Basic principles of Special Education

The special education came with following six major provisions/principles:

1) The first principle “Zero reject” is a rule of providing a free appropriate public education to all students with disabilities. Schools must educate all children with disabilities. This principle applies regardless of the nature or severity of the disability; no child with disabilities may be excluded from public education.

2) The second principle “non-discriminatory evaluation,” a rule of fair evaluation of the student in order to determine whether the student has a disability Testing and evaluation procedures must not discriminate on the basis of race, culture, or native language. All tests must be administered in the child’s native language, and identification and placement decisions cannot be made on the basis of a single test score.

3)The third principle “Free appropriate public education,” a rule of providing individualized special education, including related services, to the student, as set out in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP specifies the child’s unique educational needs, states present levels of performance, identifies measurable annual goals and short-term objectives, and describes the specific special education and related services that will be provided to help the child attain those goals and benefit from education.

4)The fourth Principle “Least restrictive environment” (LRE) means that a student who has a disability should have the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate. They should have access to the general education curriculum, extracurricular activities, or any other program that non-disabled peers would be able to access. The student should be provided with supplementary aids and services necessary to achieve educational goals if placed in a setting with non-disabled peers.

5)The fifth principle is “procedural due process,” commonly known as the safeguards. These safeguards create checks and balances. They are ways for assuring that the student benefits from being in school and that the school is providing the services and placements required by the other principles. Although due process hearings are a last resort to resolve conflicts or problems between school districts and parents. The majority of due process hearings are over placement or program issues.

6)The sixth principle is parent and student participation, a rule of shared decision-making between the school and the student’s parents. Schools must collaborate with parents and students with disabilities in the design and implementation of special education services.