1994 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Orlando, Florida
Proposers of this resolution noted that inclusion—the process of including special needs students within regular education—is under debate within both special education and regular education. Essays appear in established journals, they said, and new publications have been developed around the issue. Despite objections to some abuses and financial concerns, they said that much of the testimony is positive and that all students benefit if the decision for inclusion has been based on sound considerations. The developers of this resolution believe that if regular education teachers receive professional development opportunities and the proper support for students with special needs, they will be willing to have inclusive classrooms. Be it therefore
Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English urge schools to include all students in general education classrooms, whenever possible, and to provide support for students with identified exceptionalities;
that NCTE urge schools to create collaborative teams (specialists, classroom teachers, parents, administrators) for determining assessment, placement, and the quantity and type of support services based on the unique academic and social needs of students;
that NCTE urge schools and teacher education programs to provide adequate preparation and ongoing professional development addressing the needs and concerns of the classroom teacher;
that NCTE recommend that special care be taken in assessment and placement of students to ensure that culturally and linguistically varying behaviors and proficiencies not be confused with exceptionalities;
that NCTE urge schools to explore alternative organizational and financial structures to meet the needs of all students (which may include specially trained personnel, adjusted class size, flexible scheduling, and specialized materials);
that NCTE discourage displacement from general education unless there is consensus from the collaborative team that the general education placement would not benefit the student;
that NCTE establish and maintain an inclusion strand within conferences on teaching language arts to students with exceptionalities. This strand should also address culturally and linguistically diverse students with exceptionalities;
that NCTE urge publication editors to focus attention on the inclusion issue; and
that NCTE develop and maintain communication with professional special education associations to foster better articulation and integration of ways to meet the needs of all students.
This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.