Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press

  Home > Doing Your Homework > Teaching a Child to Read: Special Ed or Reading First by Sue Whitney


The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2015 Training Programs

Jan 16 - School District, LA

Jan 24 - Corpus Christi, TX

Jan 24 - Pensacola, FL

Jan 31 - Champaign, IL

Feb 19 - Lincroft, NJ

Feb 24 - Knoxville, TN

Feb 26 - Memphis, TN

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Jason at Ft. Benning
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Consultations
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Allergy/Anaphylaxis
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
ISEA
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 

Doing Your Homework:
Teaching a Child to Read: Special Ed or Reading First?

by Suzanne Whitney, Research Editor, Wrightslaw

Print this page

My son is in 2nd grade and receives special education for reading. He just got a progress report with an "F" in reading even though he gets this extra help in special ed.

We asked the school about putting him in the Reading First program. We were told he couldn't be in special ed and Reading First. Is my son prohibited from being in Reading First because he's in special ed? (he is in regular classes).

From Sue

The "F" in reading is telling you and the school that the current reading program is not meeting your son's needs. He needs to learn to read.

Reading First is a classroom reading program for children in grades K-3. There is nothing in NCLB that says a child who needs more intensive reading instruction must be denied participation in the classroom program. However, since your son is already in second grade and is still behind in reading, it would make sense to give him a more intensive method of instruction than what is available in the classroom.

"Getting help in special ed" is something you should look into more closely.

This is the federal definition of special education - "The term 'special education' means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of the child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and instruction in physical education." (20 U.S.C. Section 1401)

The federal government has set minimum national standards for reading instruction. You can learn learn about these standards in "4 Great Definitions About Reading."

Strategies for Getting Help

Write to the principal and request this information – (I’ll call your son Joe.)

Is Joe proficient in reading?

If Joe is not proficient in reading, what steps has the school taken to bring Joe to proficiency?

Has the school administered a screener? If so, what were the findings?

Has the school administered a diagnostic reading test? If so, what were the findings?

What reading program is the school using to teach Joe to read?

Is this program a research-based reading program? Does this reading program include the “essential components" of reading listed in 20 U. S. C. § 6368(3)?

What research supports the use of this program?

What assessments does the district use to identify children who may be at risk for reading failure or difficulty learning to read? Has the district used such as assessment with Joe? What were the findings?

What “additional educational assistance” is the district providing Joe?

Is Joe’s teacher qualified to teach reading?

At Joe’s present rate of improvement, will the school teach Joe to read by grade three?

At Joe's present rate of improvement how long will it take the school to teach Joe to read?

Ask all these questions in your letter even if you know the answers. Keep a copy of your letter to the school. Keep a copy of their answers.

Asking these questions in writing will give the principal and the IEP team a chance to assess your grandson’s school situation.

A week or so after you deliver the letter to the principal, request an IEP meeting to review your son’s IEP. By then the school should have a plan about how they propose to teach him to read by grade three.

Your Learning Plan

Don't wait to take these steps, hoping your son's problems will get better on their own. According to research about learning disabilities by the National Institutes of Health, children need to learn to read before the end of third grade. If children are not proficient readers by the end of third grade, most will never be proficient.

While you are waiting for the meeting, read these publications. Use a highlighter. Make margin notes. Take your copies of these publications to the IEP meeting so you can refer to them if necessary.

Guidance for the Reading First Program

Title 1 Paraprofessionals 11-15-02, Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

Improving Teacher Quality, 9-12-03, Revised Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

Using Data to Influence Classroom Decisions

No Child Left Behind - A Parents Guide

Grade Retention – Achievement and Mental Health Outcomes (National Association of School Psychologists)

Good luck,

Sue Whitney
Research Editor


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 © 2002-2014 by Suzanne Whitney.


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

Copyright 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

What's New!

Now Shipping!

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Check it out!

Wrightslaw Store

The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Blog the Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw on Facebook

Find us on Facebook

Wrightslaw Books

Student Discounts

Military Discounts


Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book
To Order


About the Book

To Order


Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

About the DVD Video
To Order


To Order


Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training


Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $
24.95
Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)


Wrightslaw WebEx Special Education Law & Training Program (6.5 hrs)


Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $99.95
Wrightslaw Special: $49.95