(Guest post by Geri Kochis – Geri blogs at EmilyAnn)
I recently attended an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting for Emily who is in 3rd grade. These meeting are held annually to go over her progress the past year, and develop goals for the next year. The people who attend these meetings makeup the IEP team. This team is tasked with making sure Emily receives a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) in the LEA (Least Restrictive Environment).
Emily is currently educated in a general education classroom and goes to a resource room for specially designed Math & Reading instruction. The IEP team (minus me) think that Emily would be best served educationally in a segregated classroom at a different school. Emily is not a behavior problem, she just needs additional instruction and is slower getting her work done.
Segregated classrooms are not the answer to kids that learn different. Segregated classrooms are not going to teach the other 3rd grades that it is okay to be different. Emily will also wonder what is wrong with her and why it is not okay to be different.
I know some schools do a good job of realizing that Different Iz Good, and I hope one day all schools will do the same.