Common core (with special education) basics

by Marty Hobe – In 2009 the National Governors Association began drafting standards that would become known as the “Common Core.” All but six states have now become members of the initiative. The NGA along with the Chief State School Officers commissioned a group of experts to craft standards that “provide a consistent, clear understanding […]

Kids with learning disabilities do not struggle for lack of effort

by Rifka Schonfeld – She has trouble reading. He can’t write in a straight line. She doesn’t focus unless she can see the person speaking to her. He can’t remember something if it’s not written down. She can’t add. He can’t follow directions. All of the above describe symptoms of children who suffer from language-based […]

Understanding learning disability basics

by Nilooka Dissanayake – Today let’s talk about learning disabilities. The first person that comes to my mind when thinking of learning disabilities is Richard Branson of Virgin Group, with over 400 companies. “I left school when I was 16 years old,” says Branson, “Partly because of my dyslexia, I couldn’t always follow what was […]

Teachers express concern that inclusion model is not the least restrictive for special needs students

by Rafael Guerrero – Hundreds of special education students in Yakima schools are not receiving their share of specialized instruction because of the district’s decision to change its model for special education services, teachers argue in a formal complaint to the state. The Yakima Education Association (YEA) submitted the complaint last week to the Office of Superintendent of Public […]

Parents continue taking sides on Common Core adoption

by Jan Crawford – It’s that familiar time again: Back to school. But something unfamiliar is happening in this fifth grade Florida classroom. It’s a whole new approach to education. “Who is ready to stand up as a team and be a lawyer, and be a group of lawyers, and defend their case with this?” […]

Special needs job and life skills program impacted by the Healthy Kids Act

Federal regulations have upset the coffee cart at a Georgia high school. Government limits on the calories in food sold to public school students have stifled both special education and culinary programs at Marietta High School, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. Students at the school learned baking and business skills by manning a cart […]

Technology is not providing equal access to college students with disabilities

by Kyle Shachmut – It is well documented that students with disabilities are facing barriers in their pursuit of higher education, and institutions are having a difficult time fulfilling their legal obligation to ensure equal access. So it was surprising last month when the American Council on Education, in a letter to Sen. Tom Harkin […]

Is Common Core a new obstacle for students with disabilities?

New York State adopted Common Core in 2010 to the chagrin of many who protested the rollout of the tougher standards but what some people may not know is that those tougher standards apply to students with special needs too. A special education advisory on the New York State Education Department website attributed to James […]

Special education liaisons toil for the sake of compliance

JH 9_15

by Jeffrey M. Hartman –  Employment with the School District of Philadelphia can take dedicated teachers to the brink of resignation. This is true of many large urban school districts. As if teaching in Philadelphia wasn’t difficult enough, the District has crafted a position seemingly purposed to drive out select teachers. This curious position is […]

Proposed legislation may help parents with special ed due process costs

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa

by Michelle Diament – A federal lawmaker says he wants to level the playing field for parents involved in special education disputes with their child’s school district. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is proposing new legislation that would ensure parents who successfully challenge a school district under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act can recoup […]