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Date: Sept. 27, 2006
Issue: 366
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue


1. How Can I Get a Trained, Certified Reading Teacher?

2. How Can I Get Good Goals in My Child's IEP?

3. Wrightslaw Programs in NC, WV, OH, PA, IL
Boot Camps in FL & MD


4. Do I Have a Right to Observe My Child's Classroom? Pete & Pam Offer Advice

5. IDEA 2004 Regs: Schedule of Public Meetings

6. Subscribe & Contact Info


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With school in full swing, readers are sending more questions than we can answer. Here are a few of your burning questions, and our answers.

Subscribers on September 27, 2006: 46,454

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

Do you know others who want to learn how to advocate for a child with a disability? Please forward this issue or the subscription page so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. Thanks!

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All issues published in 2006. Archives (1998-2006)


1. How Can I Get a Trained, Certified Reading Teacher?

"My daughter is in third grade. She has dyslexia, so she is having difficulty learning to read and write. The evaluator told us that she needs to be taught by a certified Wilson or Orton-Gillingham trained instructor.

"Last year, her teacher said she was using the Wilson reading program. Later, we learned that the teacher was not trained in the Wilson program. This year, her teacher is not certified in the Wilson reading program either. The school insists that she is "highly qualified" because she has 10 years of experience - but not in Wilson or any other Orton-Gillingham program."

"My daughter needs to receive instruction from a certified, trained instructor who can bring her up to grade level. This isn't an reasonable request - that the school teach her to read. What can I do?"

In How Can I Get a Trained, Certified Reading Teacher? Sue Heath offers words of wisdom -- and a plan of action.

"Trying to get by as a reading teacher when you don't have appropriate training makes a much sense as buying sheet music to become an opera singer. A teacher can't use any method if ...." click here to read article.

Related Information

Preventing Reading Difficulties and Reading Failure: Early Intervention and Prevention - Sue responds to a teacher's request for information about research on teaching children; includes a comprehensive list of free publications, articles, research - and a free video.

What Are the Criteria for Remedial Reading Programs? This article defines three reasons for reading failure, six qualities of effective reading programs, requirements for research based reading programs - and the price children pay when we do not teach them to read. Sue also describes the federal model reading program (90 minutes of instruction, 5 days a week) with frequent objective assessments, and provides you with questions you should ask about your child's reading program.

Read more articles by Sue Heath in Doing Your Homework.


2. How Can I Get Good Goals in My Child's IEP?

"The goals in my child's IEP don't change much from one year to the next - for example, "Jason will improve his reading skills" is in every IEP since he entered special ed four years ago.

"When I read articles about IEPs, I learned that IEP goals should be specific, measurable, and tailored to the unique needs of the child. A goal like "Jason will improve his reading skills" is not specific, measurable or tailored to his unique needs. How can I get good goals in my child's IEP?"

Thousands of people - parents and teachers - write to us every year with questions about how to write IEPs.
Why is writing IEPs so difficult? What makes the IEP process so confusing?

In SMART IEPs: A Tactics and Strategy Session with Pete and Pam Wright, we answer your questions. Learn about the new requirements for measurable goals in IDEA 2004, and read our SMART IEPs Game Plan.

Related Information

Your Child's IEP & Progress in the General Curriculum - Your child's IEP should be based on information from current evaluations (present levels of educational performance) and your state's curriculum and standards.

10 Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Your Child's Special Education Program by Wayne Steedman, Esq.

Download Chapter 12: SMART IEPs from Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd edition by Pam and Pete Wright.

Learn more about Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd edition.

Learn more about Publications and Products from Wrightslaw.

Good Books About IEPs

Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives by Barbara Bateman and Cynthia Herr
. The heart of the law is the child's written Individualized Educational Program (IEP). Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives teaches educators and parents how to write IEPs that are legally correct and educationally useful.  

IEP and Inclusion Tips by Anne Eason and Kathleen Whitbread - Learn how to prepare for IEP meetings, create legally correct and educationally sound IEPs, ensure access to the general curriculum, track educational progress, and form effective parent-school partnerships. Features more than 100 tips to help parents, teachers and administrators share goals and develop healthy working relationships.


3. Special Ed Law & Advocacy Programs in NC, WV, OH, PA, IL - Boot Camps in FL & MD

Wrightslaw offers a variety of special education law and advocacy programs taught by nationally-known experts in the field.

The Fall 2006 schedule includes these programs.

October 5: Winston-Salem, NC - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training by Pete and Pam Wright, sponsored by CenterPoint Human Services.   Download Registration Form.

October 13: Wheeling, WV
- Special Education Law Training by Wayne Steedman, sponsored by Augusta Levy Learning Center. Download Registration Form

October 17:
Cleveland, OH - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training by Pete and Pam Wright, sponsored by The Up Side of Downs of Greater Cleveland. Download Registration Form

October 19
: Erie, PA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training with Pete and Pam Wright, sponsored by Voices for Independence.  Download Flyer & Registration Form

October 28:
Champaign, IL - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training by Wayne Steedman and Pat Howey, sponsored by the C-U Autism Network.  Download Registration Form.

* Boot Camps *

November 4-5: Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Special Education Law & Advocacy Bootcamp by Wayne Steedman and Pat Howey, sponsored by the Unicorn Children's Foundation.  Download Flyer & Registration Form

November 10-11: Columbia, MD - Special Education Law & Advocacy Boot Camp by Pete and Pam Wright, sponsored by the Howard County Autism Society.  Download Flyer & Registration Form

2006-2007 Schedule l Program Descriptions l Online Training

We are now scheduling programs for 2007 and 2008. If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read the Conference Information.


4. Do I Have a Right to Observe My Child's Classroom?

"Do I have a right to observe the class before agreeing (or not agreeing) to a placement for my child? The special ed director said I cannot observe the class because of confidentiality issues with the other children."

In Parent Observations v. Student Confidentiality, Pete and Pam offer strategies to deal with administrators who take positions that are not based on law, or common sense.

Related Resources

Answers to Questions about Parent Observations, Privacy and Confidentiality - In response to a request from the Education Law Center, the U. S. Department of Education clarifies parental observations of their children in classrooms under IDEA and student confidentiality under FERPA.

Learn more about privacy and confidentiality.


5. IDEA 2004 Regs: Schedule of Public Meetings

The Department of Education (OSERS) is hosting a series of public meetings to provide the public with information about the IDEA 2004 regulations.

Each meeting will begin with a reception during which Secretary Hager and Director Posny will meet with attendees on an informal basis. The reception will be followed by a presentation that includes information about the regulations, the new IDEA website, and an opportunity to ask questions about the regulations.

Schedule of Meetings
09/27/06 - Tampa FL
10/17/06 - Philadelphia, PA
10/24/06 - Seattle, WA
10/25/06 - Minneapolis MN
11/02/06 - Dallas, TX
11/08/06 - Denver, CO
11/14/06 - Sacramento, CA

For more information about these meetings - where they will be held and when - please check the schedule at the Department of Education site. http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/idea2004-schedule.html

Go to IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw to learn more about the IDEA 2004 statute, regulations, download the commentary, and read articles about how IDEA 2004 is likely to affect you.


6. 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


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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