From the Queens Chronicle:
An inclusion classroom is a “one size fits all” approach that consists of regular education students, advanced learners and special education students who have been given an Individualized Education Program. Most of these classes have two instructors, a regular education and special education teacher, who often switch off between teaching students as one comprehensive group and breaking them up into smaller factions so pupils with different abilities can learn from one another. All-inclusive classrooms burden teachers and treat students like members of a herd instead of vibrant, thoughtful, creative individuals with a vast array of strengths and an equal number of perfectly normal, character-building imperfections.
Our system has failed our teachers and in doing so has failed our students. Administrators fill cramped classrooms with students who have wildly different achievement levels, yet teachers are expected to keep test scores rising and every student learning. Who benefits from this assembly line approach? The bar is lowered for mainstream students while those who require special help and individual attention are ignored.
Is it rational to expect a special needs child to feel a sense of achievement when being measured by the same metrics as a gifted student of the same age? Advanced learners are also suffering because of the inclusive model.
Parents bear some responsibility here as well. We all want our children to perform at a high level, but kids need to understand the difference between winning and losing. When every child on a team gets a trophy, there is nothing to strive for.