Advocacy. – Effective advocacy requires that educators are treated with respect.

Avoiding Due Process. – A common sense approach to communicating successfully with school district personnel.

Aptitude – Achievement Discrepancy. – A discussion of an “immoral” formula for identifying students with a learning disability.

Controversial Therapies: An analysis of why controversial therapies continue to attract support in spite of a lack of scientific validity.

Effective Advocacy: Perspective is the Key! Too often advocacy is seen as a contest — parents versus the system. The primary goal of an advocate should be to develop an atmosphere of collaboration and open communication between the family and the school district. The purpose of an advocate is to inform and educate rather than to intimidate and litigate.

Getting the Right Method. – An argument for getting Orton-Gillingham instruction in school.

Goal of Education: Can a child who gets A’s be eligible for special education?

The Right to Qualified Instructors: – An argument supporting a parents right to be informed as to the qualifications of a teacher to deliver individualized instruction.

Promote Partnerships and Improve Outcomes for Children by Avoiding Conflict. – Conflict in the arena of special education is unique in that everyone involved professes to be an advocate promoting the best interests of the child. The Court inLascari v. Board of Educ., 116 N.J. 30, (1989) found that all parties had an “interest in assuring that a handicapped child receives an appropriate education” and held that “the adversary nature of the proceedings [due process] should yield to obtaining the right result for the child.” The purpose of the advocate, whether parent or professional educator, is to inform, educate, and develop an atmosphere of collaboration and open communications sufficient to provide all parties with a sense of comfort that their individual responsibility to the child has been satisfied.

Reading – RTI in a Nutshell.

RTI: A Process, Not a Program. – Question: Is there any level of concern regarding the use of RTI in school districts for identifying students with Dyslexia? Some school districts are moving away from using any kind of standardized psycho-educational assessment.

Scope of Education. – Congress enacted the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C.§1401 et seq. with the intent to promote the education of individuals with disabilities by providing federal funds to states that comply with the federal statute. Board of Educ. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 179 (1982). Congress reauthorized the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act in 2004 (“IDEIA”), again emphasizing the need to ensure individuals with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education. 20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.1 New Jersey receives federal funds under IDEIA and is therefore required to comply with the IDEIA’s requirements. See Lascari v. Bd. of Educ. of Ramapo-Indian Hills Reg. Sch. Dist., 116 N.J. 30, 33 (1989). To satisfy the requirements of the IDEIA New Jersey has adopted its own legislation and regulations for implementing special education services. See N.J.S.A. 18A:46-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 6A:14-1 et seq.

Special Education For Pupils With Disabilities. – An overview of legal and practical issues regarding the delivery of special education to pupils with disabilities.

Teacher Training: An analysis of OSEP response to Emerson’s request for clarification of a parent’s right to be informed as to the qualifications of the instructor designated to deliver a particular methodology.

RTI: A Promise that Relies on the Capacity to Teach: Good ideas rely on the ability to implement. Success at learning depends on the capacity to teach.

The Law and Unintended Consequences: Federal educational mandates, however well intended, are often implemented by states first in a manner to avoid being punished and only secondarily to accomplish the goal intended.

Progress Monitoring is the Key to Successful Intervention: Objective measures to monitor progress are essential to ensure meaningful growth.

Potential Requires Literacy to Grow into Opportunity: The challenges of providing literacy remediation for adults.

Read the Label: IEP’s make promises. Parents have the right to know how such promises are to be carried out. Informed instruction, teacher training, and working with the School District to achieve a common goal.

RTI: The Nutshell Revisited. – If RTI doesn’t work, it is not because the concept is faulty.

Roads Less Traveled: The Unexpected consequences of attempts to standardize educational practices has been to handcuff our educators, stifle creativity, create conflict and competition between general education and special education, and deny our children access to meaningful early intervention

Danger! Poison! Radio Active! High Voltage!: Support and join the International Dyslexia Association, where research and practice meet to shape the future.

IEP: Honest and Informative or Smoke and Mirrors. -What is Wrong with IEP’s and why don’t they work?

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