Special Education: a Look at the History

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Special Education: A Look at the History
Tracy Len Baier
November 23, 2011

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to address the historical landmarks and legislation that have formed and created our current special education system. We will take a journey from the start of public education and its exclusion of special needs students to the current push for inclusion of all students learning within a general education classroom. The author will also share some of the pros and cons of current educational legislation with regard to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and how it will effect special education in the future. The past and present attitudes of the public, with regard to special education, will also be taken up and public opinions and thoughts will be shared. An objective conclusion will be made regarding advancements in education and they role they play in the lifelong quality of life of special education students. Special Education: A Look at the History

In the beginning education for children in the United States was limited to those with means. As our country changed the importance of educating men, then women was important; but minorities and those with intellectual or physical impairments were not included in the educational process. After many years of parents struggling, fighting and advocating for their children, we have recognized and established an educational system that acknowledges the importance of providing all children with a free public education. But how did we get here, how long did it take, and what legal and legislative actions helped to create our current views on educational availability?

The fight for educating students with disabilities is closely related to our fight for civil rights. As we recognized civil rights the rights of the disabled also came to light. There have been lawsuits filed as far back as 1919, where parents fought to get educations for their...
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