite a few cases is the support of an administration at a school cite or district. Research across states and practices has found that "In schools where principals and district administrators supported integrated approaches to LRE policy, teachers were more likely to participate in a change process, knowing the supports would be available and the expectations were clear." 64 It has been proven that "special education administrators, together with their superintendents, directed the approach to the implementation of LRE policy. In no instance did a site show movement toward creating increased options in general education settings without the explicit leadership of one or both of these administrators." 65 Further, in many ways principals was also very important in themselves because even if a district was supportive of full inclusion policies at "the school level, it was generally agreed that principals were essential to the implementation of LRE policy in their schools and that they either facilitated or constrained placement of students in general education settings." 66 Also, the idea that accommodations would and could be made inside a classroom have been tried in the form of ALEM and research "have been analyzed critically, and ALEM was found to be deficient and inconsistent with respect to design, analysis, and interpretation, suggesting that ALEM cannot be endorsed as a prototypical model for integrating general and special education." 67
Students in such classes with special needs "who could not conform would likely be unsuccessful," and left to struggle. 68 Thus it's very logical and the truth of the matter is "many students with disabilities preferred special education pull-out programs (i.e., resource rooms) over programs delivered exclusively in the general education setting" or perhaps just being and learning in a regular class. 69 This is because their perception of the special education rooms was "a supportive and quiet environment where they could receive extra academic assistance." 70 As to special education Students themselves also claimed that they "preferred teachers who did make such instructional adaptations," Which is not many of them or else they were special education teachers. 71
When teachers were asked to include such students and to accommodate these special education students "teachers expressed concern about the time and effort required to meet the needs of students with disabilities that might limit their ability to provide an optimal education for students without disabilities." 72 What contributed to a teacher wanting to work with a student and being positive about them being fully included in there class seems "to influence these perceptions appeared to be the severity level of student disability and the amount of additional teacher responsibility required." 73 Some students who have physical disabilities such as deafness, blindness, needs a wheelchair, or other physical disabilities are very low maintenance, and are preferred. There are others who require more attention who is seen as not as well suited for general education.
An example from a few elementary sites that had either mainstreaming or full inclusion practices from a school evaluation had teachers suggesting that "using mainstreaming rather than inclusion with students with more serious emotional problems," would be preferable. 74 For acceptable students to be placed in to full inclusion, teachers had a clear preference in that regard. It was stated that "Teachers held more positive attitudes toward the inclusion of students with physical disabilities than toward inclusion of those with solely academic or behavior disorders." 75 The idea here is that physical disabilities requires in most people's experience relatively little individualized attention. What these students needs are is mostly extra time and assistive technology which is more easily remedied, but otherwise, it is usually easy to fully include these students in general education. I, the author of this paper, was fully included since about middle school maybe a year before that for the exception of physical education that is until high school, then I was fully integrated at the insistence of my parents. I would say it was a good experience, maybe besides the physical education part of it, an I was mostly a general education student besides needing a reduction in work load, extra time, and assistive technologies. Many other physically disabled people and myself only needed a little help from the teacher. For a deaf student it may be speaking in to an amplifier or for the teacher to talk a little louder than usual. For a blind student such as I, to verbalize what they wrote on the blackboard or to briefly describe too me whatever visuals the teacher had placed on the board at the front of the classroom. For someone in a wheelchair it may be enough room to get in and optimal placement in the classroom. With assistive technology getting more advanced it will become increasingly easier. As to the preference of the other two there was also an order to their preferences. In the evaluation of eight schools at the secondary schools, "The secondary teachers were consistently clear in the distinctions they made between academic learning problems and behavior problems, with the academic problems being more acceptable and manageable for them." 76 even with such knowledge of motives of teachers and sound research out there, to full inclusionists it's still based on feelings, assumptions or prejudice. As stated by an inclusionist, "students with disabilities may be entering a classroom where their teacher does not feel like they can have the most effective education." 77 Does such prejudice exist. Undoubtedly it does but for the most part as we have already discussed, this just isn't true. It's not based on feelings or assumptions, but facts and what has been known.
For sure, homogeneity can be a bad thing, because"Problems can arise when a child with a disability interacts only with other individuals with disabilities; such homogeneity can limit and restrict growth and development." 78 I have seen such issues myself in many of these communities. As blind people we call them amongst the blind community blindisms. I have experience many strange behaviors or even thought patterns from others that doesn't quite seem normal. This is because this is all they know, the homogeneity of their disabled circle and thus they do not work well in a non-disabled world. Writing this paragraph alone, tons of examples have rapidly flooded in to my mind. This lends well in a way to full inclusion, as one noted that being in a regular education classed helped a disabled child. A teacher from such a school noted "When I first started out with Joseph … ),you didn't know he was in the room. He never talked. He never said a word. Never, As time went on, he began to talk more . . . with the kids, being his buddies and his pal, sitting next to him and taking him to P.E. and playing with him on the yard at recess. You can't get him to shut up now." 79 However, It is not worth it for everyone. Sometimes it is worth it only for certain non-academic settings. Students do not integrate well with behavioral problems and it doesn't help their communications always. Maybe sometimes but when it doesn't it does more harm than help. It even effects their socialization. Some students possessed "feelings of discomfort, especially about students with moderate and severe disabilities who may possess significant communication difficulties and often lack positive social skills." 80 It was concluded in general that putting such children in general education classrooms was also harmful because it caused "low levels of global self-worth, academic competence, and behavioral conduct." 81 Teachers of general education classes "considered the staff at the centers to have "the instructional expertise, funding, and teaching resources" to more adequately address the needs of students, particularly those with severe and low-incidence disabilities." 82
Before I conclude I would like to address one more big point. This one larger and usually the larger motivator for this full inclusion policy movement. The full inclusionists have-no problem with LRE but "LRE to them is not in and of itself a bad practice; it just does not go far enough." 83 the first thing to observe here is that full inclusion or just mainstreaming a child so they have contact with there normal peers is a pretty common occurrence and becoming more common. The IDEA already demands "that school districts have an obligation to consider placing students with disabilities in regular education classes with supplementary aids and services before they explore other alternatives." 84 the courts clarified that indeed even though "the starting point for a least restrictive environment inquiry is the regular classroom, that does not mean that there can be no restrictions on what environment is appropriate for any given students" 85 As we have discussed above as to why it is quite necessary for some students. However, with this in mind The framers of IDEA and IDEIA in congress "recognized the fundamental right of students with disabilities to associate with nondisabled peers." 86 This issue was thought of and considered. However full inclusionists seem to miss the finer details and still assert this disappointing opinion "The medical model, which posits that disability is an inherent flaw within a person, is used as a justification for legislative decisions and initially created a public policy that favors placement in special education as a means to remedy a perceived area of weakness." 87. This may be there opinion or how they feel, but it appears to be quite faulty. This contributes to "the social construction of disability results in imposed barriers and oppression for individuals with disabilities. This social construction is rooted in historical contexts." 88
In Full inclusion advocates terms it also means socially. This is the huge reason that they seem to fight so hard for it. For inclusionist the one problem is that "Historically, oppressed groups have received similar treatment in the classroom as in society." 89 and for disabled people this discriminating attitude is not anything new, because it applies to them too. This system is based on a world view that goes something like this "The dichotomy established in social construction of disability is ableism and disablism. Ableism is the favoring of normative abilities and is utilized to justify discrimination against individuals with disabilities." 90 so this is what they seem to see as a disability. To them. Their mindset for working with students with disabilities is "the "normalization principle," defined by Nirje as 'making available to the mentally retarded patterns and conditions of everyday life which are as close as possible to the norms and patterns of the mainstream society'"91 teachers should look at her classroom with an altered view. For them "The question is not, how can we fix a disability, but how can we make our classroom environments a place where all students can learn, regardless of their need" 92 This is important because, here one can just see the implicit assumption of their social agenda, "When students are afforded an appropriate education with their peers in the least restrictive environment they are being prepared for a future of inclusion" 93 In another setting an inclusive school did just that. For them it was about a sense of togetherness and to break down the differences. Here we see, "both schools supported, advocated for, and sought out the resources necessary to create a school community. They empowered their teachers to unify programs by believing that the walls of segregation could be broken down and then providing a forum for the development of ideas and the building of consensus." 94 The children was taught to see everyone as being more similar than different and that was transformed in to reality. Socially everyone was accepted even people who were disabled. According to a parent "It is sort of the blending. . . . They don't feel it's a separate classroom so much as that's my "buddy" classroom—my other half. Maybe in that way, that's what the teachers are doing day-to-day to make these things work, but actually making it appear not only to the kids, but to the parents [as well], that it is one program" 95 Another goal is to make general education students more open minded and socially use to disabled people. This is because this "is to enhance students' social competence and to change the attitudes of teachers and students without disabilities who, some day, will become parents, taxpayers, and service providers" 96 General education Students is seen to "Experience feelings of competency and self-esteem Achieve academically and develop socially Master content by teaching other students Develop a social conscience, Become spokespeople for their classmates," and generally learnt to work with people all around. 97 Others can see and hope that students who are fully included can gain better social appropriateness and learning skills by allowing "these students to observe how other students learn, which can help boost language and problem-solving skills." 98 Because full inclusion seems so much more effective in that regard One can justify their "view that the continuum has outlived its usefulness and should be eliminated." 99
To begin refuting some of these points let us consider some statistics, which ironically was provided by a full inclusion advocate. Firstly "the rate for students not receiving special education leaving high school early was 7%;" 100 However, the drop out rates is unfortunately much higher for students with a disability. It is reported that "In the 2011–2012 school year 20.5% of students with disabilities left high school before finishing." 101 Also, there is more unfortunate news. This news is "Of these 63.9 only 39.6% graduated with a standard high school diploma." 102 This is not news that is desireable, but to throw them in a undifferentiated classroom setting, certainly isn't going to help these numbers. The system may not be working but we have to find another solution, because throwing students in a ambitious environment isn't the right way to go. However, it may not just be the effects of academic under achievement. "Research has shown that victimized students are more likely to have school-related problems, including absenteeism and dropping out," which may very well effect the statistics. 103 In light of this information, throwing them in to a general education class may be harmful.
"bullying of students with disabilities has been "low on the radar screen" of educational policy makers," but it is as important as other bullying cases if not more, because it blends right in to the civil rights of disabled students. 104 It is especially important when discussing full integration or mainstreaming more students for a lengthier amount of time. The social benefits touted by full inclusionists may not be as sweet as it's cooked up to be. The unfortunate truth is this that "Peer aggression and victimization by bullying are persistent problems for students receiving special education services for their disabilities." 105 In contrast to those inclusive schools which are few and far between social interactions looked quite different.
"Generally, though, general education peers paid no particular attention to students with disabilities," which is what happens at best. 106 however it is also observed that less optimal things actually occur in the majority of the school settings. It can be observed that "students with mild disabilities "do not typically appear to engender peer acceptance." 107 This can lead to dissatisfaction with them and thus a larger chance of isolation or bullying. At worse and this is actually common special education students who are fully included or those who are sometimes mainstreamed can still have "continuing negative consequences, including limited self-confidence, poor self-perceptions, and inadequate social skills among students with disabilities." 108 Thus the worse occurs that that is "students with disabilities were less accepted by peers, and the degree to which they were accepted and liked declined over time. In sum, students with disabilities were less often accepted and more often rejected" 109 This does not then mean that things go very well with these students in fact this is probably the types of students who are bullied the most.
There are in fact a few factors that can aggravate the situation. For the students "the nature and quality of interactions were significant influences on the way attitudes developed, and any objectionable behavior on the part of students with disabilities quickly resulted in less favorable perceptions among their peers in general education." 110 Also recall that it was discussed at some length above that students tend to struggle in general education courses because it is clear that it was "concluded that special education students 'did not get a special education.'" 111 As it was discovered, "The 'specialness' of special education, with its emphasis on individualized programming, seems to decrease in inclusive settings" 112 Therefore special education students tends to struggle in general education and when they did this "perceptions about students with disabilities not keeping up may result in less teacher tolerance and less peer acceptance." 113. This has often been seen as the worse situation to be in because "students receiving special education services are not fully integrated into peer groups, "inclusive education may maintain or exacerbate victimization." 114 It is hard to fit in a peer group when students perceive this other student badly either because of atypical behavior or not being able to keep up or both at once. So starts the vicious cycle. Because "Victimization by bullying affects the social integration of students in special education. Bullying can be extremely stressful, making it hard to concentrate on schoolwork and placing students at risk," 115 They are already victims and this is due to not fitting in, being a victim is not going to help them fit in any better and will help them fall behind even more, thus more bullying. This is all for the efforts of including a child in a integrated class to do what? To improve socialization. Unless you want to start up an inclusive school where academia is not as important this will happen. Starting up a school like that nation wide would decrease the already low rankings in education in the united States. However, bak to the bullying for a little longer."Numerous studies have shown that children who are frequent targets of bullying are at risk for a variety of adjustment problems, including childhood depression, loneliness, anxiety, peer rejection, and low self-esteem," which all does not help students perform well in life or school. 116 and, "In fact, research has shown that chronic victimization increases the risk of suicide,"which is just what we need especially when we are already talking about students who are disadvantaged. 117 Interestingly,This group is also "twice as likely to be bullied as their peers" 118 Furthermore, This population seems to do the very worst with the effects of bullying, as with them it's the most vicious and constant, remember the vicious cycle. Many as in "47 (17.5%) students with disabilities compared to 130 (5.3%) typically developing students reported the most severe distress, to the point of feeling unsafe and threatened because of the bullying." 119 due to the vicious cycle, These "Students in special education were more likely to report daily physical and emotional harm" 120
Therefore, it is my duty to say that in conclusion in considering all of this, We should not implement a public education policy of more mainstreaming, inclusion, or full inclusion as a whole without discriminating who we place in general education. It would be imprudent, unwise,unwise, and immoral. To do so would be an unconscionable choice. We do not fully integrate nondiscriminately without a good reason.