Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Breaking: U S Department of Education Releases Guidance On English Language Learners #ELL #USDOE

The U S Department of Education last week issued guidance concerning English Language Learners. The press release notes that ...

In the 2014-15 school year, more than 4.8 million English learners were enrolled in U.S. schools in grades K-12. English learners comprise nearly 10 percent of the student population nationwide, a figure that has more than doubled in the past few decades, and in many schools, districts and states, English learners are an even higher percentage of the student population. Estimates suggest that this number may be even higher for learners under the age of six... 

This guidance includes information and resources for state, district, and school personnel, including:
  • Use of Title III funds to serve ELs;
  • Design and delivery of language instruction educational programs, which include educators of ELs;
  • Key information on family, parent and community engagement;
  • Key information on distinct populations of ELs, including early learners, former ELs, immigrant students, and ELs who are also students with disabilities;
  • Clarifications of the rights ELs have under federal civil rights law related to supports and services;
  • A list of publications and resources for administrators and educators who work with ELs

You can read the press release here. The entire 48 page guidance document here.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekly Question!

We are running a Series on Procedural Safeguards. Which of the procedural safeguards under IDEA are most effective in protecting the educational rights of children with disabilities? #SpEdProcedures

Friday, September 23, 2016

Where Do The Presidential Candidates Stand on Special Education? #election2016

We have sent a questionnaire to the Republican and Democratic candidates for President of the United States. The questionnaire seeks their opinions on special education issues, some of which were suggested by our readers in  response to one of our weekly questions. So far neither has responded. We will update with any responses we do receive.

In the meantime, here are some other indications of education positions: BallotPedia has set forth the 2016 presidential candidates' positions on education as they have described them themselves here. Here is a summary of key education positions of the candidates by Education Week.  This article in The Atlantic concerns education policies of the two major party candidates. Please let us know your reactions. You may also find some information on the candidates' positions on their own campaign websites. How important is the position of the presidential candidates on education to you?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekly Question!

We are running a Series on Procedural Safeguards. Which of the procedural safeguards under IDEA are most effective in protecting the educational rights of children with disabilities? #SpEdProcedures

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Breaking:GAO Study Finds School Chioce Programs Are Growing and May Violate IDEA #school choice #GAO

A recent study by the General Accountability Office finds that school choice programs are growing. The study casts some doubt upon whether the school choice programs are in compliance with the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requiring private schools to conduct child find and provide equitable services to students with disabilities.

The report finds that  "officials in all four states GAO visited—comprising half of all private choice programs and two-thirds of participating students—said that vouchers and ESAs complicate their efforts to implement these requirements. Further, although Education officials said that a student’s participation in private school choice programs does not affect the federal equitable services requirements, officials GAO spoke to in two states expressed confusion about whether a student’s participation in these programs changed their eligibility for these services."

You can read the 55 page report here. A one page summary is available here.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Weekly Question!

We are running a Series on Procedural Safeguards. Which of the procedural safeguards under IDEA are most effective in protecting the educational rights of children with disabilities? #SpEdProcedures