Students all learn differently and their parents send them to us with the expectation they will learn something. Yes, I have heard the counter argument: Parents with kids with disabilities send their kids to give themselves a break and use school like a daycare.
This does happen, but we need to assume the best in our parents, not the worst. I believe that these parents are few and far between.
Over the years, we have all had kids we were pretty sure should not have been in "regular" classes. I've had a paranoid schizophrenic that refused to take his medication and made all the other kids in that class uncomfortable. I've had students that socially seem like they are exactly like the other kids, and very well may be, but their learning differences made them more or less on the level of a kindergartner. I've had kids that required everything be read to them or unable to receive written assignments. I've even had students that are deaf.
What about the teacher that is supposed to help them in your class (inclusion teacher)? I have had mixed results with these folks helping me or my students.
I've had inclusion teachers tell me not to fail students or to just give them a 70 to avoid everyone getting in trouble instead of helping. I've had inclusion teachers that just never show up because in short staffed schools they get pulled to do everything BUT their actual job. I've had inclusion teachers that are so capable and caring that they not only help the kids they are charged to assist, but all my students.
Developmental and learning differences make us uncomfortable. They shouldn't, but they do. That discomfort combined with the added difficulty and stress turns to anger. That anger turns to neglect and lashing out at these students when we should be helping them.
Giving them a passing grade and not making them work for it doesn't help anyone. One of my most ill behaved student in my short teaching history was one of these kids with learning differences. He told me he was dumb and to just give him a 70 like all his other teachers. I decided to be honest with him and myself instead of just fake it. "You're not dumb, you're just lazy, rude, undisciplined, and you don't want to be here because you're bored and want to sell drugs. You have to try in here." What did he do? Just enough to get a 70, but he did something. It took what feels like daily correcting, but it worked out. Continuing to make excuses helps no one.
These students can learn. They want to learn. Sometimes, it just takes a little extra effort.
Should teachers be required to do all of these things? It sure would be nice if we didn't, but we are called to teach ALL of our students. Period.
Children and Youth with Disabilities
Parent Fights for Special Needs Education Services - Education Post
Stop Making Excuses for Dallas Students