The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
March 22, 2005

Issue - 302
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. IEPs, Educational Progress& FAPE

2. Measuring Progress with Objective Tests

3. Tests, Testing Issues & Advocacy by Bill Matthew

4. Your Child's Evaluations

5. Wrightslaw Programs in IN, MO, AZ, NH

6. Why Wrightslaw Programs Are Held During the Day & Where to Get Training

7. Wrightslaw Books - Easy on Tight Budgets

Scratch n' Dent Sale

8. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids

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. In this issue, we look at testing, evaluations, and IEPs.

Highlights: IEPs, educational progress & FAPE; measuring progress with objective tests; testing issues & advocacy; your child's evaluations; Wrightslaw programs in IN, MO, AZ, NH; why Wrightslaw programs are held during the day & where to get advocacy training; Wrightslaw books - scratch n' dent sale; help from Yellow Pages for Kids.

"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." - John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and coworkers so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help! Download this issue.

Flyers! If you want to help others learn about special education law and advocacy, print and distribute the Wrightslaw flyer. Where? At school meetings, doctor's offices, hospitals, and day care centers! Flyer in pdf More flyers

1. Message from the Editor: IEPs, Educational Progress & FAPE

IEP time is just around the corner. If a child has a disability that adversely affects educational performance, the child is entitled to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). In a nutshell, FAPE is an individualized educational program (IEP) that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which the child receives educational benefit.

How can you tell if a child is receiving educational benefit? If you monitor educational achievement test scores over time, you'll know if the child is making progress and receiving educational benefit. Over the next several weeks, we will help you fine-tune your knowledge about IEPs.

2. Measuring Progress with Objective Tests

Assume you have a medical condition - high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. You and your doctor develop a treatment plan. Your doctor measures your progress with objective medical tests. If your test results improve, this is evidence that the treatment plan is working. If your test results do not improve - or they get worse - your doctor is likely to revise the treatment plan and/or refer you to a specialist.

If you have a child with a disability, you and school personnel will meet to develop an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). The IEP is similar to a medical treatment plan - it identifies present level of functioning, the child's needs, services the child will receive, and how progress will be measured. Educational progress can and should be measured with objective tests.

Has your child made progress? Is the child "closing the gap" between the peer group? How do you know?

Before you attend the next IEP meeting, read
Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Educator, Advocate & Attorney three times. This article will teach you what standard scores, percentile ranks, subtest scores, and age and grade equivalent scores mean. This information is also presented in Chapters 10 and 11 of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy.

To supplement our article about tests and measurements, we created a slide show to show you how to create graphs of educational progress.

Download our Glossary of Assessment Terms

3. Tests, Testing Issues and Advocacy by Bill Matthew

Dr. Bill Matthew, Director of Special Education in California, offers suggestions about tests and and testing issues, including age & grade equivalents, subtest scatter, improper use of projective tests, and tests that are psychometrically sound. Read Tests, Testing Issues & Advocacy.

Learn more about tests and evaluations.

4. Your Child's Evaluations

In What to Expect from an Evaluation, psychologist and literacy researcher Marianne Meyer walks you through the process of gathering information and participating in the evaluation process. Read article

In What You Should Know About Evaluations, parent attorney Bob Crabtree explains, "As a parent, you must make sure that all areas of possible need are assessed as quickly as possible. While some parents would rather not allow their school system to evaluate their child, a refusal to cooperate at this stage of the process can backfire . . . " Read article

5. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in Indiana, Missouri, Arizona, New Hampshire

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 educational progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.

Fort Wayne, IN: March 25, 2005 (Advocacy Training) Attorney Wayne Steedman and advocate Pat Howey present a full-day Wrightslaw training program.

Kansas City, MO: March 29, 2005 (Advocacy Training) - NEW

Glendale, AZ: April 1-2, 2005 (Boot Camp)

Manchester, NH: May 6-7, 2005 (Boot Camp)

All participants will receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, (Value: $59.90), and the new publication, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 by Peter Wright.

If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read FAQs about Seminars.

6. Why Are Wrightslaw Programs Held When Working Parents Like Me Can't Attend?

"Why are your programs held during the day when working parents can't attend? I'm a working mother. In my community, most mothers do not work full-time. All school programs are held during the day."

"I'm tired of being excluded from programs and events because I can't afford to take time off from work. I
guess your programs are for middle class, two-parent families with mothers who don't work full-time."

Pam responds to this mom's questions and frustrations (and offers suggestions about how she can get training) in Why Are Wrightslaw Programs Held When Working Parents - Like Me - Can't Attend?

Learn more about advocacy and advocacy training.

7. Wrightslaw Books - Great Value. . . and Easy on Tight Budgets

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, Standard Edition - $29.95

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, Deluxe Edition with Legal Companion CD-ROM - $39.95

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide

Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind with NCLB CD ROM - $29.95

Internet Orders l Mail, Fax, Phone Orders l Discounts l

Scratch-n-Dent Sale: Special Ed Law, From Emotions to Advocacy - $9.95 each - Limited quantities available. Scroll Down Page for Scratch n Dent

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 their education, special education and special education law courses. Learn more

8. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids

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.

These articles will help:

Working with Independent Evaluators and Educational Consultants

Strategies to Find a Support or Study Group

Help Others: Please print and distribute Flyers for Your State Yellow Pages for Kids.

Free Listings in the Yellow Pages: If you help parents get services for children (i.e., an evaluator, educational consultant, academic tutor, advocate, attorney, special ed school, etc.) or you facilitate a support or study group for parents, submit an application be listed in the Yellow Pages for Kids. Send an email to app@yellowpagesforkids.com for an application. Listings in the Yellow Pages are free.

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 2004 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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