Happy New Year!
In 2011, every month, we’ll post a STEP on the way to FIX special education–one month at a time. There are 12 steps. By December, our transformation of the system should be well underway!
Please share your comments and let us know what steps you are taking to fix special education.
Happy new year! Happy transformation!
Step ONE: January 2011—Step one to bring about climate change in our schools
End litigation of a student’s special education services (FAPE). Although lawsuits may have been appropriate in an earlier era, they no longer are. The system has become dysfunctional. Lawyers, judges, and outside ‘experts’ should not be selecting reading programs or deciding how to teach a child with autism. We need to let educators do that!
To end this rampant litigation, we need to define a free appropriate public education (FAPE) once and for all. Just tell us what the law requires! After 35 years of arguing about a FAPE, it’s time for Congress to define terms so teachers can teach (and not worry constantly about paperwork and threats of litigation) and students can learn. Pedagogy (‘good teaching’ practices) should drive education—not legalism.
Getting practical, one approach is SpedEx–an innovative way for parents and schools to resolve a disputed IEP with the help of a mutually-chosen outside consultant–fully funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education! SpedEx is quick! It’s child-centered! It builds relationships and trust among school personnel and parents! It works!
SpedEx evolved from discussions at Special Education Day. http://www.specialeducationday.com SpedEx is now successfully launched! For more information, please visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/spedx
Creative open-minded problem solvers—we need you now!
These steps are taken from Fixing Special Education—12 Steps to Transform a Broken System. The book is available at School Law Pro: http://schoollawpro.com/fixing-order.doc and at
Park Place Publications at http://www.parkplacepubs.com/online-store/view/fixing-special-education-12-steps-to-transform-a-broken-system
Stay tuned for February’s STEP!
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