A moratorium means that the abuse must stop and gives common sense and sound educational policy a chance to prevail,” said AFT President Albert Shanker. ”We must put the brakes on the helter-skelter, even tumultuous rush toward full inclusion so that everyone involved — parents, school boards, legislators, Congress and the Clinton administration — can develop a policy based on what is best for all children in our public schools. Full inclusion is becoming more widely practiced based on budgetary and social motivation and not on what most Americans think classrooms ought to be about, which is education.”
The union representatives, including front-line personnel in schools across the regional and socioeconomic spectrum, say that inappropriate inclusion increasingly is being adopted by local school boards, state departments of education, legislators and other policymakers largely in response to financial and social policy pressures — not education strategy.
Many parents of children in special needs education programs have responded to cutbacks in those programs by supporting inclusion because special education programs no longer seem to meet high educational standards.
Inclusion is being championed by advocacy groups who give priority to socialization of special needs children. They do this even in the face of opposition from many parents and respected disability advocates. We do not know of its effects on other children in the classroom.