Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Free Education May Not Be the Best Education

This article in the Washington Post, about a bullied child with Asperger's, reflects the current conflicts in special education. This excerpt is quite telling:

"Although I find from the evidence that David was subject to what I shall term as harassment, teasing, bullying and threatening conduct from other students because of his qualifying educational disability and I find that it had at least some effect upon his social and emotional adjustment and stability and therefore by inference must have had some effect upon his ability to learn, I cannot therefrom conclude that Henrico has failed in its statutory duty to this student," Francis wrote.
"Whether one agrees with it or not," he wrote, "the law establishes a minimum baseline of educational benefits that the county must offer students with disabilities." The law said David was entitled to a "free and appropriate public education," not, Francis said, "the best possible education."

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