Inclusive Urban Schools / Edition 1

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This edited volume provides an overview of inclusive education in urban schools, including demographics, major reform efforts, successes and challenges within urban reform, and the intersection of inclusive education with urban schooling. This practical book explores a wide range of ages, disabilities, and levels of implementation of inclusive practices. Using case studies of schools or districts in major U.S. cities (e.g., Milwaukee, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Houston), each chapter illustrates important themes in urban inclusive education. Many chapters are written by or with contributions from teachers and principals who have had direct experience with implementing inclusion in an urban school. The book covers many of today's hot topics in education: literacy, peer tutoring, curriculum adaptations, access to the general curriculum, transition, and diversity.

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Editorial Reviews

Margaret J. McLaughlin

"A wonderfully accessible first-hand account of how some urban schools have achieved inclusion. Recounting the evolution of inclusive education in these urban schools should quiet anyone who says, "But it can't be done here!""
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557666635
  • Publisher: Brookes Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the College of Education, Department of Teacher Education, at San Diego State University, where he teaches classes in English language development and literacy. His background includes adolescent literacy and instructional strategies for diverse student needs. He often presents at local, state, and national conferences and has published numerous articles on reading/literacy, differentiated instruction, accommodations, and curriculum development. He serves as Director of Professional Development for the City Heights Educational Collaborative in San Diego, California.

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the College of Education, Department of Teacher Education, at San Diego State University, where she teaches classes in literacy and differentiated instruction. Her background includes early literacy, writing instruction, and instructional strategies for diverse learners. She is the author of numerous books and articles on curriculum development and modification and on reading/literacy. She serves as Professional Development Schools Coordinator for the City Heights Educational Collaborative in San Diego, California.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from chapter 1 of Inclusive Urban Schools, edited by Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., & Nancy Frey, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2003 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Urban Education and Inclusive Schools: An Introduction

Inclusion is a part of the very culture of a school or school district and defines how students, teachers, administrators and others view the potential of children. Hence, inclusion has implications for how schools are organized and restructured, the curriculum, instruction, teacher training, and the types of materials and instructional technology used in the school. In fact, many schools have become inclusive schools when they restructured under current school reform efforts. (Roach, Ashcroft, Stamp, & Kysilko, 1995, p. 7)

The underlying value of inclusive education is that all children should be welcomed members of the classroom, school, and larger community. Certainly a great deal of research has been done on supporting individual students with disabilities in general education classes (e.g., Fisher & Ryndak, 2001; McGregor & Vogelsberg, 1998). This substantial database suggests that it is more than possible to provide access for students with disabilities to the best available educational practice and to demonstrate positive student achievement in inclusive environments (Kennedy & Itkonen, 1994; McLeskey & Waldron, 2000).

Unfortunately, most service delivery models have failed to make effective and inclusive practices readily available and accessible to most students with disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). After decades of specific federal support through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), only 27% of all students receiving special education services between 1996 and 1998 graduated with a diploma, compared with 75% of students without disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). Much of this is due to the alarming dropout rates seen among students with individualized education programs (IEPs). Life beyond high school is even less hopeful. According to the National Longitudinal Transition Study (Wagner, Blackorby, Cameto, Hebbeler, & Newman, 1993), only 20% of youth with disabilities are independent in the domains of work, residential activities, and social activities 3–5 years out of school. Schools are being held accountable not only for the achievement of students with disabilities, but also for the achievement of typical students.

Data on student achievement underscore the failure to make best and emerging educational practices available to all youth (Haycock, 2001). This impact is most significant in large urban communities. Specifically, urban districts have average student dropout rates of more than 40%, and more than 70% of urban studentsread, write, and compute below grade level (Haycock, 2001).

Student achievement among urban youth with and without disabilities needs to become a national priority. Focusing on the achievement of all urban youth is logical and justified, as many youth with disabilities who are urban residents are also socioeconomically, culturally, and linguistically diverse (Bondy & Ross, 1998; Oswald, Coutinho, Best, & Singh, 1999). Educational reform is critically important, but only if it is designed and evaluated in terms of its impact on student achievement (Langer, 2001). A great deal is known about policies and practices that are positively linked to student achievement, particularly for students with disabilities in inclusive environments. The literature substantiates, for example, the importance of active parent–school partnerships (Schaffner & Buswell, 1995), challenging and relevant curricula (Fisher, Sax, & Pumpian, 1999), individualized supports and accommo

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Table of Contents

About the Editors
About the Contributors
  1. Urban Education and Inclusive Schools: An Introduction
    Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher
  2. Learning Together and From Each Other: Inclusive Practices at the O'Hearn in Boston
    Bill Henderson

    Commentary 2
    Of Diamonds and Schools: Reflections on the O'Hearn in Boston
    Barbara E. Buswell

  3. A Triangle of Supports in South Florida
    Denyse Patel Henry and Nancy Frey

    Commentary 3
    Scaling Up: Expanding the Triangle of Supports
    Virginia Roach

  4. 4. Preventing Reading Difficulties and Ensuring Access to General Education Curriculum: Early Grade Literacy Instruction in Houston and Forth Worth
    Kerri L. Briggs and Meaghan S. Edmonds

    Commentary 4
    Urban Literacy: Ensuring Access to the Curriculum for All Students in Houston and Fort Worth
    Jacqueline Thousand and Alice Leilani Quiocho

  5. The Formation of a Spiritually Centered Learning Community: Congress School in Milwaukee
    Maureen W. Keyes, Alice Udvari-Solner, Jan Bloedorn, Ron Taylor, Nancy Annaromao, Tayotis Caldwell, Keona Jones, and Mary Beth Minkley

    Commentary 5
    The Role of Visioning: Commentary on the Formation of a Spiritually Centered Community at Congress School
    Leonard C. Burrello

  6. 6. Supporting One Another: Peer Tutoring in an Inclusive San Diego High School
    Rebecca Jean Bond and Elizabeth Castagnera

    Commentary 6
    Peer-to-Peer Relationships as a Foundation for Inclusive Education
    Craig H. Kennedy

  7. How-to High: Analyses and Processes in Chicago High Schools
    Mark W. Doyle and Laura Owens

    Commentary 7
    Education Connection: Reflections on Descriptions of Inclusive High Schools in Chicago
    James McLeskey and Nancy L. Waldron

  8. Pathfinders: Making a Way From Segregation to Community Life in New York
    Connie Lyle O'Brien, Beth Mount, John O'Brien, and Fredda Rosen

    Commentary 8
    Lessons from New York City's Pathfinders Project: It Is Never Too Late to Start Doing Good Work
    Caren L. Sax

  9. Whole Schooling and Inclusion in Detroit: Lessons from the Motor City
    J. Michael Peterson

    Commentary 9
    The Shaping of Inclusion: Efforts in Detroit and Other Urban Settings
    Fredda Brown and Craig A. Michaels

  10. System Change in Los Angeles, the City of Angels
    Richard A. Villa, Mary Falvey, and Judy A. Schrag

    Commentary 10
    Facilitating Sustainable Systemic Change in School Systems: Lessons Learned from Los Angeles
    Diane Lea Ryndak

  11. Inclusive Urban Schools:A Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
    Dorothy Kerzner Lipsky and Alan Gartner
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