The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
September 9, 2004

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. Is Your Child Making Progress? How Do You Know?

2. What is Your Bell Curve IQ?

3. 9 Myths about Testing

4. Why Parents Should Get an Evaluation by an Independent Evaluator

5. Stephen Jeffers v. School Board - Coming Soon!

6. Wrightslaw Programs in IN, CT, VA, OK

7. How to Find Out if Your Child's Teacher is Highly Qualified

NCLB Seminars

8. Need CEUs? Online Course about Bullying & School Aggression

9. Subscription & 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.

Highlights: How to know if your child is making progress; what is your bell curve IQ; 9 myths about testing; why parents should get an evaluation by an independent evaluator; Stephen Jeffers v. School Board - coming soon; Wrightslaw programs in IN, CT, VA, OK; how to find out if your child's teacher is highly qualified; online course about bullying & school aggression.

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

1. Is Your Child Making Progress? How Do You Know?

You need to know your child's present levels of functioning in academic areas. Where is your child functioning in reading? Spelling? Written language? Math? What do standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, and age and grade equivalents mean?

You need to learn about tests and measurements so you can track your child's progress or lack of progress. If you do not learn tests and measurements, you will not be an equal participant in planning your child's special education.

Read Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Educator, Advocate & Attorney. To learn how to apply these principles to your child's test scores, do the homework assignments in Chapters 10 and 11 of From Emotions to Advocacy. (on sale, $10 off)

2. What is Your Bell Curve IQ?

In What is Your Bell Curve IQ?, we give you a quiz and a plan to help you master this information - and have some fun.

3. 9 Myths About Testing

How many of these statements are true?

* Testing interferes with teaching and learning.
* Testing promotes "teaching to the test."
* Testing does not measure what a student knows.
* Testing discriminates against different styles of test-takers.
* Testing hurts the poor and people of color.
* Testing increases dropout rates
* Testing creates physical and emotional illness in children.

Parents and teachers must learn why tests are essential to measuring progress and learning. Read 9 Myths about Testing - and the Realities!

Learn more about tests, evaluations, assessments, and high-stakes tests

4. Why Parents Should Get a Comprehensive Evaluation by an Independent Evaluator

In a recent newsletter, we offered parents this advice: "Get a comprehensive evaluation of your child by an independent evaluator in the private sector - this evaluation will give you a roadmap for the future. Choose an evaluator who is independent of the school district and who is willing to work with the school staff."

Some school psychologists were so angry by our advice that they unsubscribed from the newsletter! But other school psychologists said: "I'm glad you stood by your advice. I would not object to a parent getting an evaluation because . . ."

To learn why we gave this advice - and stand by it - read Why Parents Should Get a Comprehensive Evaluation by an Independent Evaluator.

Read a warning from a psychologist about the dangers of blind trust.

5. Stephen Jeffers v. School Board - DVD Release Date - Coming Soon!

Watch your email box for a special offer on Surviving Due Process: When Parents and the School Board Disagree.

6. Wrightslaw Special Ed Legal Advocacy Programs in IN, CT, VA, OK

"The Wrightslaw Special Education Law Seminar in Michigan was a tremendously rewarding experience and will forever change our practice." - Bryan I. Eder, Esq., Chudnof & Eder, PLC

Pete and Pam Wright will do special education legal and advocacy programs in four regions of the country this Fall.

Indianapolis, IN (September 17)

Northeast: Hartford, CT (September 21-22)

Mid-Atlantic: Virginia Beach, VA (November 12-13)

South Central: Oklahoma City, OK (December 4) FREE to Oklahoma parents & educational caregivers

Wrightslaw legal advocacy programs focus on four areas: special education law, rights and responsibilities; tests and measurements to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies. Participants will receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, as part of their registration (Value: $59.90).

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

7. Is Your Child's Teacher Highly Qualified?

If your child attends a school that receives Title I funds, you have a right to know the qualifications of your child's teachers. At the beginning of each school year, districts that receive Title I funds must notify parents they may request information about the qualifications of their child's teachers. At a minimum, you have a right to know --

* If the teacher is certified or licensed to teach the grade levels and subjects s/he is teaching
* If the teacher's certification or licensure was waived under an emergency or provisional status
* the teacher's college major and any graduate degree or certification
* If the child received services from a paraprofessional, the qualifications of that paraprofessional.

If you were not notified of your right to request this information, write a letter on your own. This letter to request information about a teacher's qualifications is one of 15 sample letters in Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind - you can use it as a template.

Title I School?
To find out if your child attends a Title I school, go to the National Center for Education Statistics website and Search for Public Schools. Type your school, state, county or district, then click "Search." When the list of schools appears, click your school. The school page will tell you if it is a "Title I School."

How Will NCLB Affect You? Learn about reading, tutoring and supplemental educational services, school choice, high-stakes tests & retention, students with disabilities.

No Child Left Behind Seminars

Sue Heath, co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind, is providing training on No Child Left Behind. Sue also writes about creative advocacy strategies in her column, Doing Your Homework, which appears in The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter and on Wrightslaw.com. Learn more

8. Need CEUs? Take an Online Course on Bullying & School Aggression

A free online tutorial about school-based bullying is available for school personnel The tutorial, The ABCs of Bullying: Addressing, Blocking, and Curbing School Aggression, from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention offers CEU's to social workers, counselors, health educators, and contact hours to school personnel.

Learn more about The ABCs of Bullying.

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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