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Mainstreaming of Students with Developmental Challenges

While this program has the laudable goal of promoting social adjustment, it ignores the goal of student learning. If the class is slowed down to meet the needs of the learning challenged students, the other students don't learn at near their potential, become bored and in many cases become disciplinary problems. If material appropriate to the learning level of the other students is presented, the challenged students are overwhelmed and soon lose interest. If two or more learning tracts are established, the stigma of being slower is attached to the challenged group. Mainstreaming assumes that teachers are all superhuman and can provide optimum classroom management under the most adverse of conditions. This program is typical of those developed by politicians who know that they personally will never have to live with monster they have created.

A better solution is to group students by learning level in the critical subjects and intermix them in subjects where the primary goal is social adjustment. Such classes might be oriented toward projects of public improvement.