There are a number of landmark court cases of special education in the country that have become the basis of how we currently provide services to students with disabilities. Diana v. California State Board of Education (1970) and Larry P. v. Riles (1984) are two of these landmark court cases that highlight nondiscriminatory assessments. Below is the analysis of the two court cases in four major sections: The Legal Cases, Summary, Future Practice, and Comparison and Contrasts.
Special Education has only become a focus of education administrators in recent history. Before the 1950s, people did not put much thought into the care of individuals with disabilities. There were little diagnoses of any kind of disability nor special adaptations as far as academics were concerned. During the Civil Rights movement, policies and public opinion on disabilities began to change. The case Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954 fought for equal treatment of all individuals in education. This need for equality included students with disabilities and the results of this case was the first major step in creating policy for special education. The next major advancement in special education came with the creation of Section
1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s, there was change in society’s attitudes toward people with disabilities. In the 1940s, children with learning disabilities were shown to be different from children who were disabled by researchers such as Alfred Strauss. In the Brown vs. Board of education court case in 1954, led the way to a growing understanding that all people, regardless of race, gender, or disability, have a right to public education. In 1960s, Samuel Kirk began to use the term specific learning disabilities to differentiate students with learning disabilities from the much larger group of students who were low achievers or mentally disabled. In 1960s,
Throughout the ages, people with disabilities have been hidden away at homes or institutions and were often not educated. This was common practice and as such, when the education system was designed, children with disabilities were not even considered. Then, starting soon after the civil rights movement in the 50’s, a series of lawsuits was brought against school boards and the federal government took notice. Then the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was passed and these children were finally allowed the education they deserved. As time went
The case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), found that education was an important function. The courts viewed education as playing an important role in the future of the United States and since states chose to provide it, education then is a right that must be available to all on equal terms ( (Murdick, Gartin, & Fowler, 2014). The question of equal terms has been an uphill battle for families that have children with disabilities. There were many acts that addressed educational issues of children with disabilities. The elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 was created to improve education for children that were disadvantaged and it expanded funding. 1974 Education of the Handicapped
People with disabilities have long suffered from discrimination and segregation. In the 1880, people with hearing, visual, physical, mental or emotional impairments were sent to be educated in residential institutions or asylums. ("Issues about Change) Parents and family of those with disabilities put pressure on our government and legislation to develop and provide equal access to education by way of mainstreaming or special education. Section 504 of Public Law 93-112 passed in 1973 had far reaching effect on exclusion and discrimination. (Gollnick and Chinn p. 168) This law did for those with disabilities that Title IX did for females and education; it provided access and participation in regular education and extracurricular
In the early 1970’s parents of students with disabilities went to federal court when their local school districts did not provide services to meet their children’s educational needs. In Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1971), a Pennsylvania court ruled that all children, regardless of disability, have a basic right to an education under the Fourteenth Amendment. In Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia (1972), a federal court ruled that the District of Columbia schools could not exclude children with disabilities from the public schools. Cases like this focused public attention on the issue of educating children with disabilities. The social and political pressure then resulted in landmark federal legislation to address the educational rights of these children.
The two important court rulings were the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1971 and Mills vs. The Board of Education of the District of Columbia in 1972 (ERIC Clearinghouse, 1998). These court decisions showed that “the responsibility of States and local school districts to educate individuals with disabilities is derived from the equal protection law of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”(ERIC Clearinghouse, 1998, n.p.)
Today’s society is different in its thinking when dealing with people with disabilities. There had to be many changes made in its labeling, and approach when dealing with people who may have physical/mental differences. The ostracize behavior that people were known to disturb in society has changed a great deal, due to the many federal laws that have been put in place to insure the well-being of people that have disabilities. In 1972, one very well-known case is Mill vs Board of Education of the District of Columbia this case address how the constituted rights of students were not being meet by not providing them with a public education.” Many disabled children had been excluded from public education prior to 1975,24 Congress, through the Act, sought initially to set up a process by which states would find children in need of educational services and bring them into the system”(Kotler, p.491,2014).
Special education is a relatively new concept in education. The question is why? Although, the Federal Government required all children to attend school since 1918, this did not apply to students with disabilities. Many state laws gave school districts the ability to deny access to individuals they deem “uneducable.” The term “uneducable” varied from state to state, school to school, and even individual to individual. If students were accepted into the school, they were placed in regular classrooms with their peers with no support or in classrooms that were not appropriate to meet their needs. This started to change with the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The lawsuit Brown vs the Board of Education sued to end segregation of public schools laid the ground work for Individuals with Disabilities Act. The next major impact in education was the enactment of Elementary and Secondary Act signed into effect by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The purpose of this law was to provide fair and equal access to education for all, established higher standards, and mandated funds for professional development, resources for support education programs, and parent involvement. Under this law, programs like Head Start were created and celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. Despite additional federal funds and mandatory laws, children with disabilities were unserved or underserved by public school due to loop holes with in the law. Many more lawsuit followed Brown vs
In the late 1960’s and early 1970s, litigation began to establish the right to appropriate education services and placement bias protections for individuals ages 3 to 21 (Reschly, 2013). During this time, placement litigation, in particular, was focusing on the overrepresentation of racial minority students in educable mental retardation (EMR), or special education programs, with allegations of “inappropriate assessments, use of biased instruments, and excessive reliance on intelligence testing” (Reschly, 2013, p. 200).
The federal Act was designed to ensure academic success for each child and anticipated that the goals of NCLB would be achieved by 2013. If a student did not meet standards, the federal government was to hold the school and school’s educators accountable. Access to success at school extended to all students, including those with disabilities (Hardman & Dawson, 2008, p. 5). As part of the Act, systems were to be put in place to alert parents to schools who were having difficulty obtaining adequate yearly progress for their students (Gargiulo, 2015, p.
For most of our nation's history, children with special needs or disabilities were shunted aside. In spite of mandated education laws that had been in place since 1918, many students were denied education and
The importance of education for all children, especially for those with disability and with limited social and economic opportunities, is indisputable. Indeed, the special education system allowed children with disability increased access to public education. Apart from that, the special education system has provided for them an effective framework for their education, and for the institutions involved to identify children with disability sooner. In turn, this promotes greater inclusion of children with disability alongside their nondisabled peers. In spite of these advances however, many obstacles remain, including delays in providing services for children with disability, as well as regulatory and
The idea of children with disabilities, whether they be mild or severe has been a very controversial and misunderstood topic. In the past inclusion has brought about huge changes for not only the students, but also the parents and families of these children, and staff at schools. Teachers and education professionals were the first to really feel the wrath and intimidation of this dramatic shift in education. There were several different factors that were coming about that made it very difficult for schools and teachers, the unorganized mandates were strict and didn’t allow much time for change. “President Gerald Ford signed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) into law in 1975. Since the original passage of the EAHCA, the law has been amended four times and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)” (Conroy, Yell, Katsiyannis, & Collins, 2010, para.1).