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The Special Ed Advocate
     January 30, 2007      ISSN: 1538-3202
Subscribers: 45,560

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At Wrightslaw, our mission is to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the constantly changing world of special education.

In This Issue:

1. How to Prevent Reading Difficulties and Reading Failure
2. Identifying Specific Learning Disabilities:
Discrepancy Formulas or Response to Intervention
3. Answering Your Questions About Response to Intervention - What is RTI? How Does It Work?
4. Florida Center for Reading Research - Highly Recommended Resource
5. Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Programs in VA, DE, CA, NC and ME
6. Subscription and Contact Info

Do you know others who want to learn how to advocate for a child with a disability? Please forward this issue or the subscription page so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. Newsletter Archives (1998-2006).

1. How to Prevent Reading Difficulties and Reading Failure by Sue Heath

A teacher asks: "Can you send me some research articles on how children learn to read with support?"

Sue Heath, research editor for Wrightslaw, replies. "Children do not learn to read with support. They learn to read with direct instruction."

"Reading is a learned skill. For many children, reading is not a natural skill that develops as they mature."

In How to Prevent Reading Difficulties and Reading Failure, Sue provided the teacher with a comprehensive list of resources about how children learn to read, how to prevent reading failure, and how to implement research based instruction. These resources come from respected organizations including:

* National Reading Panel
* National Institute for Literacy
* U. S. Department of Education

Read How to Prevent Reading Difficulties and Reading Failure by Sue Heath.

For more articles about teaching reading and research based instruction, see Doing Your Homework.

2. Identifying Specific Learning Disabilities: Discrepancy & Response to Intervention (RTI) Models

Do you know that nearly half of all children in special education programs are identified with specific learning disabilities?

Do you know that almost all children, including children with disabilities, can learn if taught appropriately?

Do you know that many children do not receive appropriate instruction because their teachers are not adequately prepared? In fact, some experts claim that most children identified with specific learning disabilities are actually "victims of poor teaching."

When Congress reauthorized IDEA, they listened to these experts and changed the law about how children with specific learning disabilities may be identified.

To learn about these changes, read IDEA 2004: Specific Learning Disabilities - Discrepancy and Response to Intervention Models.

3. Your Questions about Response to Intervention: What is RTI? How Does it Work?

When Congress reauthorized IDEA, they changed the law about identifying children with specific learning disabilities.

Schools will "not be required to take into consideration whether a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability ..." (Section 1414(b)) (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 97)

What is Response to Intervention? How will it be implemented?

To answer your questions about Response to Intervention, we collected dozens of articles and free publications. We learned that some experts endorse RTI. Others are less enthusiastic.

Most agree that the success or failure of Response to Intervention will depend on whether it is appropriately implemented by highly-trained professionals - and this is likely to be a problem.

We urge you to study these issues. You'll find dozens of articles, free publications and websites in Answering Your Questions about Response to Intervention: What is RTI? How Does It Work?

The reauthorization of any law brings differing interpretations and questions. The information in IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw will help you find answers to your questions. Read more What You Need to Know About IDEA 2004 articles.

4. Florida Center for Reading Research: Highly Recommended

Parents, teachers, and school administrators are searching for reliable information about research based programs. Where can you find information about reading programs that have research that supports their effectiveness?

The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) reviews reading programs, curricula assessments and materials and publishes reports on reading programs on its website.You will also find publications and articles about the science of reading, reading assessments, recommended reading, and a special section of resources for parents.

Read Florida Center for Reading Research: Research Based Reading Programs & Assessments to learn about these and other resources on this excellent website.

5. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in VA, DE, CA, NC, and ME

6. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate
Issue: 376;  ISSN: 1538-3202
Subscribers: 45,555

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. The Special Ed Advocate is published weekly (usually on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, with occasional breaks). Subscribers also receive "alerts" about events and special offers on Wrightslaw publications and products.

To subscribe, please go to

To unsubscribe, please go to Scroll down the list and click the link to "Wrightslaw" at the end of the page, then click "Join or Leave Wrightslaw." This will take you to the page where you can change your subscription options. Click "Leave Wrightslaw."

Please forward this issue of The Special Ed Advocate to others who share your interest in special education law and advocacy. If you were forwarded a copy of The Special Ed Advocate and want to subscribe, you can sign up through our website.

Read back issues of the Special Ed Advocate at the Archives.

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043


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