Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The National Review: Special Education Needs Help

Officially reported disability rates in public schools are entirely unreliable and are almost certainly inflated indicators of how many students are actually disabled. Eventually, school and government officials are going to have to acknowledge that our current procedures for identifying students as disabled are fundamentally flawed and commit themselves to improving these procedures.
Consider also how rapidly special education has grown over the last three decades. Today almost one in seven students is classified as having a disability. That's 63 percent more than when federal programs for special education began in 1976. Do we really believe that our children's medical well-being has deteriorated so severely over the last three decades?


  1. Well has it? Because I've been in Special Education all my life.

  2. I'd say yes, but qualify it by saying that some schools do an excellent job when it comes to ensuring that the children placed in special education are clearly in need of these services. But I agree with the story that we need to develop a system for identifying and auditing the students placed in special education. There are certainly students in our preschools who have delays and may start out in special education, but eventually are mainstreamed.