Publication Date

January 2003


This paper takes a critical look at disparity between United States legislation that mandates that all students have access to the general curriculum and the proclivity for school systems to use the laws as a justification for segregating students with special needs from the mainstream. The author argues that interpretation of the New York State educational learning standards are defined too narrowly to allow access to the general curriculum for all students and encourages professionals to utilize creative and nontraditional approaches to broadening the interpretation of the standard so that students with and without disabilities are provided a platform for shared learning experiences. A table of examples highlighting potential activities to allow students across diverse learning styles to engage in activities that meet basic curriculum standards is provided. Finally, the author urges a move away from standard-based educational reform toward a model of professional reform to improve the academic and skill-based performance of all students as a means to ensure that there is, indeed, No Child Left Behind.


Blessing, C. (2003) Setting the Standard for Inclusion in the Classroom. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations Extension, Employment and Disability Institute.

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