The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
March 9, 2004

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

Brent Staples, Advocate for Children

Help for Children with Reading Problems

New! Reading Library

Save $10 on Emotions to Advocacy

NCLB Thrown Out?

Saving Children & Education Reform

Wrightslaw Programs in NH, AK, MD

Help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Subscription and Contact Info 

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the perplexing world of special education.

Highlights: Brent Staples, an advocate for children; help for children with reading problems; new Reading Library; save $10 on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy; future of NCLB; saving children & education reform; Wrightslaw programs in NH, AK, MD; help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.

Quote of the Week: "No other skill taught in school and learned by school children is more important than reading. It is the gateway to all other knowledge. Teaching students to read by the end of third grade is the single most important task assigned to elementary schools." - American Federation of Teachers

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2003 Alexa rankings)

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! Download newsletter

1. Brent Staples: An Advocate for Children

Brent Staples, a member of the New York Times Editorial Board, is an advocate for children. Mr. Staples has written extensively about reading, reading research, learning disabilities, and special education.

In How Shannon Carter Changed Special Education,  Mr. Staples wrote, "The people of Florence, S.C., know Shannon Carter as the owner of Shannon's Clip 'N Snip, a barber shop where the locals get haircuts and conversation . . . Shannon's public school teachers are no doubt surprised to see her running a business and working out a financial plan."

"During the 1980's she finished ninth grade failing virtually every subject, and was nearly illiterate. The schools told Emory and Elaine Carter that their daughter was terminally lazy and would 'never see a day of college.' In truth, Shannon was suffering from a common but undiagnosed learning disability that made it difficult for her to comprehend the little that she could read." Read article

In Championing Children for Whom Reading and Learning Are Difficult, Mr. Staples asked, "Why is Pete Wright a warrior for children?" He concluded, "People who get help after suffering humiliation in school often grow up to be champions of children who remind them of their younger selves. This is what happened to Mr. Wright." Read article

In recognition of his articles on reading and literacy, the New York Branch of the International Dyslexia Association presented Mr. Staples with an award. We took a train to NYC for the event. We join the IDA in honoring Brent Staples, an advocate for children.

2. Help for Children with Reading Problems

Most children with disabilities have deficits in reading. They need intensive research-based instruction that targets their reading problems. But many children do not receive research-based reading instruction and never learn to read proficiently.

If you are concerned about a child who has reading problems, read Sue Heath's answers to these questions:

My Son Can't Read - What Can I Do?

How Can I Get Help for My Child with Reading Problems?

Teaching a Child to Read: Special Ed or Reading First?

Where Can We Find a Tutor Who is Knowledgeable about Research-Based Reading Instruction?

More Doing Your Homework columns.

3. New! Reading Library at Wrightslaw

The new Reading Library at Wrightslaw includes information about reading, reading disabilities, research-based reading programs, law and caselaw, certified language therapists, and more.

Parents: Does your child have a reading or learning disability? Read the articles in Learning to Read -

Why Children Succeed or Fail at Reading, Research from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Program in Learning Disabilities

Reading and Learning Disabilities, Position Paper of the Learning Disabilities Association of America

Put Reading First: Helping Your Child Learn to Read - A Parent Guide. Provides an overview of findings of the National Reading Panel; gives ideas for what to expect from a school's reading program based on evidence from the research (preschool through grade 3); suggests ways parents can reinforce reading instruction at home.

For Teachers: Check the articles in Teaching Children to Read -

Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science, What Expert Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do from the American Federation of Teachers.

Put Reading First: Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read. Organized by topic for kindergarten through grade 3 (phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency instruction, and text comprehension instruction), lists findings from the research, suggests how findings can be translated to practice.

The "Write Stuff" for Preventing and Treating Writing Disabilities by Virginia Berninger, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Washington at Seattle.

Go to the Reading Library for reliable information about reading, reading disabilities, research-based reading programs, law and caselaw, certified language therapists, and more.

Learn about Research-Based Instruction page

4. Save $10 on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - "An Invaluable Advocacy Tool"

"If I were asked to choose just one book to help me learn advocacy skills, this is it!" - Support for Families of Children with Disabilities Newsletter

Expect this book to be tabbed and dog-eared - it is an invaluable advocacy tool." - The Tourette Gazette

"Information is presented in a clear, concise format. You will not want to skip a single page . . . gives families a clear roadmap to effective advocacy. We award their work the Exceptional Parent Symbol of Excellence." - Exceptional Parent Magazine

"Very highly recommended reading for all parents of children in need of special education services .. . Filled with tips, tricks, and techniques and an immense wealth of resources, from Internet sites and advocacy organizations to worksheets, forms, and sample letters . . . " - Midwest Book Review

Learn more about Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy  l Order book

Discounts & Exam Copies

50% Discount on Bulk Purchases of Wrightslaw Books
-The Advocacy Challenge Discount is a 50% discount on bulk purchases of Wrightslaw books.

Exam Copies - Teachers in colleges and universities around the country use Wrightslaw books in education, special education and special education law courses. Learn more

Wrightslaw books are reasonably priced ($29.95) - easy on tight budgets.

5. Question of the Week: Will NCLB Be Thrown Out?

I attended your conference in Indianapolis. It was great! I came back excited about what I learned. When I tried to discuss research based instruction with the director of our special ed. facility, he was not interested. He said President Bush won't be reelected and No Child Left Behind will be thrown out immediately.

Question: Do you think No Child Left Behind will be thrown out? Or is Congressional support strong enough that it will survive?

What do you think? Read Pete's answer in Will NCLB Be Thrown Out?

How Will NCLB Affect You?

More Qs & As

6. Saving Children, Education Reform

In Rescuing Education Reform, the New York Times offers support for NCLB and characterizes attempts to gut the law as "morally indefensible."

"No Child Left Behind is tackling one of the nation's most critical problems: the substandard educational opportunities offered to poor and minority children."

"Fifty years have sped by since the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that the practice of confining black children to segregated and often inferior schools violated the Constitution and generally consigned African-Americans to second-class citizenship. Nevertheless, all around the country, poor children are still trapped in failing schools, which poison their futures from the very start."

Read  Rescuing Education Reform

More NCLB News & Commentary

Read Brown v. Board of Education

7. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in New Hampshire, Alaska & Maryland

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.

Manchester, New Hampshire
(Boot Camp) - March 26-27, 2004

Juneau, Alaska
(Boot Camp) - April 8-9, 2004

Anchorage, Alaska
 (Boot Camp)- April 13-14, 2004

Annapolis, Maryland
(Boot Camp) - April 30-May 1, 2004

Wrightslaw programs are usually "sold out" so if you plan to attend, don't procrastinate - register today!

If you are interested in bringing Pete and Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars. (We are scheduling programs for 2005-2006.)

8. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Are you looking for a tutor or therapist? A psychologist or educational diagnostician? A speech language therapist? An advocate or attorney?

If you are looking for help - or a helper - visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.
Your state Yellow Pages has many resources - evaluators, therapists, tutors, special Ed schools, advocates, organizations, and support groups.

Strategies to Find a Support or Study Group

What to Expect from an Evaluation of Your Child

Working with Independent Evaluators and Educational Consultants

Questions for a Lay Advocate

Questions for an Attorney

Are you looking for a research-based reading program? Review the list of providers who use structured, multisensory, alphabetic techniques. Check the database of service providers from the International Dyslexia Association.

Learn more about Research-Based Instruction

9. 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 Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Reauthorization Newsletter Archives

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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