Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
Highlights: Are children with disabilities required to take high-stakes tests; new high-stakes suit filed in Alaska; exit exams can be optional if you plan ahead; $10 off on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy; next issue of The Beacon focuses on high-stakes tests, accommodations, modifications; Call Your Senators Day is March 24; effective teachers, teacher education, closing the achievement gap; Wrightslaw programs in NH, AK, MD; help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.
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1. Are Children with Disabilities Required to Take State-Mandated Tests?
A parent asks, "I know schools are required to give state-mandated tests. But are children required to take these tests? My child is significantly learning disabled. I don't see the point of putting him through the frustration of taking state mandated tests in 4th and 8th grade."
From Wrightslaw: "We understand that some parents do not want their children to be tested. Like you, they want to protect their children from pain and frustration. Before we answer your question, we'd like to talk about about the issues . . . " Read Are Disabled Children Required to Take State Tests?
Special Education Qs & As
2. New High-Stakes Suit Filed in Alaska
As states implement high stakes tests, some have developed blanket policies that prohibit or severely limit accommodations and modifications -- despite federal law and regulations that prohibit this policy.
On March 16, 2004, children with disabilities and their parents filed a class-action lawsuit against the Alaska Board of Education, challenging Alaska's controversial High School exit exam.
than 500 students with disabilities have met all other
graduation requirements but will not get a diploma because they
cannot pass the exit exam.
lawsuits have been filed in other states, including California
3. Exit Exams Can Be Optional if You Plan Ahead by Sue Heath
This spring, thousands of high school students will not graduate with a high school diploma. How can this be?
These students spent at least twelve years in school. They took the required courses and received passing grades. Obviously, they learned something - they have the credits and the grades to prove it. But they will not graduate because they did not pass their state's exit exam.
4. Save $10 on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - "An Invaluable Advocacy Tool"
this book to be tabbed and dog-eared - it is an invaluable
advocacy tool." - The Tourette Gazette
Wrightslaw books are reasonably priced ($29.95) - easy on tight budgets.
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 education, special education and special education law courses. Learn more
Beacon is a multidisciplinary electronic journal of
special education law and practice published by Harbor
House Law Press.
"Special education law and litigation is on the verge of a major shift in direction. In ten years, I believe the educational landscape will change for all children . . . " Read article
6. Reminder: Wednesday, March 24 is Call Your Senators Day
Senate is scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 1248 soon. S.
1248 includes provisions that will hurt children and youth
with disabilities and their families. What can you do?
7. Effective Teachers, Teacher Ed, Closing the Achievement Gap (NCLB News, March 2004)
No Child Left Behind News & Commentary has announcements, news, events, commentary, and Op-Ed articles about No Child Left Behind. Here are three recent news items:
Orders Study of Teacher Ed Programs.
8. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in New Hampshire, Alaska & Maryland
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 progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.
Manchester, New Hampshire (Boot Camp) - March 26-27, 2004
Juneau, Alaska (Boot Camp) - April 8-9, 2004
Anchorage, Alaska (Boot Camp)- April 13-14, 2004
Annapolis, Maryland (Boot Camp) - April 30-May 1, 2004
Wrightslaw programs are usually "sold out" so if you plan to attend, don't procrastinate - register today!
9. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities
you looking for a tutor or therapist? A
psychologist or educational diagnostician?
A speech language therapist? An advocate
10. Subscription & Contact Info
Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about
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