We were discussing elsewhere about integrating kids who have special needs into the classrooms. There are many kids in self-contained classrooms and even self-contained schools. There's a movement to get away from this. It's being argued by experts that "inclusion" (integrating the special needs kids with the general education classes) helps that student out academically and socially. There are different levels of inclusion. Some kids hardly go into Special Ed classes at all. Some kids stay in Special Ed classes all the time and only join the other kids for Special such as Art and PE or for a minimum amount of time in the General Education classroom. I would argue that this also helps out General Education students because they start accepting differences in people better. Another argument in favor of this is that some kids don't belong in special education to begin with. Some people think that it's being overdone, and that some kids are being "dumped" in there, and are not achieving much (depending on their teacher).
So there are some pros. Now for cons. It's argued that when a student is too disruptive because of their special need, the teacher has to use more time on that student. This creates less time for instruction. However, the student does not have to be a disruption. He/she might also have a lot of academic needs that a General Education teacher feels they cannot meet without sacrificing needed time with other students.
Some push for more and more seperate classrooms and schools. Some are in the opposite direction. If they had their way, every single last child would be in the General Education classroom whether it could fit their academic needs or not.
I'm a little in between. I think that we should include as much as possible. If we have to give some kids a one on one or one on three or four assistant to do that, then so be it. However, there are some really extreme cases in which I honestly think the kid should not be with the others. Some kids have problems that make them kick and scream a lot. They will hurt you without meaning to. Some kids have the minds of babies. I don't see how they can possibly function in a regular classroom. I'm also thinking they can get better help with life skills when they have that more intensive teaching. Extreme cases. That's it. Other than that, I wish they would be more inclusive.
So, where should the line be drawn?