In this issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we look at the right to a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE); educational benefit - and how to measure it; parent-tested strategies to get an appropriate program; facts about retention and social promotion; how to get help from the Yellow Pages; and the Wrightslaw Tour.
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FLYERS! If you want to help others learn about special education law and advocacy, please download, print and distribute the Wrightslaw flyer. Where can you distribute the flyer? At school meetings, doctor's offices, hospitals, and day care centers!
1. "Why Not the Best?" - Four Lessons About FAPE
We receive many questions from parents about how to get the BEST program for their child or a program that maximizes the child's potential. Is your child entitled to the best program? Is your child entitled to a program that maximizes the child's potential?
For answers to these questions -- and "Four Lessons About FAPE," read "Loving Parents Want What's Best for Their Child" at -
For more information about special education rights and responsibilities, you will want to visit these pages:
2. Wrightslaw Guide To A Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
If you have a child with a disability, your child is entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). To answer your questions, we built the FAPE page with links to articles, cases, and other resources:
The legal concept of FAPE is shorthand for free, appropriate public education. FAPE is defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA) at 20 U. S. C. § 1401(8) (See Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 27) and in the Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 300.13 (See Wrightslaw: Special Ed Law, page 142).
3. Educational Benefit - What Is It, How Can You Measure It?
In a nutshell, FAPE is an individualized educational program that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which the child receives educational benefit.
How can you tell if your child is receiving educational benefit? If you compare the child's educational test scores over time, you will know if your child is receiving educational benefit.
To learn how to use test results to measure educational benefit, download, print and study "Tests & Measurements for the Parent, Educator, Advocate & Attorney:"
BTW: This article is now available in a printer-friendly format - you will find a link on the first page of the Tests and Measurements article.
Learn more about testing and assessments:
4. How Can I Get The School To Provide An Appropriate Program?
Read our correspondence with one parent as she lobbies for the educational services her son needs.
5. Answers To Your Questions About Retention & Social Promotion
As states implement new "high stakes" tests, many school districts offer two solutions when kids do not learn in the standardized one-size-fits-all program - retention & social promotion. If your child's school wants to retain your child, what should you do?
First, you need to find out what the experts say about retention. You will find a list of resources about retention and social promotion below. You will learn that retention and social promotion are not appropriate solutions - and may damage your child.
Next, you need to use resources published the U. S. Department of Education and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) to support your position that retention is not an appropriate solution for your child.
These resources will help you get up and running:
"Should I Allow the School Retain My Child?" answers a parent's frequently asked questions about retention - it is not a good idea.
"To Promote or Retain?" provides a summary of research on retention showing that retention is not an appropriate intervention for children who have academic delays.
"Retention is Not the Answer." A North Carolina school psychologist writes about retention and social promotions, and his state's policy of retaining children while ignoring research that retention is not an appropriate intervention.
According to "Ending Social Promotion" by the U. S. Department of Education, neither social promotion nor retention is appropriate for students who do not meet high academic standards. This article focuses on accountability and school's responsibility to implement high academic standards for all students.
6. Need Help? Visit The Yellow Pages
We built the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities so you can find information and support. The Yellow Pages include hundreds of resources - grassroots organizations, parent support groups, evaluators, educational consultants, academic tutors, advocates, attorneys, and other who provide services to parents and children.
Visit your state Yellow Pages at http://www.fetaweb.com/help/states.htm
To get the word out about the Yellow Pages, we designed flyers for each state. Please distribute your state Yellow Pages Flyer at schools, day care centers, libraries, doctor's and psychologist's offices, community centers, and hospitals. Get your State Yellow Pages Flyer now!
7. Wrightslaw Tour - Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleans & Orlando (February 2003)
February 12-17: Louisiana Tour
In February, we hit the road for the Wrightslaw Louisiana Tour with stops in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans!
General Info: http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.02.la.htm
February 12, 2003: Shreveport, Advocacy Training
This one-day advocacy training program focuses on four areas: special education law, rights and responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and how to use tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.
February 14-15, 2003: Baton Rouge, BOOT CAMP
On Friday, you'll learn about special education law, rights and responsibilities, tests and measurements, and how to use the bell curve to measure educational progress or regression. On Saturday, you'll learn about SMART IEPs and tactics and strategy for effective advocacy.
We will test your skills and knowledge and give you feedback about your progress. Learn more about the Baton Rouge Boot Camp at the wrightslaw site.
February 17, 2003: New Orleans, Advocacy Training
This one-day program focuses on special education law, rights and responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and how to use tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.
For more information about the Louisiana Tour, call Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge at 225-216-7474 or Toll Free at 866-216-7474, or call the Baton Rouge Autism Society at 225-929-6544.
February 25: Orlando - Free Advocacy Training
If you are a Florida resident, join us for a FREE advocacy training program in Orlando. No fee is required to attend the Seeds for Success program but you must pre-register by mail or fax. Registration must be received on or before February 10, 2003.
NOTE: Space is limited to the first 150 registrants.
Please download and distribute the flyer designed by UCF- CARD
To learn if we are coming to your area, please check our Seminars & Training page:
How to plan a training program, seminar or boot camp . . .
If you want to bring Pete & Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars:
8. Subscription & Contact Info
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.
Newsletter Archives: http://www.wrightslaw.com/archives.htm
Seminars & Training: http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/index.htm
Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities: http://www.fetaweb.com/help/states.htm
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