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.
Progress report & "thank you" note from Pete & Pam Wright;
top 10 articles downloaded in 2004; top 10 cases downloaded in 2004; top
10 topics in 2004; Wrightslaw programs in NJ, NY, IN, MO, AZ; schedule
of public meetings on IDEA regs; expert answers questions about dyslexia
and reading problems. Download
1. Annual Progress Report & Thank You Note
It's time for our annual progress report - and a big thank you from the Wrightslaw staff. Gratitude.
Progress Report: Wrightslaw
In 2004, more than 1.4 million people visited the Wrightslaw site. You downloaded more than 5.3 million pages - that's more than 20 million hits.
You came from dozens of countries - from Antigua to Zimbabwe.
months: March & November
Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
As we reflect
on these stunning figures, we feel deeply grateful. We want to thank you
for making 2004 another successful year. By working together, we are making
a difference for 6.5 million children with disabilities and their families.
2. Top 10 Articles Downloaded in 2004
Behavioral Assessments: What? Why? When? Where? Who? School
districts are required to conduct functional behavioral analyses of problem
behaviors. In this article, Dr. Stephen Starin describes
problem behaviors, functional behavior assessments, environmental manipulation,
and qualifications and training of evaluators.
2. Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Educator, Advocate & Attorney. Your child has received three years of special education for reading problems. Has the child caught up with the peer group? Has the child fallen further behind? How can you tell? What do standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, and age and grade equivalents mean?
4. Side-by-side analysis of Senate Bill 1248, House Bill 1350 with Parts A and B of the IDEA by the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS). (in pdf)
5. Your Child's IEP: Practical and Legal Guidance for Parents. Comprehensive article that describes Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) from legal and practical perspectives. Learn how to write measurable IEP goals and objectives. Read this article in conjunction with our article about Tests and Measurements.
6. 4 Great Things About Reading in NCLB. Regardless of their "category" or label, most kids with special educational needs have deficits in reading. No Child Left Behind includes four legal definitions that Pete is using in his cases: reading; essential components of reading instruction; scientifically based reading research, and diagnostic reading assessments.
Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind. Sue Heath, co-author of Wrightslaw:
No Child Left Behind, describes new requirements for teachers
and paraprofessionals, school and school district report cards, annual
testing in math and reading. Learn about new options for parents, including
transfers from failing schools and free supplemental services - tutoring,
after-school programs and summer school. Printer-friendly version of A
Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind to distribute.
Plan: How to Write IEP Goals and Objectives. From teachers to parents,
it seems like everyone is confused about how to write good IEP goals and
objectives. This Wrightslaw Game Plan will help you get started.
Game! Are School Problems the Kid's Fault? Describes five reasons
why kids have learning and behavior problems, what school personnel don't
tell parents, and what you can do about it. Learn about school culture,
beliefs, evaluations and consultants, and how to negotiate.
3. Top 10 Cases Downloaded in 2004
1. Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988). Decision from U. S. Supreme Court in discipline case on behalf of emotionally disturbed children who had academic and social problems. The Court clarified that procedural issues are designed to protect children from school officials; parent role; stay put; schools shall not expel children for behaviors related to their handicaps.
of Ed. of Hendrick Hudson Central School Dist. v. Rowley 458 U.S. 176
First decision in a special education case by the U. S. Supreme
Court; defined "free appropriate public education.
3. Community Consolidated Sch. Dist. #93 v. John F. (IL) Important decision in discipline; procedural violations, prior written notice requirements, manifestation determination review, suspensions for more than 10 days, expedited hearings, special education and related services under IDEA, "passing grades" and FAPE, homebound instruction violates LRE, more. Word PDF
Jaynes v. Newport News Public Schools U. S. District Court, Eastern
District of Virginia. Parents reimbursed for ABA Lovaas program for child
with autism, procedural safeguards, notice, statute of limitations. Appealed
to Fourth Circuit (2000). In
5. Florence Co. Sch Dist Four v. Shannon Carter, 510 U.S. 7, (1993). Landmark decision issued in 34 days by a unanimous 9-0 Court. If the public school defaults and the child receives an appropriate education in a private placement, the parents are entitled to reimbursement for the child's education. This ruling opened the door to children with autism who receive ABA / Lovaas therapy. Links to all decisions, transcript of oral argument in Carter
Settlegoode v. Portland Public Schools, U. S. Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit upheld
1 million dollar jury verdict, reinstated award to special ed teacher
who was retaliated against and fired for advocating for her students;
clarifies freedom of speech issues for teachers.
in pdf (April 5, 2004)
7. Brown v. Bd of Education, 347 U. S. 483 (1954). In this landmark decision, the Supreme Court found that segregated public schools are inherently unequal; decision is relevant to children in segregated special education placements.
v. Withers. This case stands for two significant propositions: that
schools and teachers can be held accountable for refusing to follow IEPs
and that schools and teachers can be sued for dollar damages in jury trials.
This was the first special education jury trial against public school
educators. Click here to read the Complaint
and here to read the Jury
Order in Doe v. Withers.
10. W.B. v. Matula, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Availability of damages under Section 504, IDEA, and Section 1983 when district refused to evaluate, classify and provide appropriate services to disabled child; exhaustion, qualified immunity, due process.
4. Top 10 Topics in 2004
5. Put a Wrightslaw Program 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.
Winter Schedule: 2005
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).
6. IDEA 2004 Update: Schedule of Public Meetings on IDEA 2004 Regs
The U. S. Department of Education announced the times and locations for public meetings to solicit input on IDEA 2004 regulations. If you are involved in advocating for children with disabilities, we strongly urge you to attend.
7. Expert Answers Questions About Dyslexia & Reading Problems
If you have questions about reading and reading problems, visit the Reading Rockets site on Thursday, January 27 from 2-3 p.m. ET for a chat with Sally Shaywitz, M.D. Dr. Shaywitz is the author of the best-selling book, Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level
Dr. Shaywitz will answer questions about dyslexia and other reading difficulties. She is especially interested in questions from parents. Learn more.
Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education
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