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Doreen:  If a student has Consultant Teacher services but skips classes and is failing, can a CSE deny a change to a more restrictive setting if test scores reveal a low IQ and reading and math levels 4 years below grade level which would be better academically suited for a 15:1 placement …or at least add a resource period?

  1. What do the student and family think would be most helpful for the student?

    It’s often helpful to remind ourselves that the IEP is not one-size-fits-all, but has to be designed to fit the individual student’s needs. Also, it’s helpful to remember that a CSE doesn’t necessarily adopt any one member’s proposal. One has to find a way to persuade the other members of the committee. So questions that start with “Can a CSE do this or that?” usually ultimately have an answer of “Yes, in some circumstance.” However, it is also possible, in principle, for a CSE to reverse course, given new input, or a more persuasive approach.

    Have you spoken with your local Parent Center? In NY:

  2. Doreen, it’s hard to give you a useful answer without more info. Age, grade of child. How long in special ed? What is his “label”? Did he have early speech language problems? Has he been retained? If yes, how often? Has school provided intensive reading remediation services?

    As I’m sure you know, children compare themselves to their peers. They know when they aren’t learning as expected and most blame themselves. Kids often try to avoid the environment that causes emotional pain and shame by skipping or acting out to get suspended.

    Do school staff believe this child is a slow learner who can’t learn? No point in wasting resources on him?

    If you work in education, suggest you learn about the “Matthew Effects.” This refers to the fact is the idea that in reading (as in other areas of life), the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    In reading, some kids are slow starters, others are fast starters. The Matthew Effects are about the gradual decline of slow starters, and the widening gap between slow starters and fast starters. If a child is four years below grade level in reading, that child’s IQ will drop because the child isn’t learning by reading. To learn more about this concept, Google “Matthew Effects reading.”

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