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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
February 13, 2002


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Issue - 152

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

What Does "No Child Left Behind" Mean for You?

Speak Up! Your Chance to Be Heard!

Editor's Choice: Left Back - Failed School Reform

Free Pub - Minority Students

Pete & Pam to Cleveland & Chicago

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Download the online version of this newsletter from http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/nwltr/2002/nl.0212.htm
A
t Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education.

Highlights: President Bush has advice for parents in the No Child Left Behind Act; download brochures; Speak Up about IDEA and preschool programs; new free pub about reading and research-based instruction from National Academy of Science; Pete & Pam are coming to Cleveland and Chicago.

Subscribers on February 13 2002: 37,473

Do you want to help others learn about special education law and advocacy. Download, print and distribute the new Wrightslaw flyer. The new Wrightslaw flyer is in two formats - html and pdf - so it is easier to print.

Do you want to do more? Forward this newsletter or the subscription page to your friends. Together we can make a difference!


No Child Left Behind Act - What Does the Law Mean to You?

When President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act on January 8, 2002, he offered this advice to parents:

"We know that every child can learn. As parents, you are your children's first teachers and their strongest advocates. You have a critical role to play."

"Too many children are segregated in schools without standards, shuffled from grade to grade . . . This is discrimination, pure and simple - the soft bigotry of low expectations."-- President George W. Bush

Because this statute will affect educational policy and decision-making for many years, we wanted to read it and think about what it may mean for our children, their parents, and their teachers.

In this new article, you learn the basics about the No Child Left Behind Act. We offer information and resources for parents, teachers, and school and community leaders. To help you learn more about this important law, we offer a Wrightslaw Game Plan.

President Bush has this message for parents:

"As parents, you are your children's first and foremost teachers and their strongest advocates. You have a critical role to play—both in the way you raise your children and in the way you work for meaningful and accurate accountability in their schools. This book will show you the way to help change their schools for the better."

Rod Paige, Secretary of the U. S. Department of Education said,

"No one cares more about your child's future than you do, and no one is better positioned to hold schools accountable for performance than you are."

"You have a right to know whether your child is really learning at school . . . If your child is not making adequate progress in school, you can and must ask why. A good teacher will be happy to answer your questions. Do your part and ask."

At Wrightslaw, we have questions and concerns. Given the U. S. Department of Education's dismal track record in enforcing the IDEA, how the feds will enforce this new law? Who will ensure that local and state education agencies departments are held accountable for results? As we learn more, we will keep you posted will keep you posted.

Educate yourself. Educate others.

Read What Does the No Child Left Behind Act Mean for You?

http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/2002/nclb.sign.htm


Finally - A Chance to be Heard!

This year, Congress is scheduled to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As part of the reauthorization process, groups and committees will study the law and how it is being implemented - or is not being implemented.

If you are involved in special education, this is your chance to be heard. Get involved! Don’t procrastinate - the VIPs want to receive your comments before February 25, 2002!

http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/2002/idea.comments.htm

Please visit the IDEA 2002 page for news and updates about this important process.


Editor's Choice: Left Back: A Century of Battles over School Reform

Americans have argued about the quality of their schools for years for 100 years. Historian Diane Ravich describes this ongoing battle and explains why school reform often fails. She contends that American schools have been damaged by three misconceptions:

(1) the belief that schools can solve any social or political problem;
(2) the belief that many youngsters are incapable of benefiting from a high-quality education;
(3) the belief that imparting knowledge is relatively unimportant, compared to engaging students in 'activities and experiences.'

Ravich says that these misconceptions and false beliefs have restricted equality of educational opportunity, encouraged low expectations, and dumbed down schools. She offers practical advice about how we can reform America's schools, arguing that all students can learn and deserve a solid education. This book is an excellent resource for people who are interested in education reform.

For more information about Left Back, go to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743203267/ref=nosim/thespecialedadvo

For more good books and books about inspirational people, visit our Gift Shop at http://www.wrightslaw.com/bkstore/bks_gifts.htm


New Free Pub

National Research Council, Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education, published by National Academy Press (2002).

Special education and gifted and talented programs were designed for children whose educational needs are not well met in regular classrooms. From the beginning, these programs have had a disproportionate number of racial and ethnic minority students. Why? Is this a problem?

Do special education programs provide valuable educational services? Do special ed programs set students on a course of lower educational expectations? Important questions!

This report from The National Research Council answers these questions. The Report will help your school board understand how using research-based teaching methods to teach reading will reduce the number of children who cannot learn in regular education classrooms. The report also contains information that will be useful for your Congressional representatives as they consider changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in the coming months.

Download a free copy of Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education (one page at a time) from http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10128.html?onpi_newsdoc01162002. You can also purchase a bound copy from the NAP.

For dozens of free publications about special ed topics, from autism to zero tolerance, go to the Wrightslaw Free Pubs Page. We add new publications often.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/links/free_pubs.htm


Pete & Pam in Cleveland & Chicago

Please join Pete and Pam Wright for a full day of advocacy training in Cleveland Ohio and Chicago, Illinois.

February 20: Cleveland, OH. For information, call the Cuyahoga County Bar Association at 216-621-5112 or Special Education Legal Services (SELS) at 216-289-IDEA (216-289-4332). Download and distribute flyer.

February 23: Chicago, IL. For information, download registration page, call Special Connections at 312-914-0591, or email Contact@special-connections.org

To learn if we are scheduled to come to your area, please check our Schedule.

If you are interested in having Pete and Pam Wright speak at an event, please send a blank email to conferences@wrightslaw.com


Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources. Subscribers receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. 

To subscribe. Read back issues of Special Ed Advocate.

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ISSN: 1538-3202
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