These thoughts come from an online discussion forum (I'm near the bottom) that I thought would be worth saving if for no other reason than to say "I told you so."
Special ed students cost, on average, over twice that of the average student--An astounding $17,000 per pupil. The utilitarian benefit is, of course, considerably less--certainly a net liability. Machiavellian as that sounds, it's fallacious to let a bleeding heart bludgeon the wallet to death. Today, special education consumes 20% of public education spending (used a very liberal source as an antidote to your incredulity :) in the US. The fluffy-feeling this may give you aside, does it make sense to invest the highest amount of resources into the least productive people?
Less intelligent people can actually be better at many menial tasks that bore more intelligent people into lethargic sloppiness--they should be trained for these sorts of tasks, not put into mainstream classes where they learn nothing and are patronized (benevolent as your intentions may be, taking care of a handicapped person like you'd take care of a pet qualifies as patronization in my mind).
Excerpted from a John Derbyshire column (the whole thing is a worthwhile five minute read). He's discussing the 91% of Chinese scientists who believe eugenics is a good thing the government should be involved in and how the discussion of eugenic practices has no sembelance of the Christian ethics we in the West (especially the lefties) pride ourselves on. In the PRC they pragmatically talk instead of how it should best be executed--whether or not it should be done is not even a question:
"A rough kind of eugenics has, in fact, been practiced in China for a long time. Several years ago, when I was living in that country, I mentioned Down's Syndrome in conversation with a Chinese colleague. She did not know the English term and I did not know the Chinese, so we had to look it up in a dictionary. 'Oh,' she said when she got it. 'That's not a problem in China. They don't get out of the delivery room.'
As I said: While we are agonizing over the rights and wrongs of it, elsewhere they will just be doing it."
Keep in mind that China has Asian expansionism in its plans (North Korea's tentative promise not to develop nukes means the PRC won't have to worry about Japan and Taiwan going nuclear--notice that China was the country that got North Korea to oblige after the other four countries could not) and in less than eleven years (using US GDP growth of 4% and PRC GDP growth of 9% to future value) China's total economy will be larger than that of the US. Their population also has a higher average IQ than the US, ties with ruthless regimes like Iran, Zimbabwe, and North Korea, and because of the one-child policy recently reneged, millions more young males than young females (as males are more "prized"). I point out the glut of young males because, well, what makes a better army than millions of young males with no one to marry? I'm coming at this with assumed prescience--that the PRC will be the next Soviet Union. Unfortunate, because I love far-Eastern culture and people, but inevitable given the Han's feeling of superiority and the insatiable energy appetite that is going to consume China in the coming years.
Can we afford to fall behind?