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Over the past two decades, the percentage of American students with disabilities educated in general classrooms with their nondisabled peers has risen by approximately fifty percent. This gradual but steady policy shift has been driven by two distinct narratives of organisational change. The social justice narrative espouses principles of equality and caring across human differences. The narrative of technocracy creates top-down, administrative pressure through hierarchical systems based on quantitative performance data. This article examines these two primary policy narratives of inclusive education in the United States, exploring the conceptual features of each and initiating an analysis of their application in the public schools.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, volume 37, issue 4, in 2016, available online: It may differ slightly from the final version of record.

Peer Reviewed



Taylor & Francis



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