Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education.
Winner of the "Name That Video Contest"; IDEA Reauthorization
Update; side-by-side analysis of bills to reauthorize IDEA; find out how
your school is doing under NCLB; Special Ed Muckraker needs your help;
Bridges4Kids News Digest; Wrightslaw programs in Sacramento & Grand
1. Announcing - Winner of the "Name That Video Contest"
On June 22,
we asked you to vote for your favorite title for our new video, Stephen
Jeffers v. School Board, in the Name
That Video Contest.
2nd Place: "Due Process: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You!" (12%)
3rd Place: "Inside Due Process: A Step-by-Step Look at Jeffers v. School Board" (10%)
Jeff Smith is an occupational therapist and assistive technology specialist from Phoenix, Arizona. Jeff works for the Southwest Human Development's Assistive Technology Program. Southwest is a non profit agency that provides services to children and families primarily in the metro Phoenix area.
The Assistive Technology Program provides training, workshops and AT devices to Arizona school districts. As an occupational therapist and AT specialist, Jeff works with speech therapists, special educators, a rehab engineer, and OT Assistant in a multidisciplinary approach to meeting the assistive technology needs of children and adults.
As the winner
of the Name
That Video Contest, Jeff will receive a Sony Clie Color Handheld PDA,
a copy of When
Parents and the School Board Disagree: Surviving Due Process - Stephen
Jeffers v. School Board, and autographed copies of our
three books from Harbor House
2. IDEA Reauthorization Update: June 2004
In May 2004, the Senate passed a bill to reauthorize IDEA by a 95-3 vote. Senate Bill 1248 is significantly different from H.R. 1350 passed by the House of Representatives last year. These differences must be resolved by a joint House-Senate conference committee.
Currently, things do not look like they will lead to a conference soon. Senator Kennedy is pushing "pre-conference decisions" before he appoints conferees. While Senator Gregg does not see the need for this step because the Senate worked in a bipartisan manner, his staff and Senator Kennedy's staff will try to reach an agreement on this issue.
Pre-conference work and agreement may help to resolve the most contentious issues and could pave the way to a swifter overall House-Senate conference.
is scheduled to leave Washington from July 23rd until after Labor Day
and will adjourn in the first week in October. (This is an election year)
If anything happens with IDEA reauthorization, it will need to happen
3. How Are Bills to Reauthorize IDEA Different? How Do They Differ from the Current Law?
You know that the House and Senate bills to reauthorize IDEA are different. Many readers have asked how the bills are different from each other and how they are different from the current law (IDEA-97).
We could not answer these questions - until now.
On June 24, the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS) published a side-by-side analysis of Senate Bill 1248, House Bill 1350 and IDEA 97.
or from the
NAPAS website (see right side of screen)
4. NCLB News: How Is Your School Doing Under NCLB?
Do you know how your school is doing under No Child Left Behind? Is the school making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)? How about your school district?
Achievement data from all public schools and school districts in 17 states is now available online. Data from all 50 states will be available online by the end of 2004. Learn how your school and school district are doing.
5. Special Ed Muckraker Needs Your Help
Dee Alpert, publisher of The Special Education Muckraker, is doing research for an article about whether No Child Left Behind is being implemented for children with disabilities. She needs information from parents of kids who attend public special education schools.
Issue: No Child Left Behind requires State Departments of Education to publish School and School District Report Cards that include test results and graduation/dropout information for kids with disabilities. Despite this requirement, many State Departments of Education do not publish test results and graduation/ dropout information for kids with disabilities who attend regular public schools. Even more do not publish this information for kids who attend public special ed schools.
Request for Info: If you are the parent of a child with a disability who attends a school that does not publish test scores and/or graduation/dropout rates for kids with disabilities, how does this affect you? Are you able to get the necessary information to determine if the school is educating your child and other kids with disabilities properly?
If a placement in an all-special ed. school has been recommended for your child, but School Report Card information is not available for that school, how did you get the information you need to evaluate whether the school can really meet your child's needs? Were you able to get this information any other way?
Did you complain about the lack of assessment and graduation/dropout information to anyone at your State Education Department or the United States Department of Education? If you did, what was the result?
about the Special
6. Bridges4Kids News Digest - 5 Stars
If you want to stay current on special education news and issues - but also want to keep your email box from overflowing - we recommend that you subscribe to Bridges4Kids News Digest.
Bridges4Kids News Digest is a free, weekly electronic newsletter of news and information about parenting, child development, early intervention, special education and disabilities. The newsletter also includes listings of national and regional conferences you may want to attend.
is published by Bridges4Kids,
a nonprofit parent organization providing a comprehensive system of
information and referral for parents of children from birth through transition
to adult life.
7. Join Pete & Pam Wright for Advocacy Training Programs in CA & MI (July 2004)
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!"
8. Subscription & Contact Info
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.