Transcript: Larry Wexler, EdD
In this interview, Larry Wexler reflects on the relationship between IDEA and Endrew (time: 2:17).
I believe that Endrew represents a fair interpretation of why IDEA was passed in 1975. It was passed because kids with disabilities, first off, were not even being admitted to schools. They were barred from the schools. Over one million children in 1975 were not permitted through the schoolhouse door because of their disabilities. The reason the law was passed was first for access for those children but then, more importantly, something good is supposed to happen as a result of the services that are provided. I think what Endrew represents is not necessarily requirements of IDEA, but the spirit of IDEA. Something is supposed to happen for the child as a result of receiving special education or early intervention services. That’s the point of all of the processes and requirements. Something’s supposed to happen. The child is supposed to progress. So the law and Endrew are intertwined. There’s no question.
The Endrew decision really revolutionized the concept of special education. The IEP, of course, memorializes what the child is supposed to get. What Endrew says is the minimum is not the standard that the child should be exposed to. The child should benefit and actually progress from the instruction. If the child is not progressing, then we need to look at what’s going on with the instruction and revise the IEP. Either the child needs different supports or the supports that are being provided are not being provided a with the quality and the fidelity that they need to be for the child to progress. So the goal here with Endrew is the child should progress, not just be exposed to education.