Commentary and Criticism about the National Education Association (NEA)
This post is a continuation of my last post which criticized the practice of mainstreaming.
As discussed there, mainstreaming is the legal requirement that schools put Special Education students into Regular Education classrooms.
My commentary continues below:
The Orwellian Politically Correct Position
One particular annoying article is completely Orwellian in its political correctness.
"Advantages & Disadvantages to Mainstreaming Special Education Children"
It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of mainstreaming for special needs children and non-disabled students.
If kids with disabilities are in Special Education classrooms, then what are kids “without disabilities” in?
Non-Special Education classrooms, I guess.
Doesn’t that sound silly to you? It sure does to me.
So let’s get it strait. Disabled students are taught in Special Education classrooms and the other students are taught in Regular Education classrooms.
Differentiation is the Answer?
And one final point.
No matter how much training you give teachers so that they can “differentiate” their lesson to reach students of all levels, the bottom line is that the overall level of discourse in a mainstreamed class is lower than in a class made up of only regular education students.
Teachers can’t win.
If they differentiate and separate the students of higher intelligence into the smart groups and give them more challenging work and put the Special Education students together and give them less challenging work then you are going to be accused of counteracting the reason that the children were mainstreamed in the first place.
If you mix your groups and put two intelligent regular education students along with two special education students, then how do you differentiate when they are all collaborating and working on a project together?
Finally, when you do mix the groups, the Special Education students just end up copying the regular education student’s work because they can’t keep up. The more intelligent students end up getting so frustrated waiting for the slower learners that they let them copy.