Furthermore, Murphy (2005) points out that the philosophical underpinnings of inclusive education serve as one of the best arguments in favor of the practice. As Murphy points out, freedom and equality of opportunity are the core values of this country and this applies to everyone, including students with disabilities. In other words, it is only right and ethical not to segregate special education students.
The foregoing argument is made even stronger when the research is examined. In this regard, Thomas and Loxley (2007) note that when special students in segregated classes are compared to special education students who have been placed in effective inclusive classrooms, the students in inclusive classes not only make more academic progress, they also are more likely to graduate, less likely to engage in juvenile or criminal behavior, more likely to live independently two years after leaving school, and more likely to be employed within one year of leaving school. They also show higher levels of self-esteem and tend to have higher expectations for themselves in terms of life success.
The foregoing does not mean that inclusion is without its disadvantages. In this regard, McCarty (2005) points out that one problem with inclusive education is that school districts, school personnel, and parents differ in terms of understanding and implementing the placement of students with special needs in inclusive settings. This is because the law is somewhat vague and subject to differing interpretations and because the inclusive terminology is not standardized in any way which can foster confusion in terms of placement requirements. These differences in understanding and implementation mean that many inclusive programs are not as effective as they might be.
Thomas and Loxley (2007) also point out that while inclusion appears to be a more cost effective approach, actually implementing it at a highly effective level requires extensive...
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