Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the challenging, changing world of special education.
Child's test scores falling, mom needs help; how to get an independent
evaluation at school's expense; do parents have to select evaluator from
school's approved list; highly qualified special ed teachers; help for
teachers being "pushed out"; filing a complaint with the state;
new issue of The Beacon on harassment; Wrightslaw programs in FL, NJ,
NY, IN, AZ. Download
1. Message from the Editor
We get thousands of questions from readers. Some questions come up again and again - and from time to time, we answer them in the newsletter. Here is the latest crop, along with our answers.
2. My Child's Test Scores Falling, School Doesn't Care - What Can I Do?
"I received my son's test results. He scored at the 2nd percentile in language arts (lower than ever). There were no scores in math. I am angry. Who is responsible? They don't care about my child. What can I do?"
answers this parent's plea for help: "Although it is normal to feel
angry and frustrated when your child needs help, this won't help in the
long run. If you focus on who is to blame, you are likely to burn out
before you devise a plan to solve his problems."
3. Can I Get an Independent Evaluation at the School District's Expense?
want to get an independent evaluation but can't afford one. A friend said
I can get an independent evaluation at the school district's expense.
This sounds too good to be true - is it?
4. School Says We Must Use an Evaluator from Their "Approved List"
"My school district agreed to provide an independent evaluation but say we must use a psychologist on their "approved list." If we have to use their evaluator, how can the evaluation be independent? Can they do this?"
school districts were improperly requiring parents to select from lists
of "approved evaluators," the Office of Special Education Programs
(OSEP) published a Policy
Letter about independent evaluations and parent choice in February
2004. The letter clarifies that parents have a right to choose their independent
to an Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE) is a procedural safeguard
that is intended to protect parents and children with disabilities.
5. Am I a Highly Qualified Special Ed Teacher?
"I am almost afraid to ask this question. I will graduate from college with a degree in special education in two weeks. Will I meet the highly qualified teacher requirements in IDEA 2004?"
this question in New
Requirements for Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers in IDEA 2004.
6. Help for Teachers Who Are Being "Pushed Out" of Their Jobs
An attorney writes: "I have been approached by highly qualified teachers who are being pushed out of their positions by law changes. I am looking for guidance about how these caring teachers can continue to work."
In our answer,
we describe the requirements for highly qualified teachers, how teachers
can demonstrate competence in the subjects they teach, professional development
& training, responsibilities, and timelines. Read Help
for Teachers Who Are Being Pushed Out of Their Jobs.
7. Fed Up! Filing a Complaint with the State
child's IEP says he will receive 30 minutes of speech language therapy
3 times a week. He hasn't had speech therapy since mid-October when the
therapist left. He is also supposed to have a full-time aide. The aides
change every week and are not trained."
Parent advocate Pat Howey shares her thoughts and experiences in What
You Need to Know Before Filing a Complaint.
8. Coming Soon! New Issue Of The Beacon
The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice publishes articles and essays for attorneys, advocates and others who are interested in special education law and practice. Each issue focuses on a theme and includes practical and theoretical articles.
The next issue of The Beacon will focus on disability harassment in schools. Previous issues dealt with mediation, documents, expert witnesses, reading research, special education litigation, and high-stakes testing. Read these issues in the Beacon Archives.
9. Put Wrightslaw Training on Your To-Do List
Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on these
areas: special education laws,
rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure educational
progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.
OH: February 23-24, 2005 SOLD OUT!
Island, NY: March 4-5, 2005 (Mini Boot Camp)
participants in these programs will receive two books, Wrightslaw:
Special Education Law and Wrightslaw:
From Emotions to Advocacy, with their registration (Value: $59.90).
Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education
legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers
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