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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
January 2, 2001

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Issue: 97
ISSN: 1538-3202


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1. New Letter to Wrightslaw: Are Children with disabilities required to take state-mandated tests?" 

Dave asks, "I know schools are required to administer state-mandated tests. Are children with disabilities REQUIRED to take these state-mandated tests? I ask because my child has severe learning disabilities. I'd like to spare him the frustration of taking these tests." 

If you have a child with a disability, you may be asking yourself this question too. What can you do about state mandated tests? 

High stakes testing is a hot topic around the country. Oregon parents have filed a lawsuit in federal court; Indiana parents took the issue to Court last year. Read our answer to Dave and get new information about high stakes testing


2. New Advocacy Tip - Nearly Free Books 

Want to learn more about special education advocacy? Short of funds? A New Hampshire advocate devised a simple strategy to get books from the Wrightslaw Bestseller List, improve her local library -- and help other parents. Read this new Advocacy Tip in the Advocate's Center


3. Do You Know a Child Who Needs a "Pick-Me Up?"

Most kids returned to school today - a mixed blessing for many kids with disabilities. If you know a child who needs a "pick me up," you may want to order the new Outstanding Dyslexics Calendar (published by the Los Angeles branch of the International Dyslexia Association since 1984). 

This full color calendar includes photographs, accomplishments, and inspirational quotes from people in entertainment, the arts, sports, business, and other professions. This year's calendar features astronaut Pete Conrad, environmental activist Erin Brockovich, and attorney-activist Pete Wright

Get more information about the Outstanding Dyslexics Calendar. 


4. Dear Wrightslaw: Can You Advise Me? 4th Annual COPAA Conference 

Dear WRIGHTSLAW: I want to become an educational advocate. Can you advise me? 

Dear WRIGHTSLAW: I teach students with learning disabilities and have a masters degree in learning disabilities. I am exploring the possibility of attending law school. Can you share your experiences in creating a practice that focuses on special education law? Is there a need for this practice? Can you advise me?

Dear WRIGHTSLAW: I am an attorney. I also have a Master's degree in Special Education and experience as a special educator, evaluator, consultant, teacher and administrator. I am interested in practicing Special Education law and have found your site valuable and informative. 

I would like to work with other attorneys who practice in this area. Can you advise me of organizations or resources for attorneys who are beginning to work in this area?

From WRIGHTSLAW: You need to join the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). You should also attend the Annual COPAA Conference in March 2001. If you subscribe to our online newsletter, you'll get information about this Conference when details are firmed up.

Fourth Annual COPAA Conference, Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel, 
March 8-11, 2001 

Conference Highlights include: 

Legislative Issues Education and Training: Thursday, March 8.

Friday Workshop: Effective Parent Advocacy Workshop (all day). Presenters include Pete & Pam WRIGHT, Stewart R. HAKOLA, Mark KAMLEITER, Margaret A. KOHN, & Brice PALMER.

Six Friday Minicourses: Tests and Evaluations; IDEA and High Stakes Testing; Uses and Misuses of Tests; Complex Litigation; Discipline, Behavior & IDEA-97.

Saturday: A General Session on "Update on Arons Litigation" (David VLADECK & Matt COHEN); 12 Breakout Sessions; a General Session on "Review and Discussion of Major Judicial Decisions" (Judith GRAN, Esq.)

Longtime newsletter subscribers know we have been active supporters of COPAA since the organization was formed. If you want to learn about special education law and advocacy, or think you may want to work in this area, you should join COPAA and attend this conference. You can get the full schedule of conference events and registration information from the COPAA site. 


5. More Special Ed Law Resources 

The "SpecialEdLaw E-Newsletter" is a free special ed legal newsletter that you may want to add to your list. 

The guiding force behind the SpecialEdLaw site and newsletter is Pennsylvania attorney Phil Stinson. Mr. Stinson's firm offers day-long special education law seminars. These seminars are open to parents of children with special needs, attorneys, teachers, special education directors, psychologists, physicians, and other professionals. Attorneys can earn 6.0 continuing legal education credits. Seminars are scheduled in the following locations: San Diego; Philadelphia; Jackson Hole. 

To learn more about these seminars and subscribe to the SpecialEdLaw Newsletter, visit the SpecialEdLaw site.

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Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
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Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
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Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
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