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Administering Special Education: In Pursuit of Dignity and Autonomy

ISBN: 978-0-76231-145-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-298-6

Publication date: 30 December 2004


Public school educators are confronted daily with myriad issues that demand unique knowledge of not only educational processes, but of political and financial ones as well. Among the most important of these issues are the social and moral responsibilities to educate children with disabilities. During the late 1960s and 1970s, the nation experienced a new sensitivity to human rights as well as an increased awareness of the indignities suffered as a result of discrimination and the denial of rights of persons with disabilities. Of late, the mood of the people and the national leadership has appeared to turn somewhat away from the abiding interest in human rights; nonetheless, the recognition of rights continues, as they have emanated from federal Constitutional interpretations and statutes. Both sources of rights constitute a persistent reflection of civil and cultural advancements of significant proportions. Thus, rights have become vested by action of government, and the public schools have been, in large part, the vehicle for ensuring the realization of these rights. School administrators, by virtue of their public responsibilities, have been the advance guard in effectively achieving and implementing these rights. Children with disabilities have posed a particular educational challenge because remediation of disabilities was intensely personal and many times unique to the individual child. Thus, of necessity, the educational responses and procedures were correspondingly singular and in most cases very complex, requiring a substantial commitment of public school financial resources. It goes without saying that the right to an appropriate education remains a hollow promise without provision of adequate and continuing public support.


Alexander, K. and Hunter, R.C. (2004), "PREFACE", Alexander, K. and Hunter, R.C. (Ed.) Administering Special Education: In Pursuit of Dignity and Autonomy (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. IX-X.



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