Wrightslaw

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
October 1, 2003


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ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue


What Can One Person Do?

What One Person Is Doing

How to Use the Open Records Laws in Your State

Doing Your Homework: Using Flyers to Educate Others

A Call To Action

MS, NY, OK Training

Free Pubs about NCLB

NCLB: Accountability Follows Money

What Will You Do This Week?

Subscription and Contact Info.

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education.

Highlights: Advocacy - what can one person do; what one person IS doing; how to use Open Records laws; A Call to Action; advocacy training programs in MS, NY, OK; using flyers to educate others; free pubs about NCLB; accountability follows money; what will YOU do this week?

Download newsletter in html: http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/03/nl.1001.htm

The Special Ed Advocate
newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help!


1. What Can One Person Do?

Every where you look, you see information about No Child Left Behind. What does it mean? What can you do with it? What can you change with it?

Maybe you just need a few friends to get things rolling.

Read 12 Things Parents Need to Know from Parent Leadership Associates

http://www.plassociates.org/twelve.html

1 parent = A fruitcake
2 parents = A fruitcake and a friend
3 parents = Troublemakers
5 parents = “Let’s have a meeting”
10 parents = “We’d better listen”
25 parents = “Our dear friends”
50 parents = A powerful organization” (from Item 12)

Learn more about Advocacy: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/advo.index.htm


2. What One Person Is Doing

NCLB makes lots of information about schools and school districts available to the public. Find out what one person in Texas decided to do with this information. Follow his progress during the next year. And learn.

Read about Jimmy Kilpatrick's battle to make one Texas school district accountable.

http://www.educationnews.org/Academic-Preparation-&-Performance-Audits.htm

Open Records Request: http://www.educationnews.org/open-records-request-educationnews.htm

Subscribe to EducationNews: Send a blank email to educationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


3. How to Use the Open Records Laws in Your State

Tappings Official Secrets is a complete compendium of information on every state's open records and open meetings laws. Each state's section is arranged according to a standard outline, making it easy to compare laws in various states.

Learn more about Open Records from Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press site.

http://www.rcfp.org/

Read the NCLB law to find out what reports must be prepared annually. Don't forget - all reports and applications are public records.

http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.html

Find out what the school board you elected has accomplished with your money.


4. Doing Your Homework: Using Flyers to Educate Others by Sue Heath

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness month. Many organizations publish information about disabilities, resources, and advocacy opportunities available in the form of informational flyers.

Look over this collection of flyers - you will find flyers on dozens of topics. You can use these to educate your community.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/flyers.htm

Distribute informational flyers at schools, day care centers, public libraries, doctor's and psychologist's offices, community centers, and hospitals. Ask your child's tutor or advocate to pass them on.

Ask your school to include flyers with your school newsletter. Ask your school, public library, day care center, and support group to post flyers on their bulletin boards.

Ask your child's teacher to post flyers in the teacher's lounge and guidance office. Ask your PTA or SEPTA to distribute flyers.

Do some planning this week. Enlist friends to help you. Use these flyers to educate and inform people in your community.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/flyers.htm

Read more Doing Your Homework columns by research editor Sue Heath

http://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/dyh.index.htm


5. A Call to Action - Richmond, VA (October 18, 2003)

Please join Pete and Pam Wright for "A Call to Action" at T. C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond.
Registration: $15.00 (includes lunch)

Morning

IDEA Amendments by Larry Searcy, Legislative Director, Center for Law Education

No Child Left Behind by Pam Wright, M.A., M.S.W. and Pete Wright, Esq.

Afternoon

Diploma Options (Will Kids with Disabilities Be Left Out?)

Coalition Building in Local Communities

If you would like to receive a brochure for A Call to Action - or you want several brochures to distribute to members of your community, please contact Cheryl Ward.

Email: cward@ENDEPENDENCE.ORG
Phone: (757) 461-8007
FAX: (757) 461-5375


6. Join Pete and Pam for an Advocacy Training Program (MS, NY, OK)

"Your boot camp was the most useful CLE I've ever attended. CLEs are notoriously boring and unpleasant. Your program was neither and I learned a lot, even as an experienced practitioner in the field." - Rob Mead, KU Wheat Law Library

Wrightslaw training programs focus on four areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.

November 7-8: Jackson MS: (Last Boot Camp in 2003!) http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.11.ms.htm

November 15: Syracuse NY: http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.11.ny.htm

December 6: Oklahoma City: http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.12.ok.htm

For more information about these events and programs that will be held over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training page.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/index.htm


7. Free Pubs About NCLB from the U.S. Department of Education

Publications from the U.S. Department of Education provide information about requirements and opportunities under NCLB. Here are a few recent publications.

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

http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/guidance.doc

A Toolkit for Teachers

http://www.ed.gov/teachers/nclbguide/nclb-teachers-toolkit.pdf

Using Data to Influence Classroom Decisions

http://www.ed.gov/teachers/nclbguide/datadriven.pdf

Report Cards, Title I, Part A - Non-Regulatory Guidance - 9-17-03

http://www.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/reportcardsguidance.doc

More publications from the U.S. Department of Education website

http://www.ed.gov/index.jhtml

Learn more about NCLB: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/nclb.index.htm


8. NCLB: Accountability Follows Money

Accountability follows the money under NCLB, but who has the money? States are supposed to make this information available. Sometimes, the information is hard to obtain.

The U.S. Department of Education provides information about Title I grants to all school districts and schools in the country.

Title I Allocations to School Districts - for every school district in every state

http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/titlei/fy03/index.html?exp=0

Title I Allocations to Individual schools - for every school in every state

http://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/

When you go to this page, type the school you are interested in. A box will pop up with information about the school. Click "More Information" at the top of that box. A new screen will show. The second section of that box indicates whether the school receives Title I funds.

How much money are we talking about?

To hear some people talk, you would think fluctuations in federal education funding would lead to the end of education. What percentage of your state's education budget comes from the federal government? (You may be surprised when you find out!)

State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I - Click on the below link, then on the name of your state, then scroll down to “Sources of funding”.

http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/disadv/2002indicators/alabama/edlite-alabama.html


9. What Will You Do This Week?

Millions of children attend underperforming schools. According to the Nation’s Report Card, National Center for Education Statistics:

Only 36 percent of 12th graders are proficient in reading.
Only 18 pe
rcent of 12th graders are proficient in science.
Only 17 percent of 12th graders are proficient in math.
Only 11 percent of 12th graders are proficient in U. S. history.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, The Nation’s Report Card, 2002.

http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/

What will you do this week to improve education outcomes for children in your community? You need to give this some thought. There is room for everyone.

Pass out a few flyers while you are fine-tuning your plan.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/flyers.htm


10. 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.

Law Library - http://www.wrightslaw.com/law.htm

Advocacy Library - http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc.htm

Free Newsletter - http://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

Newsletter Archives - http://www.wrightslaw.com/archives.htm

Seminars & Training - http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/index.htm

Yellow Pages for Kids - http://www.fetaweb.com/help/states.htm

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com


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