Building on IDEA: Policy Solutions to Improve U.S. Special Education
The 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has changed educational priorities for special needs students and spurred large increases in special education spending. IDEA has been credited with gradually improving outcomes for students, but IDEA has also generated bureaucracy and a set of process-related rules and regulations that many educators believe stand in the way of providing more effective services to all students, including those in special education. What existing policies serve students well, and what policies are in need of change? In addressing needed legislative reforms, should Congress combine IDEA with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or should federal legislation continue to be on separate tracks for children in regular and special education?
On January 18, public and private leaders in the education sphere and academia examined policy questions and solutions surrounding special education in the United States. Moderated by Brookings Vice President Darrell West, the discussion also centered on how to build on the most effective aspects of IDEA to enhance the efficacy of learning programs for students with special needs.
After each panel, speakers took audience questions.
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