A Word About…
Stetson & Associates, Inc. is honored by the trust placed in our organization by the Education Development Center, Inc. and Dr. David Riley to assume the lead role in the Inclusive Schools Network. Our entire history as a firm has, indeed, revolved around improving the quality of inclusive schools for all students over a 24- year history.
My personal focus on inclusive schools began when serving as a member of the first Child Find Task Force as a consultant with the Texas Education Agency in the mid-70’s. I remember the awe of finding great numbers of children excluded from school and the challenge of finding and appropriately serving students with disabilities at the dawn of Public Law 94-142, the grandfather of IDEIA. Later, in Washington, D.C., I assisted in writing the first Report to Congress regarding PL94-142 and documented the increase in the numbers and diversity of students with disabilities educated in public school settings. My dissertation topic revolved around critical administrative factors that facilitate successful implementation of the Least Restrictive Environment mandate. A few years ago, I traveled to Kazakhstan and Kyrgizstan to provide training to inclusive schools staff and admired the great progress made by countries around the world in building inclusive communities.
Today after a career as both a special education and general education administrator and consultant, the opportunities to open previously closed doors to any student who has historically been placed in a ‘separate tier’ resonate as the reason for my work – as the reason for the work of our firm. Inclusion is a concept and a practice for all students – not for any single group (children with different learning styles, challenges, gifts, cultural and linguistic backgrounds).
I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue this work and to include the voices of teachers, parents, principals, and a growing Inclusive Schools Network in this ongoing purpose. Thank you for joining in our collective goal of success for all students and for gaining worldwide recognition of inclusion and its place in the ne cessary evolution of education and of society as a whole.
–Frances Stetson, Ph.D.
President, Stetson & Associates, Inc.