Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education.
Highlights: What is your NCLB IQ?; myths & realities about children with disabilities under NCLB; retention - special ed teacher needs ammo; 8 steps to better IEP meetings; $10 off on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy; NCLB news about testing, teacher qualifications; Wrightslaw programs in AK, MD; get help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.
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 is Your NCLB IQ?
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is generating confusion, controversy, misinformation, disinformation -- and strong opinions.
Do you know how NCLB will affect children with disabilities? Do you know how schools will test children with disabilities? Are there exceptions to rules about testing? Are requirements to include test scores of disabled students unfair to these students and their schools?
Test your knowledge - take our new NCLB Quiz. (You will get answers quickly by email).
2. Children with Disabilities Under NCLB: Myths & Realities
National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS)
is a nationwide network of congressionally-mandated disability
rights agencies that focus on the legal rights of individuals
On March 26, 2004, NAPAS published Children with Disabilities Under No Child Left Behind: Myths & Realities. The article lists several common myths and provides information (realities) about what NCLB and IDEA require for children with disabilities.
with Disabilities Under No Child Left Behind: Myths & Realities
is available in
Will NCLB Affect You?
3. Retention! Special Ed Teacher Needs Help, Ammo by Sue Heath
special ed teacher writes, "I am a third year teacher in
California and am having a disagreement with my mentor about retention."
Heath, research editor and co-author of Wrightslaw:
No Child Left Behind, looks at at the definition of special
education in IDEA:
Your Homework columns by Sue Heath.
4. 8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings: Play Hearts, Not Poker
Jennifer Bollero, attorney and mother of child with autism, says
that parents need to learn rules and strategies to reduce the
risks when you negotiate for your child:
As school districts and states come under increased pressure to improve educational outcomes, high-stakes testing and mandatory retention have emerged as hot issues.
Many school districts do not teach children grade-level material, so children do not learn the skills they need to pass these tests. When children fail, they pay a high price when they are retained or denied a high school diploma.
We should not penalize students when schools do not teach necessary knowledge and skills.
What do you need to know about high-stakes testing to advocate for your child? What do the decision-makers in your state need to know? Our High-Stakes Testing flyer has info that will help.
Please print and distribute our informational flyers about High-Stakes Testing and Retention & Social Promotion so others can learn about these issues. Download more flyers about advocacy, reading, supplemental services, help for college students, more.
6. Save $10 on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - "An Invaluable Advocacy Tool"
I were asked to choose just one book to help me learn advocacy
skills, this is it!" - Support for Families
of Children with Disabilities Newsletter
Wrightslaw books are reasonably priced ($29.95) - easy on tight budgets.
& Exam Copies
7. New Testing Policies; Flexibility; Rules for Teachers Relaxed (NCLB News, March, 2004)
No Child Left Behind News & Commentary includes announcements, news, events, commentary, and Op-Ed articles about No Child Left Behind. Here are three recent news items:
Feds Issue New Policies for Participation in Testing. States can average participation rates over a three-year period; students who cannot take the test because of a medical emergency will not count against schools participation rate. (March 30, 2004)
14 States Ask for Flexibility on Accountability & Adequate Yearly Progress. Claiming that most schools will be identified as "in need of improvement" within a few years, school officials from 14 states ask for changes in how Adequate Yearly Progress is measured. (March 26, 2004)
S. Dept of Ed Relaxes Rules for Highly Qualified Teachers.
Teachers in rural communities and science teachers get more
flexibility in meeting "highly qualified" requirements;
new rules streamline how teachers can demonstrate subject-matter
mastery in several subjects. (March 15, 2004)
8. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in Alaska & Maryland
Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy 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.
Juneau, Alaska (Boot Camp) - April 8-9, 2004
Anchorage, Alaska (Boot Camp)- April 13-14, 2004
Annapolis, Maryland (Boot Camp) - April 30-May 1, 2004
Wrightslaw programs are usually "sold out" so if you plan to attend, don't procrastinate - register today!
9. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities
If you are
looking for help - or a helper - visit the
Pages for Kids with Disabilities. Your
Pages has many resources - evaluators,
speech language therapists, tutors, special
ed schools, advocates, attorneys, organizations,
and support groups.
10. Subscription & Contact Info
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.