Giving Compass' Take:

· Getting Smart discusses the challenges special education students and teachers face in segregated classrooms. Research shows that these students are put at a disadvantage when separated from their peers without disabilities and combining the two could improve the outcomes of these students.

· How can schools begin to integrate these two classrooms? Are special education students learning the same necessary life skills as their peers?  

· Read about the practices teachers working with special education students use.

A cassette in an iPhone world. A horse and buggy in the age of NASCAR. These are just a few of the analogies that have been used to describe our education system as it struggles to address the needs of an ever-changing world. But what is often left out of the conversation is the reality facing students in special education. Students with disabilities often don’t even have access to the cassette or horse and buggy, and segregated learning is all too often the model used by schools. We know that the vast majority of our students with disabilities are capable of doing the same level of work as their peers without disabilities. They will be entering the same world as their peers, a world where rote tasks are increasingly automated or outsourced. And yet we do little to prepare them for their future.

The reality of segregated learning environments can impact students and their educators. A special education student may lack access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses, International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, or rigorous out of school learning opportunities. Their special education teacher may lack access to shared training with their general education counterparts on new ways to educate students. Students and educators both suffer as a result of separation from and lack of interaction with their peers and colleagues. An inclusive society demands that we get beyond this.

Read the full article about special education by Megan Gross and Ace Parsi at Getting Smart.