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IDEA Reauthorization:
Resources, Reports & Recommendations

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Many reports and studies have identified the Discussionstrengths and weaknesses of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and our current system of educating children with disabilities. This IDEA Reauthorization Resources Page includes links to these reports, surveys and recommendations.

If you are the parent of a child with a disability, you need to know about proposed changes to the IDEA that may affect your child. Read these reports. Familiarize yourself with the issues.

Your Senators and Representatives should read these reports before they undertake the job of revising this law. When you write to your members of Congress, refer to these reports.

National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS)

The National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS) is a nationwide network of congressionally-mandated disability rights agencies that focus on the legal rights of individuals with disabilities. NAPAS is the author of several essential articles and publications about IDEA reauthorization issues.

Senate Bill 1248 & House Bill 1350 & IDEA-97: Side-by-Side Comparison (June 23, 2004)

The National Council on Disability

The National Council On Disability (NCD) is an independent government agency. NCD's statutory mandate requires the Council to "Review and evaluate all statutes and regulations pertaining to federal programs that assist people with disabilities, to assess their effectiveness in meeting the needs of these people."

In five studies on the IDEA between 1989 and 2000, NCD found that parents of children with disabilities are enthusiastic supporters of the law. Parents think the IDEA is a good law.

In January 2000, the National Council on Disability published Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind (IDEA Compliance Report).

In Back to School, NCD reported that all states were out of compliance with the IDEA and described the high costs to children and their families caused by the failure to enforce this law.

Other studies by NCD include:

Improving the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Making Schools Work for All of America's Children (1996);

Improving the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Making Schools Work for All of America's Children (1995);

Inclusionary Education for Students with Disabilities: Keeping the Promise (1994);

Serving the Nation's Students with Disabilities: Progress and Prospects (1993) and

The Education of Students with Disabilities: Where Do We Stand? (1989)

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The President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education

The President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education was established in October 2001 by President George Bush. The Commission is collecting information and studying issues related to Federal, State, and local special education programs and will recommend policies to improve the education performance of students with disabilities.

Library of briefing papers provided to members of the President's Committee on Excellence in Special Education.

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The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation supports research, publications, and action projects about education reform.

The Fordham Foundation and the Progressive Policy Institute published
Rethinking Special Education for a New Century and No Child Left Behind: What Will It Take?

Rethinking Special Education for a New Century (May 2001). Examines special education provided to 6 million children with disabilities, identifies problems, analyzes causes, suggests solutions; recommends sweeping changes in federal special ed policy. If you are a consumer or provider, you should read this book! Order a free bound copy from The Fordham Foundation at 1-888-823-7474.

No Child Left Behind: What Will it Take? (February 2002). Identifies questions left unresolved by Congress and the many hurdles facing the U.S. Education Department and states, districts, and schools as they try to make this ambitious law a reality; offers suggestions for clearing those hurdles.

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The Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)

The Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations that has issued position statements about Reauthorizing the IDEA.

Read CCD Education Task Force 2001 IDEA Position Statement.

The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)

The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) was established to provide national leadership in designing and building educational assessments and accountability systems that monitor educational results for all students, including students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency.

Read Accountability for Students with Disabilities.

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Government Accounting Office (GAO)

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) is the investigative arm of Congress. The GAO conducted a study about discipline and concluded that the discipline protections of the IDEA are working and do not need to be changed.

To get this GAO report,
Student Discipline-Individuals With Disabilities Act (January 2001), go to and search for report # GAO-01-210.

Louisiana State University (LSU) & Accountability

LSU studies special education accountability and reports that focused monitoring more accurately determines if the system is working - with less paperwork, and in less time.

Go to the main page, Accountability in Special Education

You will find links to articles about accountability and will learn how different states approach accountability in special education (Florida, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico).

Accountability in Special Education: A Walking Tour

Improving Special Education Monitoring: National and State Initiatives in Accountability

The Challenge in 2002: Implementing the IDEA (PowerPoint presentation)

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