One implication of this approach to the assessment of educational opportunity is that the concept of separate but equal, in and of itself, is not a justifiable basis for the exclusion of handicapped students from the general classroom. Thus, in the absence of cogent and supportable reasons why the integration of handicapped students into general classes should not occur, the mainstreaming of handicapped students into general classes must occur according to the law.
Regardless of the law, and regardless of whether an educational environment is appropriate or less appropriate, the success of any mainstreaming effort will depend largely on the effectiveness of the classroom teacher involved in a mainstreaming situation. The effectiveness of the classroom teacher in a mainstreaming situation may be expected to be affected by her or his attitudes and perceptions toward the mainstreaming of at risk students in regular classrooms.
The principal objective of the proposed study is to measure and identify the attitudes of elementary educators--teachers, education specialists, and administrators--toward the mainstreaming of at risk students in regular classrooms. Subsidiary objectives of the proposed study involve the identification of relevant demographic, professional, and personal characteristics that influence the attitudes of elementary educators toward the mainstreaming o