One of the most notable court cases of the past century was Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The issue that brought this case to court and so much publicity was segregation in public schools. In this case a number of black children wanted to be admitted to public schools that were segregated based on race. In the end it was decided that segregation of schools was unconstitutional. The reason this particular case is important to the education field is that is served as a precursor for other cases that fought for the right that students with special needs cannot be excluded from free public education.
In 1972 a court case, Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania presented the issue of a right to education, due process, and equal protection to those people who have intellectual disabilities. State law in Pennsylvania, at the time, stated that all students tha...
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...do not have to change their curriculum, beyond recognition, to accommodate special needs students. The outcome of this case was that a new assessment under the terms of IDEA that determined class placement options for students with special needs. The assessment included the two questions that would establish was that class placement would be for students with special needs. The two questions were; 1) whether education in the regular classroom with use of supplementary aids and services can be achieved satisfactorily and 2) if placement outside of a regular classroom is needed, whether the school has mainstreamed the child to the maximum extent possible. It has been declared that there are social and academic benefits of mainstreaming special needs students into a non-handicap classroom and this case laid the building blocks for pro-inclusion cased that would follow.
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