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Doing Your Homework:
What One Person Can Do
(Do You Have a Free Hour?)
by Sue Whitney, Research Editor, Wrightslaw

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The last two issues of The Special Ed Advocate featured articles about what one person can do.

But realistically, what can one person do? Isn't it expensive and time consuming to make any real changes? Don't you have to know an awful lot before you can teach others? Don't you need some kind of a base to start from?

I don't think so.

With very little time and absolutely no money, you can bring current, official, accurate information about law and education to large numbers of people. There is a catch --

  • You need to have a free hour maybe two
  • It also helps if you have a few friends

If you watched television last week, you qualify as a person who has a free hour. The next time you are ready to sit down to watch television, go to your computer instead.

1. Print pages 58-61 of The Teachers Toolkit (or, if you want to save 4 sheets of paper, write down the titles on one sheet of paper).

2. Then go to www.edpubs.org. Using your list of publications from above (pages 58-61 of The Teachers Toolkit), enter a title in the order box. Order the maximum number of free copies of these publications.

TIP! The maximum for most publications is from 1 to 30 copies

Order as many free copies as you are allowed. Most items will be shipped in 3 days.

While you are at the site, click "Top 10 Publications" and "Recently Added Publications" in the left hand column and order other publications that interest you.

3. Distribute these publications to others - teachers, parents, school administrators and school board members. Ask your local public library if you may leave a stack of publications there for others.

You can save a step by having publications shipped directly to another recipient. For example, if you are ordering copies for your school or public library, you can have the publications shipped directly there. If you do this, contact the person who will receive them and let them know to expect them.

The next time you come across a U.S. Department of Education publication that interests you, go to www.edpubs.org, order copies and distribute them. Tell others about this resource.

Remember this the next time you have a free hour.

Do this the next time you feel powerless.

Meet Sue Whitney

Sue Whitney of Merrimack, New Hampshire, is the research editor for Wrightslaw.

Sue is the co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 978-1-892320-12-4) that is published by Harbor House Law Press.

In Doing Your Homework, she writes about reading, research based instruction, No Child Left Behind, and creative strategies for using federal education standards to advocate for children and to improve public schools. Her articles have been reprinted by SchwabLearning.org, EducationNews.org, Bridges4Kids.org, The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice, the Schafer Autism Report, and have been used in CLE presentations to attorneys. Sue Whitney's bio.

Sue has served on New Hampshire's Special Education State Advisory Committee on the Education of Students/Children with Disabilities (SAC) and has been a volunteer educational surrogate parent. She currently works with families as a special education advocate.

Copyright © 2002-2015 by Suzanne Whitney.

More articles by Sue:

A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind: What Teachers, Principals & School Administrators Need to Know

10 Strategies to Fight Mandatory Retention & Other Damaging Policies

Exit Exams Can Be Optional - If You Plan Ahead

High Stakes! Can the School Use a Single Test to Retain My Child?

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