Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


The current status of educational reform issues related to general education and special education provides the opportunity for the creation of a system that encompasses the goals of both groups in a cohesive manner. Previously, these issues have been addressed separately; however, recent research identifies a progression of change in the focus of ideas in both general education and special education. The first two phases of school reform focused initially on raising standards and then on teacher empowerment and site-based management. The current phase of school reform focuses on the instructional needs of the individual student and rejects the premise that instructional needs warrant a dual system of education. Rather, current efforts are characterized by general education and special education sharing responsibility for the learning of all students as evidenced by the Response to Intervention initiative (Allington, 2009). These emerging insights pave the way for collaborative efforts when addressing the learning needs of increasingly diverse students.