Educating Ashley

If you have time for it, there’s a great WashPost magazine story today on the trials and errors — and successes — of including severely mentally disabled children in regular public-school classrooms. Having been acquainted over the years with people on both sides of this question, both parents struggling with options for their disabled children and teachers charged with “educating” kids so far away from the rest of us that there’s no possible measure of achievement, I know it’s a thorny question.

Posted at 9:42 am in Uncategorized |

One response to “Educating Ashley”

  1. alex said on November 9, 2003 at 1:44 pm

    A moving story, a noble ideal. Obviously it also forces children to recognize the humanity of children like Ashley, which can only be a good thing.

    Of course, it’s also absurdly expensive and not an easy idea to sell to schools that already toil under all kinds of absurd big-government mandates while deprived of the essential funds to do a good job with the basics.

    I imagine this must be a somewhat tonier community in Maryland where the teachers are largely dedicated professionals and not the sort of overpaid babysitters you see a lot of in a place like Fort Wayne. I speak from firsthand knowledge. The good teachers were very few and far between. And this was back in the days when the cr�me de la cr�me of womankind didn’t have law, medicine, business or much of anything else as a career option.

    The Persons with Disabilities Act of 1975 (or whatever it’s called) is also the reason we have so many homeless roaming the streets right now�people who won’t take their psychiatric meds unless they’re force-fed them. I don’t have a knee-jerk reaction against paternalism like some liberals do. I think it has its place�if it can be exercised with common sense.

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