In this article, Thomas M. Skrtic analyzes and critiques the special education system in the United States, focusing on its policies, practices, and grounding assumptions. He provides an expansive and in-depth literature review, applying a form of criticism he calls "immanent critique" to three areas: 1) special education as a professional practice, 2) special education as an institutional practice, and 3) public education as a social practice of society. In critiquing these areas, he compares the debate over the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 with the current debate over the Regular Education Initiative and reflects on the positions of the leading scholars who advocate reform within special and regular education. After deconstructing the discourses in these areas, Skrtic argues that the current bureaucratic school organizational structure and specialized professional culture are inappropriate forms to fulfill our social goals of educational excellence and equity. In their place, Skrtic proposes an alternative school organizational structure and professional culture,which he terms "adhocracy." He argues that this form, which stresses collaboration and active problem solving, would provide all students with schooling that is both excellent and equitable, and thus prepare today's youth for the challenges and requirements of the post-industrial era of the coming twenty-first century.

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