woman and children interacting
Photo courtesy Ann Marsden

She proposed that efforts should be increased to educate students with mild and moderate disabilities in the mainstream of regular education. She called upon general and special educators to share responsibility. This was called the "Regular Education Initiative" and was the first major challenge to separate special education from within the federal government. It lent credence to the calls by the Stainbacks, Biklen, Lipsky and Gartner for merging general and special education, integrating the school and society, and going beyond special education to a unitary and refashioned mainstream.

For many educators and parents, mainstreaming provided far too little and came much too late for the students. Sometime in the mid-1980's, their impatience became evident in a movement known as the "Regular Education Initiative".