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RECOMMENDATION: Hold the school accountable for providing quality education for all children.

ACTION: Public school systems should move toward becoming an all-inclusive (zero-reject) educational system.

RECOMMENDATION: Re-examine present system of intelligence testing and classification.

ACTION: Limit designation of "mentally retarded" to those who do not show a significant increase in either intellectual or adaptive behavior normal for age in spite of various therapeutic attempts at correction of the program (e.g. no "final diagnosis" until after remediation has been applied)… Assess child's strengths so that appropriate planning and curriculum development can be provided, and instruction focused on strengths rather than weaknesses.

RECOMMENDATION: Restructure education of teachers, administrators, counselors.

ACTION: All teacher-training institutions should continue to seek new models for preparing professional teachers who can individualize instruction and handle diversity… Emphasize communication between general educators and special educators.

The conference also recommended a focus on early childhood stimulation, and education and evaluation as part of the continuum of public education. This recommendation was consistent with the President's Panel recommendations back in 1962. It helped build momentum for federal funding to early childhood intervention programs and the inclusion of younger children in education legislation.

Two children playing
Photo courtesy William Bronston, M.D