A Right, A Necessity

”The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Education should be a given right, rather than a privilege. Everyone should have the opportunity to gain prosperity, stability, and security, which is largely awarded through attaining an education. Unfortunately, across the world, and even some places in the United States, students are not offered access or the level of education they need. This is particularly true for those with physical and mental disabilities. There has been the debate of ability grouping, special education verses mainstream classroom instruction, etc.
So, who’s duty is it to create and uphold the education standards for our students? It starts with the Department of Education; recognizing the needs of each and every student of all abilities. If those needs are not being met, then it is up to the student and/or their families to speak out. It takes one person to create change. More than likely, that person is not alone in their experiences, using others to speak out.
In 1975, congress passed a federal law, which requires school districts to provide an individualized devised public education for each child with a disability. With the law, the aim is that the student will have the opportunity to learn with their peers and achieve their potential. To assist in these efforts, within the law, there is an agreement that in exchange for the accommodations, the federal government provides some financial incentives for the offered services. But, under this law, what type of services must the school districts be held accountable for? Do they only need to provide the bare minimum to meet the law’s guidelines? A little over 40 years after the law was passed, these standards are being challenged.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 was an important day for many across the United States, as the Supreme Court heard arguments for re-evaluating the public school’s standards for students with disabilities. It is not enough for any student to get by in school. In life, a person does not excel by just “getting by.” So, why should the education arena be any different? In fact, education is supposed to prepare students for the “real world.” According to Francisco Negron, the Chief Legal Officer for the national school board’s association, if the Supreme Court tightens the public school’s standards, it could cost some districts a lot of money. However, Mr. Negron, I thought you could not put a price tag on a child’s education… For you, it is about money, for others, it is about the right to learn.
To learn about the case that brought this debate to the forefront, check out http://lakewoodsentinel.com/stories/US-Supreme-Court-hears-case-involving-autistic-Douglas-County-student,241399

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