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    Last month, I spent a couple of weeks drilling into a recent sea change in the way San Diego Unified School District teaches children with special needs.

    In the latest edition of San Diego Explained, NBC 7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia and I break down the move away from separate all-day special education classes towards a teaching method known as “inclusion,” in which children with special needs are taught in general education classrooms.

    One note: The introduction to the piece says that San Diego Unified is the only district in the region doing inclusion. A more accurate description is that it is the only district that’s already phased out most separate special education classes and is now including most children with special needs.

    Most, if not all, districts in the region include special needs in general education classes to some extent, but San Diego Unified stands out because it’s taken such a progressive stance in phasing out the separate classes.


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    Last month, I got sidetracked from covering the special education shift by the extraordinary occurrences at the school district. After Superintendent Bill Kowba announced the district could be facing insolvency, I jumped on that story and have been covering it ever since.

    Now that our illustrious education reporter, Emily Alpert, has returned from her travels, I should be able to wrap up the special education story this week. Expect some conclusions out of that reporting later this week.

    Will Carless is an investigative reporter at voiceofsandiego.org. You can reach him at will.carless@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5670.

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      This article relates to: Education, Investigations, News, Public Safety, Radio, TV and Video, San Diego Explained

      Written by Will Carless

      Will Carless is the former head of investigations at Voice of San Diego. He currently lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he is a freelance foreign correspondent and occasional contributor to VOSD. You can reach him at will.carless.work@gmail.com.

      8 comments
      Kelly Donivan
      Kelly Donivan subscriber

      As much as schools try to mainstream these two groups, there are definite differences and those who function at normal speed should not be "handicapped" by those who can't learn and function at the regular ed rate, all in the name of "inclusion." The line has to be drawn somewhere!

      Genxer65
      Genxer65

      As much as schools try to mainstream these two groups, there are definite differences and those who function at normal speed should not be "handicapped" by those who can't learn and function at the regular ed rate, all in the name of "inclusion." The line has to be drawn somewhere!

      joe vargo
      joe vargo subscriber

      I was surprised when I read the article last month. It seems the school district went all in, and didn't test the water. It looks very much like a cost cutting maneuver. Teachers aren't prepared, class sizes getting larger. Sounds like everyone is going to suffer.

      joev
      joev

      I was surprised when I read the article last month. It seems the school district went all in, and didn't test the water. It looks very much like a cost cutting maneuver. Teachers aren't prepared, class sizes getting larger. Sounds like everyone is going to suffer.

      Jill Heller
      Jill Heller subscriber

      By the sudden switch, without additional staff, staff training, and virtually no option BUT mainstreaming....I imagine many parents opt for other educational options....including homeschool, private school, or charters. Both Regular Ed and Sp Ed.

      ClassroomVolunteer
      ClassroomVolunteer

      By the sudden switch, without additional staff, staff training, and virtually no option BUT mainstreaming....I imagine many parents opt for other educational options....including homeschool, private school, or charters. Both Regular Ed and Sp Ed.