The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
May 22, 2002

Issue - 165

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Play Hearts, Not Poker: 8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings

IEP Tutorials: How to Write Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives

IEP Checklists

Good Cases About IEPs

Editor's Choice: Good Books About IEPs

Advocacy Training: IL & FL

Subscription & Contact Info




At Wrightslaw, we help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. This issue is the third in a four-part series about IEPs.

Highlights: Play Hearts, Not Poker and 8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings; IEP tutorials - how to write measurable IEP goals & objectives with examples & tips; IEP checklists; favorite cases about IEPs; editor's choice - good books about IEPs; advocacy training schedule.

Quote of the Week
: "Remember that 'measurable' means you can count it or observe it." (To learn who wrote this statement, scroll down to the tutorials about writing measurable IEP goals and objectives.)

Free Newsletter Flyer: We added several new topics to our Free Newsletter Flyer - which has grown to two pages. Please print and distribute the new 2 page Free Newsletters Flyer.


FETA Study Group: Do you want to learn more about special education advocacy? Learn how you can start a FETA Study Group.


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


1. Play Hearts, Not Poker: 8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings

In Play Hearts, Not Poker, Jennifer Bollero (attorney and mother of a child with autism), describes important differences between advocacy and parenting and explains why you need to learn the rules and strategies.

When you learn the rules, you reduce the risks when you negotiate for your child. This article includes 8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings -


2. IEP Tutorials: How to Write Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives

Quote of the Week: "Remember that 'measurable' means you can count it or observe it." - Nissan Bar Lev, Director of Special Education, Cooperative Education Agency No. 7 (CESA-7), Green Bay, Wisconsin.

These IEP Tutorials are memoranda from Nissan Bar-Lev to his teaching staff. Use these articles and checklists to fine-tune your skills in writing IEP goals and objectives.

The CESA-7 site is a rich source of information for parents and teachers. We encourage you to visit this website - you will be glad you did!


How to Write Measurable Annual Goals

In How to Write Measurable Annual Goals, the special ed director of CESA-7 (winner of our Best School Website Contest) writes:


How to Make Annual Goals Measurable: Examples & Tips

Using typical IEP goals, Nissan Bar-Lev explains why these goals are not clear or measurable, and walks you through the process of rewriting the goals to make them clear and measurable. Read
How to Make Annual Goals Measurable: Examples and Tips at:


3. IEP Checklists

Our thanks to Nissan Bar-Lev and Donita O'Donnell (who wrote the Wisconsin handbook "A Guide for Understanding and Developing IEPs") and the staff of Cooperative Educational Service Agency #7 (CESA) for permission to use these checklists.

Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 7 (CESA-7) won first place in the Wrightslaw Best School Website Contest:

We hope other school districts will use the CESA-7 site as a template for their websites.

Present Levels of Performance Checklist. Key question; purpose; definition; key characteristics; writing strategy:


Annual Goals Checklist. Key question; purpose; definition; key characteristics; writing strategy.


Short Term Objectives and Benchmarks Checklist. Key question; purpose; key characteristics; writing strategy.


IEP Review Checklist. If you are preparing for an IEP meeting, review this checklist.


4. Good Cases About IEPs

To advocate for your child, you need to learn about legal rights and responsibilities. You also need to learn how to do legal research so you can find answers to your questions.

When you do research about legal issue, you need to read the statute and regulations. You also need to read caselaw.

Legal decisions are often hard to understand. Don't give up! If you persevere, you and your child will benefit from your hard work. When you read caselaw, you will see why you receive conflicting opinions and advice about a legal issue.

Here are three of our favorite cases about IEPs:

Evans v. Rhinebeck Central School District, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

Excellent decision in tuition reimbursement case on behalf of child with dyslexia; discusses procedural and substantive issues; FAPE; educational needs and remediation of child with dyslexia; requirement to measure progress objectively.


T. H. v. Palatine, U. S. District Court, Illinois.

Excellent decision in ABA-Lovaas case on behalf of child with autism; thorough discussion of the IEP process; the need to individualize the child's IEP; methodology and placement issues. (This decision is in pdf format)


T. R. v. Kingwood Township (NJ), U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Decision clarifies FAPE and "meaningful benefit"; requirement about continuum of placements; requirement to provide a free appropriate education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment. 


Don't forget to download, print and read our article, Your Child's IEP: Practical and Legal Guidance for Parents." This article includes several cases about IEPs:


5. Editor's Choice: Good Books About IEPs

The heart of your child's special education program is the Individualized Education Program (IEP). These books will teach you how to write IEP goals and objectives that target your child's problems.

* Better IEPS: How to Develop Legally Correct and Educationally Useful Programs

Better IEPs
gives special educators, regular educators, and parents the confidence and know-how to develop IEPs that are both legally correct and educationally useful. Many IEPs are neither!" Get more information about  "Better IEPs"" 


*. Measuring Educational Results 

"Where can I learn to write good IEP goals and objectives?" In the best selling book on this subject, Robert Mager teaches you how to write clear measurable IEP goals and objectives. 


* Preparing Instructional Objectives

This book teaches you how to identify, select, and write educational objectives. You learn how to describe the performances you expect to achieve, identify the conditions under which you expect the performance to occur, and set criteria for acceptable performance. Preparing Instructional Objectives includes practice exercises to sharpen your skills and an Objectives Checklist to help you distinguish good objectives from bad ones.


For more good books about IEPs, visit the Advocate's Bookstore:


6. Wrightslaw Advocacy Training: Chicago & Orlando

We are scheduled to present several sessions at the International Rett Syndrome Conference in Chicago this weekend.


On June 21, we do a day-long advocacy training program in Orlando, FL:


For more information about programs that are on the schedule over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training Page at:


To learn how you can bring Pete & Pam Wright to your community, read our FAQs about Advocacy Training Programs at:


7. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources. Subscribers receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. 

To subscribe: https://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

Read back issues of Special Ed Advocate: https://www.wrightslaw.com/archives.htm

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Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
ISSN: 1538-3202
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