Summer School for Parents:
Legal & Assessment Terms
Vocabulary Quiz!

Wrightslaw        Law      Advocacy     Training      Products      Store      Subscribe       Sitemap       Contact Us

July 1, 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 446
Subscribers: 63,294

In This Issue:

Time to Review: How's Your Special Ed Vocabulary?

Assignment #2: Take the Vocabulary Quiz

Glossary of Special Education and Legal Terms

Glossary of Assessment Terms

Dog Days? Schools Bar Service Dogs

An Hour on Horseback is More Than Just Fun

Looking for an Evaluator, Advocate, Advisor, or Attorney?

Find Help in the Yellow Pages for Kids

Yellow Pages for Kids Directory

Wrightslaw WebEx Training

Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores

CD-ROM training Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Learn More

Retail Price: $24.95
Intro Offer: $14.95

To Order

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw WebEx Special Education Law & Training Program (6.5 hrs)

Learn More

Retail Price: $89.95
Wrightslaw Special: $49.95


starMore Helpful Resources

Glossary of Special Education & Legal Terms
Glossary of Assessment Terms
Advocacy Library
NCLB Terms
LD Online Glossary

Contact Info

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



Copyright 2008, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your website without explicit permission.

Welcome to week two of our series, Summer School for Parents.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, we'll review special education Legal Terms and Assessment Terms. You'll also find news about service dogs in schools and a video that shows an activity you and your family may want to participate in this summer.

The Special Ed Advocate will not be published next week. We will return with another Summer School for Parents mini-course in two weeks.

It's time to brush up on your vocabulary skills.

  1. Review the terms listed below
  2. Take the quiz to check your skills
  3. Get answers and complete Glossaries of Terms

Try not to go directly to Step 3! Take the quiz first!

Please don't hesitate to forward this issue to other friends and colleagues. They will want to take the quiz, too.

forward to a friend

Sign up free today!  l Read previous issues

Review Time: How's Your Special Ed Vocabulary?

Burden of proof. Duty of a party to substantiate its claim against the other party; in civil actions, the weight of this proof is usually described as a preponderance of the evidence.

Consent. Requirement that the parent be fully informed of all information that relates to any action that school wants to take about the child, that parent understands that consent is voluntary and may be revoked at any time. See also Procedural safeguards notice and prior written notice.

FAPE. Free appropriate public education; special education and related services provided in conformity with an IEP; are without charge; and meets standards of the SEA.

Ability Testing. Use of standardized tests to evaluate an individual’s performance in a specific area (i.e., cognitive, psychomotor, or physical functioning).

Conversion table. A chart used to translate test scores into different measures of performance (e.g., grade equivalents and percentile ranks).

National percentile rank. Indicates the relative standing of one child when compared with others in the same grade; percentile ranks range from a low score of 1 to a high score of 99.

T-Score. A standard score with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. A T-score of 60 represents a score that is 1 standard deviation above the mean.

Hint: These terms will not be on the quiz. :-)

back to the top

Assignment #2: Take the Vocabulary Quiz


You will receive an email with the correct answers. Good luck!

1. ________Disability category under IDEA; includes disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language; may manifest in difficulties with listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, and doing mathematical calculations; includes minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia

2. ________ Usually means an alternative to a paper and pencil test; refers to non-conventional methods of assessing achievement (e.g., work samples and portfolios).

3. ________ A distribution of scores used to scale a test. It is a normal distribution curve with most scores in the middles and a small number of scores at the law and high ends.

4. ________ If child with disability engages in behavior or breaks a rule or code of conduct that applies to nondisabled children and the school proposes to remove the child, the school must hold a hearing to determine if the child’s behavior was caused by the disability.

5. ________ Changes in how test is administered that do not substantially alter what the test measures; includes changes in presentation format, response format, test setting or test timing. They are made to level the playing field, i.e., to provide equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge.

6. ________ Disability category under IDEA; includes depression, fears, schizophrenia; adversely affects educational performance.

7. ________ Requirement that schools provide full easily understood explanation of procedural safeguards that describe parent’s right to an independent educational evaluation, to examine records, to request mediation and due process.

8. ________ Procedural safeguard to resolve disputes between parents and schools; must be voluntary, cannot be used to deny or delay right to a due process hearing; must be conducted by a qualified and impartial person who is trained in effective techniques.

9. ________ Requirement to educate special needs children with children who are not disabled to the maximum extent possible.

10. _______ Changes in the content, format, and/or administration of a test to accommodate test takers who are unable to take the test under standard test conditions. These alter what the test is designed to measure or the comparability of scores.

11. _______ Expectations about what the child should know and be able to do in different subjects and grade levels; defines expected student skills and knowledge and what schools should teach.

12. _______ The practice of combining two or more subtest scores to create an average or composite score. For example, a reading performance score may be an average of vocabulary and reading comprehension subtest scores.

13. _______ The middle score in a distribution or set of ranked scores; the point (score) that divides a group into two equal parts; the 50th percentile. Half the scores are below this, and half are above it.

Need more review? Refer to the Glossary of Special Education and Legal Terms and the Glossary of Assessment Terms.

You will find both glossaries of terms in these Wrightslaw books:

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition Book

From Emotions to Advocacy BookSpecial Education Law, 2nd Edition


From Emotions to Advocacy

back to the top

Dog Days? Schools Bar Service Dogs

In May, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine signed a bill requiring public schools to allow children with disabilities to bring service dogs to school.

Why did Virginia pass a law to allow service dogs in schools?

School officials in Stafford County, VA refused to allow 10-year-old Matt Hooios to take his service dog, Calder, to school. They claimed that public schools are not public entities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 23-year old Virginians with Disabilities Act.

Will the School Comply with the New Law?

This remains to be seen. Although the bill was signed in May, the Stafford County elementary school held the line and refused to allow Matt to bring Calder to school. The bill takes effect today, July 1, 2008. Read more.

Sounds like Stafford County school officials need refresher courses in civics and education law - but that won't teach compassion and common sense. Maybe it's time to consider a career change.

New York School District Defies Ruling in Human Rights Case

A Nassau County, NY, school district barred John Cave Jr., who is deaf, from taking his service dog, Simba, to school, and defied a ruling that they change their policies.

The New York State Division of Human Rights ruled that East Meadow School District was in violation of the state human rights law and ordered the district to change its policy immediately. What happened next?

The principal defied the ruling. The superintendent said they will hold out for a court order. A lawyer for the district said they would appeal the ruling to the State Supreme Court.

Do the residents of East Meadow School District want the school district to use their tax dollars to fund litigation to bar service dogs from schools? If the answer is "no," contact your school board members and let them know your thoughts on this issue.Read more.

Does your state protect children with disabilities who need service dogs? Where does your district stand on this issue? Is your district in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act?

back to the top

An Hour on Horseback is More Than Just Fun

"An hour on horseback - how cool is that!"

Find a great summer activity for you and your child.

Horseback riding once a week can be more than just fun. It's therapeutic – whether you are a participant in the program or a volunteer who will assist others.

Watch Will Hillis ride Pooh Bear and find out more about therapeutic riding programs.

Find a program near you. You might want to give it a try.

back to the top


What People Are Saying About The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter

"Thanks for the trustworthy information and support you provide through the Wrightslaw website and newsletter. You helped our family act when we needed to - we are thriving now."


Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

About the Book
To Order
About Book
To Order
About Book
To Order
About DVD Video
To Order