Issues Within Special Education Essay

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Federal laws and regulations provide a framework for addressing the needs of special education students. In addition to these laws and regulations, how has literature shaped the education communities' practice of special education in schools? Support your response with a theoretical perspective.

When it comes to any matter of major compliance, there is seemingly two different realms to what happens in the field after new guidelines shape out. Indeed, there is simple compliance with the law. At the bare minimum, this is something that all teachers and administrators must follow. Anything less than that is a clear violation and thus must be remediated. However, anyone that knows about such situations knows that simple compliance with the law is not enough. There are also the ethical and evidence-based practice guidelines that are (or are not) put in force by those same teachers and administrators (Teach-Nology, 2017).

While the law serves as a baseline, the wealth of literature that exists out there serves as a way to define things like what else must/should be done, best practices that define how to do things and so forth. Of course, these items shape and bend over times as some practices become more popular and proven while other practices fade away as being the norm due to perceived deficiencies coming up or better ideas coming to the fore. Of course, this system is not perfect and even scholars and experts will tend to disagree on some level about what is best, what is not, what should emerge and what should fade. Even so, the peer-reviewed and public nature of these discussions and arguments often leads to the right conclusions being rendered. There just has to be an avoidance of academic bullying, groupthink and refusing to ask questions that need to be asked, and then answered. Keep things transparent, honest and doing the right amount of due diligence is critical when it comes to the art and craft of special education (Teach-Nology, 2017).

2. Do you believe, as some observers in the education field do, that the use of response to intervention (RTI) and an NCLB loophole has allowed some schools with low numbers of special education students to avoid reporting the academic progress of those students while encouraging schools to under-identify students with special needs? Why or why not? Is this a problem? Explain.


There seems to be a duality going on when it comes to the reporting of special needs students or any student, really, that has any sort of mental disorder or learning disability. There are some people and groups, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, that perhaps tend to over-diagnose and over-pursue (at least in some cases) when it comes to identifying students that have mental issues. However, there are others that probably go out of their way to under-identify the number of students facing such challenges, for whatever reason. When it comes to schools and administrators, it is entirely possible that they are under-reporting students as a way to avoid scrutiny from regulatory and school agencies that are charged, often as a matter of law, with looking at whether special education students are getting the help and results that they need. Indeed, if the number of students is under a given threshold and the presence of this lower number allows them to not have to report or otherwise monitor those vulnerable students as closely, that could indeed (and probably does) lead many schools to play with the numbers to find the path of least resistance. While a relative dearth (or glut) of students in this class should be dealt with properly when it comes to metrics, resources and so forth, allowing such easy avoidance of scrutiny is a shortcut, is wholly unethical and the people that are doing this should be held to account for the games they are playing, literally, with the lives and quality of lives of their students. There are many people who criticize NCLB . . . and perhaps rightly so. However, using these loopholes as a way to not do one's job is rather gutless and punitive (Berwick, 2015).

3. It has been stated that special education could use a makeover for the 21st century. Do you believe removing the labels from special education students would improve the academic programs for special education? Why or why not?

There is something to be said when it comes to labels. Indeed, there are some words that used to be standard when it came….....

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References

Berwick, C. (2017). The One Thing No Child Left Behind Did Right. The Atlantic. Retrieved 2 April 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/07/no-child-left-behind-one-big-achievement/399455/

DeWitt, P. (2011). The Stigma of Special Education. Education Week - Finding Common Ground. Retrieved 2 April 2017, from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2011/08/the_stigma_of_special_education.html

SEG. (2017). Response To Intervention Explained | Special Education Guide. Special Education Guide. Retrieved 2 April 2017, from http://www.specialeducationguide.com/pre-k-12/response-to-intervention/

Teach-Nology. (2017). Special Education Journals. Teach-Nology.com. Retrieved 2 April 2017, from http://www.teach-nology.com/litined/special_education/

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