The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
November 18, 2003

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ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

Why Not the Best? - 4 Lessons about FAPE

Wrightslaw Guide to a FAPE

Free Shipping & Free CD - Pre-Pub Offer Enda Today!

Questions about Accommodations on High-Stakes Tests

High-Stakes Tests, Retention & Discrimination

Need Help? Visit Yellow Pages for Kids

Free Wrightslaw Advocacy Training (OK)

Subscription and Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue, we look at special education rights and high-stakes testing.

Highlights: Right to a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE); free shipping & free CD-ROM with Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind - pre-pub offer ends today; questions about accommodations and high-stakes testing; resources and flyers about high-stakes tests, retention, and discrimination; get help from Yellow Pages for Kids; Wrightslaw advocacy training program in OK - free to parents.

Download newsletter in html: https://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/03/nl.1118.htm

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. We appreciate your help!

1. Why Not the Best? - Four Lessons about FAPE

Many parents ask how to get the BEST program for their child or a program that maximizes the child's potential. Is your child entitled to the best program? To a program that maximizes the child's potential?

For answers to these questions, read "Loving Parents Want What's Best: Four Lessons about FAPE.

To learn more about special education rights and responsibilities, you will want to visit these pages:

IEPs - https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/iep.index.htm

IDEA Statute & Regulations - https://www.wrightslaw.com/statute.htm

Topics - https://www.wrightslaw.com/topics.htm

2. Wrightslaw Guide To a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

If you have a child with a disability, your child is entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). To answer your questions about this concept, we built a page about FAPE with links to articles, cases, and other resources.

Learn about FAPE - https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/fape.index.htm

The legal concept of “FAPE” is shorthand for “free, appropriate public education.” The legal definition of FAPE is in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA) at 20 U. S. C. § 1401(8) (See Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 27) and the Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 300.13 (See Wrightslaw: Special Ed Law, page 142).

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law - https://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/lawbk/spedlaw.htm

3. Free Shipping, Free CD: Pre-Publication Offer Ends Today!

Easy to read, incredibly informative – a ‘must read’ for all parents in America.” — Dr. , Elaine Holden, The Reading Foundation

When you order Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind with the Wrightslaw NCLB CD-ROM, you will receive the Wrightslaw Special Education Law CD-ROM with your order. (Value: $14.95)

You will also receive free shipping on all Wrightslaw books. [Pre-Pub Offer]

Incredible and right on the money! Gives me ammunition to help more parents and kids . . . inspires me and makes me feel like slaying windmills again. Another win for the kids!” — Fran Dobrowolski, advocate

To Order 

Offer ends Today, Tuesday, November 18!

4. Doing Your Homework: Questions about Accommodations on High-Stakes Tests

"I am a special education teacher. My administrators say that if a child receives accommodations on the state assessment, the student will receive a "0". This will lower the school and subgroup score. Therefore, we are being "encouraged" to not recommend accommodations."

"What about the 5th grader who is reading at the 1st grade level? How painful and frustrating will this test be for him? He will not be able to demonstrate what he knows. Why can't his test be scored with accommodations?"

Sue Heath, researcher and co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind, answers this teacher's questions. If you have questions about high-stakes tests and children with disabilities, you will want to read Questions about Accommodations on High-Stakes Tests.


Read more articles about creative advocacy strategies in Doing Your Homework
at https://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/dyh.index.htm

5. Learn about High-Stakes Tests, Retention & Discrimination

High-Stakes Tests

As states implement high-stakes tests, some developed blanket policies that prohibit or severely limit accommodations and modifications -- despite federal law and regulations that prohibit this policy.

For a good overview of these issues, read OSEP Memorandum: Questions & Answers About IDEA, Students with Disabilities and State and District-wide Assessments.

The parent of a child with Down Syndrome describes her child in a Success Story, How My Son with Down Syndrome Passed the High-Stakes Tests. Over the objections of school personnel, her child took these tests and passed with flying colors. https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/highstak.down.success.htm

Read more Success Stories - http://www.fetaweb.com/success.htm

High-Stakes Tests Flyer

What do you need to know to advocate on high-stakes test? What do the policy makers in your state need to know? We put resources into a High-Stakes Testing Flyer that will answer some of these questions. Please help us educate others by distributing this Flyer. https://www.wrightslaw.com/flyers/highstakes.pdf

More about High-Stakes Testing - https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/highstak.index.htm


Many school districts offer a single solution when kids do not learn in standardized one-size-fits-all programs - retention. If your child's school wants to retain your child, what should you do?

If you are dealing with a retention problem, you must educate yourself before you can advocate for the child. The information on the Retention page will help you fight these damaging policies. https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/retain.index.htm

Should I Allow the School Retain My Child? answers a parent's frequently asked questions about retention - it is not a good idea. https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/fape_retention.htm

Position Statement on Student Grade Retention and Social Promotion (National Association of School Psychologists) "Through many years of research, the practice of retaining children in grade has been shown to be ineffective in meeting the needs of children who are academically delayed."

Two Wrong Solutions (American Federation of Teachers) "Social promotion and grade retention are mechanical responses to an educational problem. The scandal is how little attention they give to preventing failure in the first place." http://www.aft.org/stand/previous/1997/1097.html

We put these and other essential resources in a 2 page Retention & Social Promotion Flyer that you can distribute to others. https://www.wrightslaw.com/flyers/retain.promote.pdf

Section 504, Accommodations & Discrimination

Section 504 prohibits state departments of education and local school districts from developing policies that would limit disabled children from participating in assessments or deny benefits from participating in assessments (i.e., promotion, graduation). https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.index.htm

The National Center on Educational Outcomes site has a page about Accommodations for Students with Disabilities that includes general information about accommodations, frequently asked questions, and links to state accommodations policies. http://education.umn.edu/NCEO/TopicAreas/Accommodations/Accom_topic.htm

6. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids

We built the Yellow Pages for Kids site so so you can find information and help in one place.

When you visit your state Yellow Pages, you will find many different resources - government programs, grassroots organizations, and support groups. You will also find evaluators, therapists, tutors, special ed schools, and parent support groups.

To get the word out about the state Yellow Pages for Kids , we designed flyers for each state.

The State Yellow Pages flyers are printer-friendly - great handouts at meetings and conferences..

Strategy: Ask your school, public library, day care center, and support group to post your state flyers on their bulletin boards and websites.

Ask your child's teacher to post your state Yellow Pages flyer in the teacher's lounge and guidance office. Ask the school to include the flyer in your school newspaper too!

Ask your PTA or SEPTA to distribute the flyer. State Yellow Pages Flyers are great to distribute at conferences, seminars, training programs, and workshops.

Forward flyers to your friends and family members who live in other states. Access all state flyers from this page: http://www.yellowpagesforkids.com/help/state.flyers.htm

7. Advocacy Training in Oklahoma - Free to OK Parents & Caregivers!

"What a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or guilty because of all the things that have been done or not done. This time I left encouraged, inspired and armed!"

This Wrightslaw program will be held at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma on Saturday, December 6, 2003. For more information, please visit the Oklahoma conference page.

Registrants will receive two books - Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (value: $59.90).

Approved for 7 CLE credits.

Questions? Please call the Oklahoma Disability Law Center. In Oklahoma City dialing area: (405) 525-7755 v/tdd. Outside OKC dialing area: (800) 880-7755 v/tdd. In Tulsa dialing area: (743) 6220 v/tdd. Outside Tulsa dialing area: (800) 226-5883 v/tdd

Wrightslaw Legal & Advocacy Training Programs

For information about programs that will be held over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training page.

If you are interested in learning how to get Pete & Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars.

8. Subscription & Contact Info

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

Law Library - https://www.wrightslaw.com/law.htm

Advocacy Library - https://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc.htm

Free Newsletter - https://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

Newsletter Archives - https://www.wrightslaw.com/archives.htm

Seminars & Training - https://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/index.htm

Yellow Pages for Kids - http://www.yellowpagesforkids.com

Contact Info

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

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