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School Choice and the Pressure to Perform: Déjà Vu for Children with Disabilities?

Publisher: Journal of Remedial and Special Education (RASE), 23 (4)
Page Numbers: 212-221

Major principles underlying school choice -- such as market competition and parental autonomy -- are in serious tension with the principles underlying inclusion from both philosophical and legal perspectives. In this article, the authors explicate this tension and then examine the empirical evidence indicating that exclusion of students with special needs, particularly by schools that market themselves on the basis of test scores, has been a result of the implementation of school choice. The authors suggest that school choice has turned back the clock by once again encouraging public schools to exclude students with special needs on the grounds that educating such students is beyond the scope of their mission.