At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education.
one person do; what two people did; teaching a child to read - special
ed or Reading First; A Call to Action; questions about support for
NCLB; IDEA reauthorization update; dangerous amendments may weaken
IDEA; advocacy training programs in MS, NY, OK; what will YOU do this
1. What Can One Person Do?
weeks newsletter, we wrote, "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?"
to tell you what two folks, Bill Byrne, a West Virginia attorney,
and Anne Spence, a Colorado parent, did to improve education for children
last week. Read their stories below.
2. No Child Left Behind Really? Why I Like This Law by Bill Byrne, Esq.
Byrne is an attorney who represents special-needs children and their
parents. After he read portions of Wrightslaw:
No Child Left Behind as a peer reviewer, Bill wrote an Op-ed article
about NCLB for the WV Charleston Gazette.
"For more than 25 years, I have watched school after school drop the ball and not give proper education services to disabled children. The only recourse is for courageous and determined parents to take on school systems and make them follow the law, often leading to costly and painful lawsuits."
federal No Child Left Behind law changes all this, and puts the burden
on school systems to show that schools are doing their job. The law
requires schools to be accountable for the progress of students
all students not just the best and the brightest . .
3. Using Info from The Special Ed Advocate in a Letter to the Editor
Spence is a parent from Durango, CO. She used portions from last
week's issue of The Special Ed Advocate in a Letter to the Editor
that asked parents to join an educational task force. Her letter,
published in The Durango Herald
on Sunday, October 5, said:
4. Teaching a Child to Read: Special Ed or Reading First?
writes, "My child 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."
do you think? Are children who receive special education be excluded
from Reading First?
5. A Call to Action - Richmond, VA (October 18, 2003)
A Call to Action is an advocacy conference geared towards parents, advocates and attorneys who represent children with disabilities.
IDEA Amendments by Larry Searcy, Legislative Director, Center for
Diploma Options (Will Kids with Disabilities Be Left Out?)
Call to Action is being held at T.
C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond.
6. Questions About Our Support for NCLB - The Ultimate High Stakes Test?
"I am a longtime user of your usually excellent advocacy advice, but I fail to see how uncritical acceptance of NCLB furthers the cause of helping children with disabilities succeed in fulfilling their potential, or how it fits with other positions you have taken, as on high Stakes Testing, since NCLB seems to be the ultimate High Stakes Test."
want to clarify a few things before I get to your fears for severely
disabled children. No Child Left Behind is a general education law.
Lowering the general education standards will not help children with
severe disabilities . . ."
for your concerns about schools abandoning the children with the most
severe disabilities. If IDEA is weakened in the next reauthorization
. . ."
7. IDEA Reauthorization Update
of IDEA, many folks have asked for an update about the reauthorization
8. Dangerous Amendments May Weaken IDEA
The National Association of Protection & Advocacy Systems advises us about two dangerous amendments to the Senate bill.
to Gut No Child Left Behind for Children with Disabilities
Visit Our Children Left Behind for breaking news about IDEA reauthorization issues
9. Advocacy Training - 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!)
For more information about these events and programs that will be held over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training page.
10. What Will You Do This Week?
week, we wrote, "Millions of children attend underperforming
schools. What will you do this week to improve education outcomes
for children in your community? Give this question some serious thought."
11. 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.