IDEA45: Our Continued Passion

IDEA Deserves our Continued Passion, Advocacy, and Support By Michael Norman When I began an internship at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) in 1976, I knew little about special education and even less about state educational agencies (SEAs). I was a thirty-year-old doctoral student and former middle school principal. I had no idea that internship would change the entire trajectory of my professional life. I walked into a flurry of activity centered on the recent passage of P.L. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. NASDSE had a Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (BEH)-funded training grant to support SEAs in meeting their responsibilities under the legislation, which I quickly learned were considerable. The excitement of the NASDSE staff was infectious. My previous work in racial integration in public schools led me to see P.L. 94-142 as a wonderfully articulated outcome and expansion of…

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