The Changes Seen in Special Education Advocate’s Career

Tom Phillipson

by Alan J. Borsuk – It is not easy to make Tom Phillipson happy when it comes to the way a child who needs special education is being served in Milwaukee. He’s a charming, warm guy in many ways. But get him involved in a child’s needs and he’s demanding and persistent. I doubt “puppy dog” […]

Outsourcing Special Ed Angers Parents


by Chris Harris – A change in how the school district manages and administers its home programs for special needs students — a cost-cutting measure — has several parents in the village outraged. Emotion was on display during an informational meeting Thursday night at the Education Center on Cottage Place, where parents chided the school […]

A Lab where Beginning Teachers Try Out Research-Based Teaching Methods

A class at Play-lab.

by Robyn Dow – Graduate students from the University of Mary Washington’s College of Education are gaining experience through Play-lab, an activity center for children with a diverse range of special needs, created by Nicole Myers, an associate professor in UMW’s education department. Myers received a Jepson Fellowship in 2010 and chose to use the […]

School District in Maine Adopts New Special Education Coordination Model

Building coordinators are special ed teachers with additional administrative duties.

by Eileen M. Adams – Providing support to the Pennacook Learning Center’s 30 students is tops on the goals of its director, Rick Greene, and the staff who work with the emotionally challenged youngsters. “We have some fairly significant disorders,” he told the RSU 10 board Monday night. His staff frequently works one-on-one with the […]

Another Special Needs Student Dies in Hillsborough Schools

Hillsborough School Superintendent MaryEllen Elia has asked for a work group's findings within 10 days.

by Marlene Sokol – Hillsborough County school bus drivers are free to decide whether to call 911 in case of an emergency, superintendent  MaryEllen Elia said Thursday. In addition, Elia said, a work group headed by deputy superintendent Ken Otero is exploring safety issues that affect exceptional-student education. These actions follow the deaths of two […]

California Over-Uses Modified Assessments for Special Education Students

California is among the three states that use the CMA at a rate that far exceeds 2 percent of students overall.

by Jill Tucker – California schools have lowered the academic expectations for tens of thousands of students in special education over the past few years, allowing them take a shorter and easier set of standardized tests at a participation rate that far exceeds federal guidelines. In the spring of 2012, more than half the state’s […]

South Carolina Permanently Penalized $36 Million Dollars a Year for Under-Funding Special Education

As state officials complain that special education encroachment is eating into the general ed portion of the funding pie, a murmur of worry about cutting special education funding has spread through the Blogosphere. Now the Department of Education has punished South Carolina for doing just that. by Nirvi Shah and Seanna Adcox – The U.S. Department […]

Child Find Requires Districts to Search for Students who Need Special Education Services

'Child find' provides special education services.

Though every special needs student is somebody’s special baby, the rate of special needs students per se can be predicted with some accuracy based on population. For example, Down syndrome exists worldwide at a rate of about 1 in 696 births. Therefore, if a school district found that only 1 in 1,400 of their students […]

How School Choice Reduces Rates of Special Education Integration

Overall, “schools of choice” are less likely than traditional schools to serve students with low-incidence disabilities and high levels of need

As school districts around the country experiment with charter schools, voucher systems and magnet schools, many school boards – like the one in Philadephia, PA – are failing to establish checks and balances that protect the rights of special education students to be included in that process. by Judith Gran Philadelphia’s current restructuring plan is […]

The Special Education Fix is Not For Everyone

Teachers can misjudge students solely based on performance.

by Kevin P. Chavous – By all accounts, Matthew was a special student. Every day he showed up to school eager to learn and full of questions. Never lacking in energy, Matthew would often get distracted by the littlest thing and sometimes found it difficult to focus. When his teacher began assigning students regular journal […]