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Board of education v. rachel holland 1992


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Board of education v. rachel holland 1992

  1. 1. Board of Education, Sacramento City School District v. Rachel Holland: Making the Case for Full Inclusion Sherwood Best, Ph.D. Professor CSULA 1
  2. 2. Board of Education, Sacramento City School District v. Rachel Holland 786 F. Supp. 874 (E.D. Cal.1992) Argued December 16, 1991 Decided March 2, 1992 2
  3. 3. Background Rachel was a young child with an IQ of 44 & developmental level of 4 years. She attended private preschool at the Shalom School. From 1985-1989, Rachel attended a number of special education programs in the Sacramento City School District. From 1987-1987 she spent 1 hour a day in a general education class. 3
  4. 4. Background In 1989, the Hollands requested full- time placement in general education. The District countered with a special education placement. The Hollands sought mediation and the District then offered special education placement with up to ½ time in general education. The Hollands rejected the District’s offer and re-enrolled Rachel in the Shalom School’s Kindergarten class. 4
  5. 5. Background Through another mediation the Hollands & the District agreed to an IEP. Meanwhile, the Hollands appealed the District’s decision to a state hearing officer. On August 15, 1990, the hearing officer made a report stating that the District had made insufficient effort to include Rachel in general education. 5
  6. 6. Background The hearing officer ordered the District to place Rachel in general education with appropriate support services. The District appealed the decision to state district court. The Hollands kept Rachel in Shalom School. 6
  7. 7. Issues Is full-time placement in general education appropriate for a child with moderate mental retardation? The interpretation of the hearing officer that “appropriate education” meant education in general education for Rachel. Whether the district was overburdened with cost and administrative duties in providing for Rachel in general education. Is the burden of educating children like Rachel too difficult for the general education teacher? 7
  8. 8. Applicable Law IDEA, which states that, “to the maximum extend appropriate, handicapped children shall be educated with their non- handicapped peers.” (20 U.S.C., sec. 1400-1485). 8
  9. 9. Argument Base Both plaintiffs & defendants based their arguments around 4 points:  Are Rachel’s disabilities so severe that she would receive little or no academic benefit from placement in general education?  Are Rachel’s disabilities so severe that she would receive little of no non-academic benefit from placement in general education?  Does Rachel have a negative effect on other children in the general education placement?  Is the cost of educating Rachel in general education too burdensome for the district? 9
  10. 10. Arguments - Plaintiffs The plaintiffs argued as follows:  Rachel had made no progress toward her IEP goals, which were based on functional skills (handling money, performing activities of daily living, transportation, etc.).  Rachel was isolated and not learning from her classmates.  The cost of educating Rachel in general education would be too high for the district, as she required several services (like speech) that she would need to receive in general education.  Rachel would take up too much of the general education teacher’s time. 10
  11. 11. Arguments - Defendants The defendants argued as follows:  Rachel had made significant progress at Shalom School, where she was learning language and social skills from her peers  The standardized tests used to measure Rachel’s progress were not a useful measure of her achievement.  Rachel could easily be accommodated in general education with “supplemental supports & services”, as stipulated by IDEA.  Rachel was an agreeable & compliant child who posed no disruptive threat to her classmates. 11
  12. 12. Holding The appropriate placement for Rachel Holland, under IDEA, was general education. The district had not met a burden of proof related to the extra expense of education Rachel in general education. Rachel was making both academic and nonacademic progress in general education Rachel was no burden on other children in general education. 12
  13. 13. Dicta The district may be required to incur additional cost as a result of a child’s placement into general education. Academic benefit is not a necessary condition for continued placement in general education. Curriculum modifications may be cumbersome for teachers not trained to meet the needs of children like Rachel. 13
  14. 14. Court’s Orders  Rachel Holland was placed into a general education second grade class with supplemental supports and services. 14
  15. 15. Implications for Special Education Funding, administrative burden & attitude are not sufficient conditions to deny inclusion. More children will be included in general education classes. School districts will make varying efforts to train teachers to assist included children. More litigation!! 15