The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
April 13, 2004

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

Message from Pam & Pete Wright

Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started

Strategies: IEP Goals & Objectives

How to Disagree With the School Without Starting WW III

Wrightslaw Books - Priced Right, Easy on Tight Budgets

Elation & Relief: Alaska Students Graduate with Diplomas

Exit Exams Can Be Optional - If You Plan Ahead

Coming Soon! New Issue of The Beacon on High-Stakes Testing

Wrightslaw Programs in MD, AL, FL, WA, CA

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 confusing world of special education. In this issue, we look at advocacy strategies and high-stakes tests.

Highlights: Message from Pam & Pete; advocating for your child - getting started; IEP goals & objectives; disagreeing with the school; Wrightslaw books - easy on tight budgets; Alaska students with disabilities graduate with diplomas; exit exams can be optional if you plan ahead; new issue of The Beacon about high-stakes testing; Wrightslaw programs in MD, AL, FL, WA, CA; help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.

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. Message from Pam & Pete Wright

Perseverance Trail. Mendenhall Glacier. Turnaround Arm. Resurrection Bay. Denali.

Yes, we are publishing this issue of The Special Ed Advocate from Alaska.

Last week, 100 people attended the two-day Boot Camp in Juneau. More than 250 people are attending the Boot Camp in Anchorage this week.

We thank Judith Bendersky, the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and Mona McAleese for putting these Boot Camps together, and for arranging scholarships and transportation for parents, many of whom arrived from villages by plane or boat.

2. Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started

Good special education services are intensive and expensive. Resources are limited. If your child has special educational needs, you may wind up battling the school district for the services your child needs. To prevail, you need information, skills, and tools.

Parents are Natural Advocates gives you a quick overview of advocacy skills - how to gather information, plan and prepare, keep written records, ask questions, identify problems, and propose solutions.

The law gives parents the power to make educational decisions for your child. Do not be afraid to use your power. Use it wisely. A good education is the most important gift you can give to your child.

Learn more about effective advocacy.

Advocacy Information & Strategies -
You will find hundreds of articles, newsletters, Qs & As, and legal decisions in the Wrightslaw Advocacy Libraries and Law Libraries.

For information about specific issues, from autism and ADD to zero tolerance, please visit our Topics Page.

3. Tactics & Strategies: IEP Goals & Objectives

In Tactics and Strategies: IEP Goals and Objectives, Pete answers questions from the president of a state LDA chapter:

* What can parents do to get good goals and objectives in a child's IEP?
* What can parents do when the school wants to use subjective "teacher observations," not objective testing, to measure the child's progress?
* How and when should parents use a consultant to help with IEP goals and objectives.
* How can parents avoid "methodology disputes?"

Tactics and Strategies: IEP Goals and Objectives

Learn more about IEPs

4. Strategies: How to Disagree with the School Team Without Starting WW III

In How to Disagree with the School Team, Pete Wright teaches you how to disagree with the IEP team without starting World War III. Learn about the Rules of Adverse Assumptions, how to use tape recording and thank you letters to clarify issues, and how to deal with an IEP team bully. Read article

More Special Ed Qs & As

5. Wrightslaw Books - Reasonably Priced & Easy on Tight Budgets

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

6. Elation & Relief! Alaska Students with Disabilities Will Graduate with Diplomas in 2004

On March 16, 2004, children with disabilities and their parents filed a class action lawsuit to challenge Alaska's controversial high school graduation examination.

On April 7, 2004, lawyers for these children, the State of Alaska, and Anchorage School District reached an agreement that will allow students with disabilities in the class of 2004 to graduate, regardless of whether they pass the state high school exit exam.

Students and their families were elated and relieved. Doug Mate, a high school senior with a learning disability, is registered to enter the Army in June. "I didn't know if I was going to get a high school diploma or a discharge notice from the Army.
My whole future depended on this decision. Now I can get on with my life!"

Plaintiffs' lawyers believe that over 500 students will be immediately affected.

Read Elation & Relief: Students Will Graduate with Diplomas in 2004

Download the Complaint in the Alaska high-stakes lawsuit.

Learn more about high-stakes tests.

7. Doing Your Homework: Exit Exams Can Be Optional If You Plan Ahead

This year, thousands of high school students will not graduate with a high school diploma, even though they took the required courses and received passing grades.

Do students need to pass their state exit exams before they can graduate with a high school diploma? No!

In Exit Exams Can Be Optional If You Plan Ahead, Sue Heath provides a creative strategy to eliminate exit exam obstacles. Read article

Read more Doing Your Homework columns

8. Coming Soon! New Issue Of The Beacon Focuses on High-Stakes Testing

The Beacon: The Journal of Special Education Law and Practice is a multi-disciplinary electronic journal of special education law and practice published by Harbor House Law Press. The Beacon publishes articles and essays for attorneys, advocates and others who are interested in special education law and practice.

Each issue focuses on a theme and includes practical and theoretical articles. Previous issues dealt with mediation and negotiation, documents, expert witnesses, and free appropriate public education. You can read back issues in the The Beacon Archives.

The theme of next issue of The Beacon is High-Stakes Testing: Success or Failure?

Learn more about The Beacon. You may subscribe to The Beacon from the Harbor House Law site.

List of free online newsletters about special education legal issues.

9. Wrightslaw Programs in Maryland, Alabama, Florida, Washington, California

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.

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

Birmingham, Alabama (1 day advocacy training) - May 25, 2004

Orlando, FL - Keynote Speaker at Family Cafe - May 29-30, 2004

Seattle, WA - 1 day advocacy training at Autism Society of America National Conference - July 7, 2004

Sacramento, California (Boot Camp) - July 17-18, 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.)

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

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, speech language therapists, tutors, special ed schools, advocates, attorneys, organizations, and support groups.

11. 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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