History of Special Education

Timeline created by facebooker_10214297044045725
  • 1944 Education Act

    Special Education Students were deemed "uneducable" under the 1944 Education Act. Schools had the right to bar admission from certain groups of children.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    This court ruling determined that Separate did not always mean equal and that segregation of populations was unlawful. The court case was based on race, but opened the door for the desegregation of special education students as well.
  • Bureau of Education for Handicapped

    The Bureau of Education for the Handicapped was created by Congress in order to start a conversation regarding educating differently abled students. Although it was still legal to not education certain groups of students at this point in time, the creation of this bureau showed that change was imminent. This group eventually became the Office of Special Education Programs.
  • Two landmark cases

    PARC vs. Pennsylvania and Mills vs. DC Board of Education both helped to define the need and the right for a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for all students.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Act

    This Act added Section 504, which mandated that students with disabilities' needs are met with equality as compared to non disabled peers' needs.
  • Education for all Handicapped Children Act

    Ensured all children had access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) as well as any accommodations needed in order to access that education.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Act and Americans with Disabilities Act

    IDEA was a rewriting of the EHCA from 1975. It now included an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for students with special needs, it redefined what FAPE looked like, it introduced the idea of Least Restrictive Environment, it required annual assessments to ensure progress was being made and it created a team for the student where parental involvement was important.
    ADA prohibited discrimination of individuals based on a disability.
  • No Child Left Behind

    This law was put into place in order to ensure all students received a quality education, regardless of race, ability, or economic status. NCLB mandated standardized assessments for all students in order to show growth in areas of Reading, Math and Science. It allowed for test modifications for students with special needs. NCLB expects schools to make yearly progress to show growth.
  • Reauthorization of IDEA

    with this reauthorization came the idea of Response to Intervention (RTI). RTI offered a multi-tiered system of support for all students. This approach helped to identify exceptional student learners who might have fallen through the cracks. RTI also helped to keep students from being mis-diagnosed (and over-diagnosed) by offering them leveled support in order to gain access to curriculum standards.
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    Self Contained

    Prior to the 1970's, special education students (if they were taught at all), were typically placed in separate settings. They were either taught from home or in a separate classroom, or separate school, not interacting with typical peers.
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    Mainstreaming of Special Education Students

    In the 1970's, the idea of mainstreaming students was popular. This meant having students that were in separate settings be "pushed out" into the general population for mostly non-academic times of the day (recess, lunch, music, etc.)
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    In the 1980's, mainstreaming gave way to a new idea called "inclusion". Inclusion was a way to include special education students in the general education classroom throughot the day in order to give these students a social curriculum. Not much emphasis was placed on academics at this time for special education students.
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    General Curriculum Access

    With the advent of No Child Left Behind, special education students were now being expected to become a part of the general population of learners receiving access to the general curriculum. There was a continuum of services depending on the severity of the student's situation, but special education was becoming less of a "one size fits all" approach in the school system.
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    Where Special Education is headed

    I foresee the future of special education as one that strives to include more children in the general population. I think that more students will be expected to learn with typically developing peers and that more teachers will be trained on how to teach to multiple levels of learners within one classroom. I see this happening in order to allow all students to be seen as social beings and it will afford all students every opportunity for individualized learning.