The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
In this issue, we share some of our favorite articles
and wish you a safe, happy Thanksgiving.
Highlights: Tests and measurements for parents, teachers, advocates and attorneys; child can't read so mom needs help; we can train Shamu but we can't teach a child to read?; parents, kids, and IEPs - the lighter side of special ed; free Wrightslaw advocacy program in OK; help from Yellow Pages for Kids; EducationNews!
Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward
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1. Using Tests & Measurements to Measure Educational Progress - and FAPE
Assume a child began receiving special education services three years ago. Is the child making progress? Is the child catching up with the peer group? Is the child falling further behind? Is the child receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE)?
How do you know?
What are standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, and age and grade equivalents?
Parents, teachers, and advocates must learn how to measure educational progress. If you do not know how to use information from tests to track your child's progress, you will not be able to play an active role in planning your child's special education program.
Read Tests & Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and Attorney- not once, not twice, but three times. Use a highlighter. Make margin notes.
Print the article from the screen so you have all the graphics.
2. Doing Your Homework: My Child Can't Read - Mom Needs Help
"My nine-year-old son was diagnosed as a high functioning autistic with A.D.H.D., dyslexia, depression, language problems, and a few other things. He is in a third grade regular education classroom. He has an IEP and receives extra help for speech, reading and math."
"The real problem is that my child cannot read. The teachers and principal at his school are wonderful. They want him to have an aide but the school board will not approve it. He will be in fourth grade soon, and is running out of time. I need help from an advocacy group."
Sue Heath, co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind, answers this mom's questions and offers a a game plan.
3. We Can Train Shamu But We Can't Teach a Child to Read? by Bill Matthew, Ph.D. Dr. Bill Matthew, director of special education in Delano, California, offers a memorable description of educational decision-making and effective educational programs:
"We can train Shamu, but we can't train a kid to be compliant or to read? Give me a break!"
"Educational decision-making should be empirically driven - not driven by intuition (or tarot card reading), which is part and parcel of much psychology, especially assessment."
Matthew offers advice about tests & testing:
Matthew expresses concerns about education, treatment and advocacy
for kids with emotional disorders. Read "We
Can Train Shamu! Effective Educational Programs, Testing, and
Advocacy" by Bill Matthew.
4. Parents, Kids & IEPs: The Lighter Side of Special Education by Aimee Gilman
"A good education is the next best thing to a pushy mother." - Charles Schulz, cartoonist
Don't say we didn't warn you. As Aimee Gilman says, "If you are among those humor- challenged individuals who believe THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT DISABILITIES, I urge you to stop now and go back to biting your nails down to your elbows. I understand how you feel."
Aimee Gilman is an Ohio attorney who represents kids with disabilities and the parent of a child with a disability. She is also very funny. Read Aimee's thoughts about "The Lighter Side of Special Education" -
5. Advocacy Training in Oklahoma - Free to OK Parents & Caregivers!
"What a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or guilty because of all the things that have been done or not done. This time I left encouraged, inspired and armed!"
Wrightslaw program will be held at the University of Central Oklahoma
in Edmond, Oklahoma on Saturday, December 6, 2003. For more information,
please visit the Oklahoma
Approved for 7 CLE credits.
Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Advocacy Training Programs in FL, MO, IL, IN, MI, NH
Our Winter schedule includes programs in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Jefferson City, MO, Skokie IL, Indianapolis, IN, Troy, MI, and Manchester, NH. For information about these and other programs that will be held over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training page.
you are interested in learning how to get Pete & Pam Wright
to your community, please read our FAQs
6. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids
We built the Yellow Pages for Kids site so so you can find information and help in one place. When you visit your state Yellow Pages, you will find many different resources - government programs, grassroots organizations, and support groups. You will also find evaluators, therapists, tutors, special ed schools, and parent support groups.
To get the word out about the state
Yellow Pages for
Kids , we designed flyers
for each state. The State
Yellow Pages flyers are printer-friendly - great handouts
at meetings and conferences.
your school, public library, day care center, and support group
to post your state
flyers on their bulletin boards and websites.
Are you interested in education and special education? We encourage you to subscribe to EducationNews!
If you read recent issues of EducationNews, you learned about about the baffling rise in autism, the "myth of the bad kid," promising practices in gifted education, and oral reading strategies for struggling readers.
learned about the characteristics of high performing urban high
schools and a virtual high school in Michigan that has the second
highest enrollment in the country.
You learned about a television special, "Breaking Point," that attempts to answer questions about "Who is really to blame for our broken education system?"
EducationNews is a remarkable resource!
EducationNews provides links to education news around the world. Nationally recognized experts provide commentaries on various aspects of education. EducationNews.org staff writers cover the latest education issues and bring you a thorough, complete analysis of events, policies, and situations which affect education today.
Please help others learn about special education law and advocacy. Download and distribute our Free Newsletters Flyer (2 pages, pdf).
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.