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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
October 11, 2005


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Issue - 325
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Hot Topics! IDEA 2004 Topics Briefs

What You Need to Know About IDEA 2004

Special Sale: Wrightslaw Books for $3.95

FETA: 1st Edition v. 2nd Edition

The Wright Stuff: Parents Earn Legalese Stripes at Wrightslaw Boot Camp

Wrightslaw Training Program in Hartford CT (Oct 14-15)

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At Wrightslaw, our mission is to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the changing world of special education.

Highlights: IDEA 2004 - topics briefs on hot issues; what you need to know about IDEA 2004; special sale on Wrightslaw books for $3.95; From Emotions to Advocacy: 1st edition v. 2nd edition; "The Wright Stuff - Parents Earn Legalese Stripes at Wrightslaw Boot Camp; Wrightslaw Training in Hartford, CT (Oct 14-15).

Subscribers as of September 30, 2005: 46,967

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help!

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1. Hot Topics! IDEA 2004 Topics Briefs

IDEA 2004 went into effect on July 1, 2005. The regulations to implement IDEA 2004 are not expected for several months. In the absence of regulations, parents, educators and administrators have questions about what the law requires.

To help answer these questions, Troy R. Justesen, acting director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) announced that the Department of Education published 19 topics briefs on "high-interest areas of IDEA 2004."

You can download these topics briefs at OSEP Publishes Topics Briefs on "High Interest Areas. Learn about Evaluations and Reevaluations, IEPs and IEP meetings, Early Intervention, Highly Qualified Teachers, Discipline, Early Intervening Services, Mediation, Resolution Sessions, Due Process Hearings, and other important (and confusing) issues.

You can also find answers to your question at IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw.


2. What You Need to Know About IDEA 2004

If you are the parent of a child with a disability, you represent your child's interests. You need to be informed about changes in IDEA 2004 that may affect your child. If you are a teacher or special education service provider, the reauthorized law will affect you and your job. These articles will help you understand IDEA 2004 and how it will affect you.

IDEA 2004: How Will IEPs Change Under IDEA 2004? - Learn about new requirements in IDEA 2004 - that children with disabilities will be taught by highly qualified teachers and receive research based instruction. This article focuses on new requirements for personnel training, IEPs, and scientifically based instruction.

IDEA 2004: IEP Team Members & IEP Team Attendance - Learn about IEP meetings; when team members may be excused from a meeting, and what parents and the school district must do before a team member may be excused.

IDEA 2004: Requirements for Highly Qualified Special Ed Teachers - Learn about new requirements for special ed teachers; limits of what teachers who are not highly qualified may do; how teachers can demonstrate their competence.

More articles about IDEA 2004.


3. Special Sale! Wrightslaw Books for $3.95

We published our first book, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law in 1999. When we took the book off the market, it went through 12 printings with 60,000+ books sold.

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA) was published in 2001. We took FETA off the market earlier this year after 9 printings and 45,000+ books sold.

Going, Going, Gone - for $3.95!


A few copies of Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 1st edition, and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 1st edition have been returned by bookstores and wholesalers. These books retailed for $29.95. The publisher has reduced the price to $3.95! Wrightslaw books for $3.95.

Supplies are limited. To take advantage of this special offer, act now. Wrightslaw books for $3.95.

Note: Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 1st edition is IDEA 97, not IDEA 2004. The book also includes a casebook of U.S. Supreme Court cases, IDEA 97 regulations, Section 504, and FERPA and is a useful reference to the IDEA 97 statute.

You may also want to download IDEA 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 by Pete Wright which describes substantive changes to the five key statutes of IDEA 2004.

IDEA 2004 went into effect on July 1 and is available in Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004.

4. Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - 1st Edition v. 2nd Edition

We spent the summer revising Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy. The second edition (FETA-2) is at the printer now. We will announce a special prepublication offer on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA-2) within a few days so watch your email box.

How is the second edition of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA-2) different from the first?

In the second edition, the eight chapters about the Individuals with Disabilities Act were completely revised to reflect changes in IDEA 2004.

FETA-2 includes a new chapter about No Child Left Behind and how you can use NCLB in developing your child's IEP.

The chapters about Tests and Measurements were revised to include new information about tests commonly used to assess children - intellectual or cognitive tests including the WISC-IV, comprehensive educational achievement tests, reading tests, speech and language tests, and more.

The chapter about SMART IEPs was revised to include new legal requirements for IEPs. You will learn how to use the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance as baseline data in the IEP, and how to write measurable academic and functional goals. The chapter walks you through the process of writing IEPs that are specific, measurable, use action words, are realistic, and time-limited.

In both editions of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, you learn how to use tactics and strategies to prevent problems or resolve problems early. Both editions include chapters about the parent's role, obstacles to getting quality services, strategies to resolve parent-school conflict, letter writing, and school meetings. Both editions include forms, worksheets, and sample letters that you can adopt to your circumstances.

Information about the first edition. Information about FETA-2 will be available soon.


5. The Wright Stuff: Parents Earn Their Legalese Stripes at the Wrightslaw Boot Camp

Trying to decide if you want to spend your valuable time learning about special education law and advocacy? We don't blame you! If you are ambivalent, you need more information.

To learn what a Wrightslaw training program is like, read The Wright Stuff: Parents Earn Their Legalese Stripes at the Wrightslaw Boot Camp published in July 2005 issue of Spectrum Magazine.

Reporter Ela Schwartz attended a Wrightslaw Boot Camp and describes what she learned:

"Boot Camp is a good word. Over the course of Friday and Saturday, parents received a crash course in education law, psychology, and business negotiating."

"Wright takes attendees through the Individuals with Disabilities Act and No Child Left Behind. He teaches them how to interpret their child's test scores, draw the bell curve, and look for measurable academic and behavioral progress. The Wrights offer advice about how to write letters, negotiate, and write an IEP."

"Why is obtaining services for your child often fraught with conflict? Pam Wright states that many organizations sport their respective cultures, and schools are no exception. The law has made parents equal partners regarding their child's education and this goes against the grain of school culture."

"Whether they are experienced advocates or newbies who are just plain overwhelmed, parents interviewed say they got a lot out of the Wrightslaw Boot Camp."

"I have been a fan of Wrightslaw for years. They blew me away and exceeded all expectations! This is my first Boot Camp and it won't be my last! Nobody does it better than they do."

"Repetition is the key. The more workshops I attend, the more things I add to my bag of trick to help my parents."

Read The Wright Stuff.


6. Wrightslaw Training Program in Hartford, CT (October 14-15, 2005)

Pete and Pam Wright will present Putting the Pieces Together: Special Education Law and Advocacy Training in Hartford CT on October 14 & 15, 2005. The program is being sponsored by the Learning Disabilities Association of Connecticut.

Participants will learn about IDEA 2004 and NCLB requirements including:

* New requirements for initial evaluations, reevaluations & parental consent
* New requirements for IEPs, IEP teams, IEP meetings
* New eligibility procedures for students with specific learning disabilities
* New procedural requirements and timelines, including the “Due Process Complaint Notice” and “Resolution (IEP) Session.”
* Reading and research based instruction
* Highly qualified special education teachers

Participants will also learn how to:

* Use tests and measurements to measure progress
* Write SMART IEPs
* Use tactics and strategies for effective advocacy

Please download and distribute the conference brochure and registration form.

For more information about this program, including special hotel rates and directions, please visit the Hartford conference info page.

More Wrightslaw Programs

To learn when we are scheduled to come to your area, please visit the schedule page.

Conferences are being booked for 2006 and 2007. To learn how you can bring a Wrightslaw program to your community, please check Seminars and Training. Program Descriptions


7. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Newsletter subscribers also receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. Subscribe

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Reauthorization Newsletter Archives

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: webmaster@wrightslaw.com


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