I'm sure you may have heard about two teachers in Seattle who were suspended for 10 days without pay for failing to give tests to their students with severe cognitive disabilities. Lenora Stahl and Juli Griffith each were suspended for 10 days without pay for not following through with training and reports required for the Washington Alternative Assessment System (WAAS), a version of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning intended for students with special needs. "I understand that you are taking this position as a matter of principle," says a March 2 letter to the teachers from Seattle Schools Superintendent ...


The Council for Exceptional Children has invited several heavy-hitters in the world of response to intervention to write on a monthly basis about different aspects of the educational framework on a monthly. This month's blog series will be written by Janette Klingner, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a specialist on special education for bilingual students. Last month's entries were written by Lynn Boyer, the director of special education for West Virginia, on how to implement RTI on a statewide basis. All of these experts offer useful insight into the complexities of implementing RTI in an ...


I have wondered if there's anything in the stimulus bill that offers assistance for students with gifts and talents. Unlike Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, there is no federal mandate for gifted programs. Instead, the cost of gifted education is borne by the states. But when I spoke to Jane Clarenbach with the National Association for Gifted Children last week, she said that the stimulus could mean that more beginning teachers will leave college prepared to teach gifted children, as well as students with disabilities, students who have limited English proficiency, and students with low literacy ...


Quick! The Secretary of Education is having a conference call with reporters tomorrow (Thursday) at 1:30 p.m. In the unlikely event that I'm able to get a question in, what are some things you want to know? Friend-of-the-blog Jim Gerl has a great set of questions up on his own site, but they are detailed and unlikely to be answered in this format. But I'm sure I can get an interview at a later date, and this can help steer my coverage. UPDATE: As I might have predicted, the department wasn't prepared today to talk about special education. ...


Here's something fun: five high school engineering teams that have invented assistive technology will compete against each other this week. The program is a part of the fourth annual National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC) Finals Competition. The competition, sponsored by the AbilityOne Program and the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), attracts teams of students from across the country who design and build an assistive device for a person with a disability to use in his or her workplace. Last year's winning team created a device that allowed a user to change a tie trash bag with only one hand. (This, ...


A few months after I started this blog, I came across the news of a due-process hearing in a small district in Michigan. What caught my attention was that the father of the student at the center of the case was also a school board member of the district he was suing. Also, the 150-student district, with just one K-12 school, had budgeted an eye-popping $250,000 for the hearing, which dragged on for months. (See here and here.) Earlier this month, the issue was finally resolved, in favor of the parents. The 142-page decision said that the Northport School ...


From the Seattle Times via Patricia E. Bauer's Disability News blog: University of Washington law professor Paul Steven Miller, who has expertise in both disability and employment discrimination law, has been appointed as a special adviser to President Obama. Miller ... will help the administration make certain political appointments, including those in the Department of Justice, the Department of Education and a host of regulatory agencies.(emphasis mine) Miller has achondroplasia, a genetic disorder that results in dwarfism. This article mentions how Miller was rejected from employment at 45 law firms, including one that said they would be accused of running ...


You may already know that President Obama's close adviser, David Axelrod, has a daughter with epilepsy. This weekend's Parade Magazine interviewed his wife Susan about their experiences with their now 27-year-old daughter, Lauren, and their work on behalf of epilepsy prevention and treatment. Susan began to meet other parents living through similar hells. They agreed that no federal agency or private foundation was acting with the sense of urgency they felt, leaving 3 million American families to suffer in near-silence. In 1998, Susan and a few other mothers founded a nonprofit organization to increase public awareness of the realities of ...


The House Committee On Rules has the full text of the stimulus package on its Web site, and the education spending is included in "Division A" (pdf) of the bill. Be warned: the previous link leads to a 496-page download. Of the $12.2 billion to be directed to special education over this fiscal year and the next, $11.3 billion will be for direct aid to states, $400 million will be for preschool programs (Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and $500 million will be for Part C of the IDEA, which covers early intervention programs ...


House education aides say that the $12.2 billion for special education funding in the stimulus package will follow existing funding provisions, as opposed to the broader waivers that were a part of the Senate's version of the stimulus bill. My earlier post on maintenance of effort and "supplement-not-supplant" issues explains why this is an important issue. The Senate version of the stimulus bill would have allowed states to apply for waivers that would let them temporarily use all of their stimulus money to replace state dollars for special education. Disability advocacy groups are likely to be happy about the ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments