Misunderstanding of special education is common, even though "special education" is a term regularly used in discussion of schooling. Exactly what special education is and how it differs from general education, which students should get it, and why we should have it are matters that relatively few teachers, parents, school administrators, or those who prepare teachers can explain with accuracy, consistency/confidence. Many misconceptions about special education persist in our society. Historically, special education has been an attempt to increase the fairness of universal public education for exceptional learners. Since 1975, federal law has required schools to provide special education for all children with disabilities who need it. Special education has its perpetual issues, including these questions: Who should be identified for special education, and who should teach exceptional students? How should they be served? Where special education should be provided? Special education is not an easy challenge, as it presents difficult dilemmas—difficult choices, none of which is cost-free, risk-free/perfect.