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.
How to get a certified reading teacher; feds publish inaccurate info on
graduation rates for disabled kids; court overrules decision in stay-put
case as "unfair to parents"; due process hearings; Surviving
Due Process; winter schedule - Wrightslaw programs in VA, OK, FL,
NJ, OH, NY. Download
this issue of The Special Ed Advocate.
1. How Can I Get a Trained, Certified Reading Teacher?
"My 8 year old daughter is in third grade. She has dyslexia and is having difficulty learning to read, spell and write. I asked for a trained, certified reading teacher. The school says her special ed teacher is 'highly qualified' because she has 10 years of experience. The teacher is not trained or certified in any reading remediation program. What can I do?"
Heath says, "Trying to get by as a reading teacher without appropriate
training makes as much sense as buying sheet music to become an opera
singer. A teacher can't use the Wilson Method, or any other method, unless
she has the required training."
addition to writing about creative advocacy strategies in Doing
Your Homework, Sue is the co-author
of Wrightslaw: No
Child Left Behind. She provides
training and seminars on No
Child Left Behind. Learn
Publish Inaccurate Info on Graduation Rates for Disabled Kids
Publish Inaccurate Info on Graduation Rates for Disabled Kids, Ms.
Alpert uses this conflicting data to point out problems with the U. S.
Department of Education's position on IDEA reauthorization. She expresses
frustration at the department's failure to list research-validated methodologies
of remediation and instruction, saying "Nothing
in the proposed bills to reauthorize the IDEA will improve this situation."
3. Court Overrules Decision in Stay-Put Case as "Unfair to Parents"
In Mackey v. Arlington Central School District, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the parents of a child with a learning disability were entitled reimbursement for his tuition in a private school because the earlier denial was caused by an untimely decision.
the review officer was derelict and did not render his decision within
the timelines required by IDEA, the decision by the lower court did not
allow the parents to be reimbursed for their child's tuition. This allowed
the district to "escape the financial consequences of pendency placement
for which the District otherwise would have been responsible." Read
v. Arlington Central School District
4. Special Ed Due Process Hearings
The IDEA includes rules of procedure to resolve disputes between parents and schools. These rules include mediation, due process hearings, and appeals to state or federal court. (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 71)
A due process hearing is usually a formal, contested, adversarial trial. Special education cases are similar to medical malpractice cases, with battles of expert witnesses, and the emotions of bitterly contested divorce cases with child custody and equitable distribution issues.
How to Resolve Special Education Disputes: Negotiate, Mediate or Litigate. Learn how to use negotiation, mediation and litigation to resolve disputes - Pete Wright describes the pros and cons of each strategy.
to Prepare for a Due Process Hearing. Vermont advocate Brice Palmer
advises how to prepare for a hearing or review, focuses on importance
of planning and organizing. "If you do not plan and organize the
pursuit, you are likely to wind up as road kill."
How to Put on a Special Education Case - Sonja Kerr, Alaska Protection & Advocacy attorney, provides advice about tactics and strategy to the lawyer who is handling his or her first special education case.
The Choreography of Trial Preparation. Barbara Ebenstein, New York attorney and vice-chair of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, describes choreography, music, and trial preparation as creative endeavors. Instead movement or music, the litigator uses the medium of information from documents and the testimony of witnesses.
Learn more about due process hearings..
5. Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
request a due process hearing, you should be familiar with the federal
statute and regulations and your state special education statute and
regulations. You should also watch Surviving
Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board.
"I saw how people on both sides saw the problem, why each side believed so strongly in their program, and why making a decision was not as clear-cut as I thought it would be." - Melinda
started watching the DVD while walking on the treadmill. It was so fascinating
that I increased my time from 30 to 60 minutes - I couldn't bear to turn
it off! - Anne
6. Wrightslaw Schedule: Programs in VA, OK, FL, NJ, OH, NY
a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or
guilty because of all the things that were done or not done. This
time I left encouraged, inspired and armed!"
2005: Long Island,
special education law & advocacy programs focus on four areas: special
education laws; tests & measurements to measure progress & regression;
SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies. Participants
receive two books, Wrightslaw:
Special Education Law and Wrightslaw:
From Emotions to Advocacy, with their registration (Value: $59.90).
procrastinate - register today! These programs are often "sold
out" ahead of time.
Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education
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