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. In this issue, we look at advocacy strategies and high-stakes tests.
Highlights: Message from Pam & Pete; advocating for your child - getting started; IEP goals & objectives; disagreeing with the school; Wrightslaw books - easy on tight budgets; Alaska students with disabilities graduate with diplomas; exit exams can be optional if you plan ahead; new issue of The Beacon about high-stakes testing; Wrightslaw programs in MD, AL, FL, WA, CA; 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. Message from Pam & Pete Wright
Trail. Mendenhall Glacier. Turnaround Arm. Resurrection Bay. Denali.
week, 100 people attended the two-day Boot Camp in Juneau. More
than 250 people are attending the Boot Camp in Anchorage this
2. Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started
Good special education services are intensive and expensive. Resources are limited. If your child has special educational needs, you may wind up battling the school district for the services your child needs. To prevail, you need information, skills, and tools.
Parents are Natural Advocates gives you a quick overview of advocacy skills - how to gather information, plan and prepare, keep written records, ask questions, identify problems, and propose solutions.
The law gives parents the power to make educational decisions for your child. Do not be afraid to use your power. Use it wisely. A good education is the most important gift you can give to your child.
more about effective
3. Tactics & Strategies: IEP Goals & Objectives
and Strategies: IEP Goals and Objectives, Pete
answers questions from the president of a state LDA chapter:
4. Strategies: How to Disagree with the School Team Without Starting WW III
to Disagree with the School Team, Pete Wright teaches
you how to disagree with the IEP team without starting World War
III. Learn about the Rules of Adverse Assumptions, how to use
tape recording and thank you letters to clarify issues, and how
to deal with an IEP team bully. Read
5. Wrightslaw Books - Reasonably Priced & Easy on Tight Budgets
Special Education Law, Standard
Edition - $29.95
& Exam Copies
6. Elation & Relief! Alaska Students with Disabilities Will Graduate with Diplomas in 2004
On March 16, 2004, children with disabilities and their parents filed a class action lawsuit to challenge Alaska's controversial high school graduation examination.
On April 7, 2004, lawyers for these children, the State of Alaska, and Anchorage School District reached an agreement that will allow students with disabilities in the class of 2004 to graduate, regardless of whether they pass the state high school exit exam.
Students and their families were elated and relieved. Doug Mate, a high school senior with a learning disability, is registered to enter the Army in June. "I didn't know if I was going to get a high school diploma or a discharge notice from the Army. My whole future depended on this decision. Now I can get on with my life!"
lawyers believe that over 500 students will be immediately affected.
Learn more about high-stakes tests.
7. Doing Your Homework: Exit Exams Can Be Optional If You Plan Ahead
This year, thousands of high school students will not graduate with a high school diploma, even though they took the required courses and received passing grades.
Do students need to pass their state exit exams before they can graduate with a high school diploma? No!
Read more Doing Your Homework columns.
8. Coming Soon! New Issue Of The Beacon Focuses on High-Stakes Testing
Beacon: The Journal of Special Education Law and Practice
is a multi-disciplinary electronic journal of special education
law and practice published by Harbor
House Law Press. The
Beacon publishes articles and essays for
attorneys, advocates and others who are interested in special
education law and practice.
The theme of next issue of The Beacon is High-Stakes Testing: Success or Failure?
List of free online newsletters about special education legal issues.
Wrightslaw Programs in
Maryland, Alabama, Florida, Washington,
California (Boot Camp) - July 17-18,
Wrightslaw programs are usually "sold out" so if you plan to attend, don't procrastinate - register today!
10. 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.
11. 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.