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Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education

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M. F.

on 25 September 2012

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Transcript of Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education

Main ideas of this case:
-mainstreaming
-inclusion
-LRE Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education Key Players:

Defendants: State Board of Education
and El Paso Independent School District

Plaintiff: Daniel R.R. In the 1985-1986 school year, Daniel had attended a half-day early childhood program for special education students.
Going into the next school year, the 1986-1987 school year, Daniel's parents asked that he be placed in a regular education Pre-K classroom.
The school and the Pre-K teacher agreed on a plan to have Daniel go to the regular Pre-K class half the day and the special education classroom the other half of the day. The school team decided to change the plan and remove Daniel from the regular education class and place him back in only the special education classroom.
The school added the stipulation that he could get lunch in the school cafeteria with non-handicapped students and could go to recess with non-handicapped students as long as his mother was there to supervise. Background:

Daniel R.R. was a six year old boy with Down syndrome. Developmentally he was at the level of a two year old and his communication skills were at that level as well. Early on in the school year it became apparent that this plan was not going to be the best situation for Daniel or his teacher and fellow classmates.
Daniel was not able to keep up with his classmates and learn the skills that his teacher was trying to teach the class. He required a large number of accommodations and individual attention. Daniel's parents were not happy with this decision. They wanted Daniel to spend more time with non-handicapped children.
They appealed the school's decision. The hearing officer upheld the district's decision to remove Daniel from the regular education classroom because he required too much individualized attention and was gaining little knowledge or skills from being in the regular education class. The officer also stated that his presence was preventing other students from receiving attention from the teacher and being able to learn. It was concluded that it would require extensively altering the curriculum for the entire class in order to accommodate Daniel. The circuit court of appeals upheld all other courts' rulings stating that the school district was completely within their legal rights and acted appropriately. The court ruled that all the guidelines of the EHA had been followed. The act requires each state to provide FAPE to all handicapped students, to determine appropriate placement. The act also requires that handicapped children be educated with their non-handicapped peers, or mainstreamed, to the greatest extent possible. Daniel and his parents claimed that their school district violated this mainstreaming mandate. The problem is that EHA is vague in its definition of the extent to which mainstreaming is appropriate. The EHA was revised and renamed IDEA.
IDEA states: "in selecting the [least restrictive environment], consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs; and ...[the] child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general education curriculum".
This case says that the law does not require general education teachers to "modify the curriculum beyond recognition". The circuit court ruled that FAPE and mainstreaming were in conflict with each other.
They stated mainstreaming was secondary to FAPE.
The court stated "mainstreaming would be pointless if we forced instructors to modify the regular education curriculum to the extent that the handicapped child is not required to learn any of the skills normally taught in regular education". Outcome:

Courts defined new test, described in IDEA in terms of LRE, for determining placement based on two criteria: Daniel's parents were again dissatisfied with the ruling and appealed to the circuit court of appeals. More Outcomes:
-It was decided that schools must accommodate disabled students in regular classrooms but it is not required to modify to the degree that the student is excused from learning skills taught in regular classroom.
-Also this case struck down the regular classroom as LRE.
-It more clearly defined mainstreaming and specified that there are social benefits to mainstreaming as well as academic benefits.
-It later served as one of the chief decisions that laid down framework for a number of pro-inclustion cases that followed. 1) whether education in the regular classroom with use of supplementary aids and services can be achieved satisfactorily and
2) if placement outside of a regular classroom is needed, whether the school has mainstreamed the child to the maximum extent possible Administrators and school psychologists need to provide professional development to regular education teachers and special education teachers on how to handle inclusion in their classrooms and with their students. According to the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory some areas that could be helpful for teachers to learn about in order to help those special education students who are in mainstream classes are “cooperative learning strategies, team teaching skills, collaborating/team-building skills, individualizing instruction, mastery learning, identifying and adapting to different learning styles” (SEDL Advancing Research, 2012). Resources
Alvarado, J. (n.d.). Least restrictive appropriate educational placement. Retrieved from http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/jalvarado/sped651/notes/LRE.ppt.pdf
Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education 874 F.2d 1036 (1989). www.leagle.com. Retrieved from http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?page=10&xmldoc=19891910874F2d1036_11741.xml&docbase=CSLWAR2-1986-2006&SizeDisp=7
Jacob, S., Decker, D., & Hartshorne, T. (2011). Ethics and law for school psychologist. (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 108-109.
Merrell, K., Ervin, R., & Peacock, G. (2012). School psychology for the 21st century. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press. 127-129.
Oquendo, F. (n.d.). Tracing the path to inclusive education: A journey through our recent past with applications to the present and future. Retrieved from http://www.pelinks4u.org/articles/Legislation_may07.pdf
SEDL Advancing Research, Improving Education. (2012). Inclusion: the pros and cons. Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues43/legislation.html
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