Advocacy for Inclusion the Controversial Concept in Education

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Running head: AVOCACY FOR INCLUSION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS Advocacy for Inclusion the Controversial Concept in Education Rochester College Abstract Any discussion about inclusion should address several important questions: Do we value all children equally? What do we mean by "inclusion"? Are there some children for whom "inclusion" is inappropriate? Inclusion is a term which expresses commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend. It involves bringing the support services to the child (rather than moving the child to the services) and requires only that the child will benefit from being in the class (rather than having to keep up with the other students). Proponents of inclusion generally favor newer forms of education service delivery. There is only one child in the world and that child’s name is ALL children. —Carl Sandburg Advocacy for Inclusion Around the late 1980s a new term came to be used that described full participation of students with disabilities in regular education classrooms. Inclusive education means that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses in any area, become part of the school community. They are included in the feeling of belonging among other students, teachers, and support staff. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its 1997 amendments make it clear that schools have a duty to educate children with disabilities in general education classrooms. IDEA, as amended in 2004, does not require inclusion. Instead, the law requires that children with disabilities be educated in the "least restrictive environment appropriate” to meet their “unique needs.” IDEA contemplates that the "least restrictive environment" analysis will begin with

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