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Release: June 14, 2000

Academy publishes Kavale paper on students with learning disabilities

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Academy of Education has published a research paper by Kenneth A. Kavale, a University of Iowa professor of special education, titled "Inclusion: Rhetoric and Reality Surrounding the Integration of Students with Disabilities."

The paper is the second in an occasional research paper series launched in September by the academy to promote informed discussion and debate among educational scholars, leaders and policymakers in Iowa. The first paper was "Community College Effects on Students: A Review of Recent Evidence" by Ernest T. Pascarella, the University of Iowa's Mary Louise Peterson Professor of Higher Education in the College of Education.

The academy was created in 1997 by the Des Moines-based FINE (First in the Nation in Education) Foundation. More than half of its 15 members are professors from the University of Iowa, including Kavale.

In his contribution to the paper series, Kavale -- a nationally recognized authority on learning disabilities -- examines the history of the debate over inclusion and summarizes research on aspects of the issue. He first traces the movement from mainstreaming and calls for "the least restrictive environment" in 1975 to the shift to a more integrated system during the 1980s under the Regular Education Initiative. More recently, students with learning disabilities have been completely integrated into age-appropriate general education classrooms with no separate special education.

Copies of Kavale's and Pascarella's papers are available by contacting Joann Vaske, executive director of the FINE Foundation, at jvaske@iptv.org.