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Promoting Access Through Segregation: The Emergence of the “Prioritized Curriculum” Class

by Jessica Bacon, Carrie E. Rood & Beth A. Ferri - 2016

The continuously evolving standards-based reform (SBR) movement is one of the most prominent features of today’s educational policy landscape. As SBR has continued to drive educational policy, local schools and districts have adopted many approaches to comply with legal mandates. This paper critically examines one particular resultant phenomenon of the SBR movement—the emergence of a new track of self-contained classes called Prioritized Curriculum classes, designed to provide students with disabilities access to standards-based general education curriculum, but in a segregated class. In this article we document the emergence of such courses and critically analyze the rationales and policy loopholes that have led to their creation.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 118 Number 14, 2016, p. 1-22
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 21544, Date Accessed: 7/25/2021 9:36:42 AM

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About the Author
  • Jessica Bacon
    Montclair State University
    E-mail Author
    JESSICA BACON is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Literacy and Special Education at Montclair State University. Bacon received her PhD in Special Education from Syracuse University in 2012. Her dissertation and recent publications have investigated the impact of the standards-based reform movement on special and inclusive education. Recent publications have appeared in Critical Studies in Education and The International Journal of Inclusive Education.
  • Carrie Rood
    SUNY College at Cortland
    E-mail Author
    CARRIE E. ROOD is an Assistant Professor in the Social Foundations and Advocacy Department at SUNY College at Cortland. Her teaching and research center on inclusive teacher preparation and disability studies in education. She is passionate about helping teachers to find ways to provide meaningful access to the curriculum and promoting services that maintain the integrity of all individuals within inclusive settings. She currently acts as a co-editor for TASH Connections and has published manuscripts recently in RPSD and Academe.
  • Beth Ferri
    Syracuse University
    E-mail Author
    BETH A. FERRI is a Professor of Inclusive Education and Disability Studies at Syracuse University, where she also coordinates the doctoral program in special education. She has published widely on the intersection of race, gender, and disability. She co-authored (with David J. Connor) Reading Resistance: Discourses of Exclusion in Desegregation and Inclusion Debates in 2006 (Peter Lang Publishers) and co-edited (with Arlene Kanter) Righting Educational Wrongs: Disability Studies in Law & Education in 2013 (Syracuse University Press). Her forthcoming coedited book, DisCrit: Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory in Education (with David Connor and Subini Annamma), will be published in 2015 (Teachers College Press).
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