Saturday, April 11, 2009

Poll Tied; Facebook; Twitter

The poll we are conducting is tied. The question is if you were on the U. S. Supreme Court how would you vote on the pending special education case. Right now it is dead even at 10 for the parents to 10 for the school district with two of our pretend justices recusing themselves like Justice Kennedy did in the last case with a similar issue. This is not a scientific poll; this is a fun exercise only. Nonetheless, we encourage you to make your voice heard.

Semi-Breaking News: The Obama Administration, through the Solicitor General, has filed a brief supporting the parents in the special ed case pending before the U S Supreme Court, Forrest Grove School District v. TA. You can view the federal government's brief
here. This is important for a number of reasons. first, it could persuade one or more justices. Also, it signals that Congress will likely seek to change the result through the reauthorization process if the high court rules for the district.

Our other blog-related activities continue to be successful. The Facebook special ed law group now has 252 members. You can join
here. There are some great resources there as well as here.

The Ning special ed law group now boasts a dozen members and some interesting discussion boards. Check it out

Our twitter posts are listed on the left hand side of the blog. I'm still working on reducing my "grand" thoughts to soundbite. Not quite there yet.
Many of you enjoyed listening to my voice on the recent voice recognition post. Again, I'm a work in progress.

I encourage you to take advantage of the free subscription on the left hand side of the blog. You can get the posts delivered directly to your email or by rss feed. Higher numbers of subscribers bring credibility in the blogosphere, so please subscribe. It's also good to bookmark the blog and look at the actual blog sometimes to take advantage of the polls, links, education news sources, and other bells and whistles. I appreciate your support.


  1. Regarding your poll, I think the organizations filing amicus briefs for each side in the T.A. case are quite revealing.

    For the school district, you have municipalities, organizations of school districts, and the NEA.
    For the student, you have organizations of people with disabilities, those who advocate for them, and the United States.

    Setting the legal issues aside, this suggests to me that T.A.'s position is in the best interest of special education students, while the district's would save schools and cities money. I consider the former consideration to be more important.

  2. My position would be on the side of the parents. It has been my experience that decisions are slow to come by and very often do not have the best interest of the children in mind. Just sit in a room full of pro-active parents of children with disabilities and you will feel the frustration and anger brimming over. The frustrations are the same. The children do not get the help and appropriate supports in a timely manner if at all. I set out to help a child who had fallen through the cracks. His story was similar. He was failing everything for years and no one noticed until it was to late and his behaviors were becoming more and more self destructive. Had he been assessed and given support services early on his chances for success would have greatly improved. I was able to get him a full assessment, an IEP, and an NPS. Unfortunately he had already gotten himself into enough trouble that he had been arrested. He was failing across the board, was diabetic ( not taking his meds.), has a very sick diabetic mother, a sister also diabetic, He was depressed and had been placed on a suicide watch. He turned to alcohol. He now remains on probation, He is in an NPS, and the judge has placed a condition of AA meetings on him. With any luck he will turn this around but had anyone payed attention they might have saved him before it got this far.

  3. Thank you Jonathan,

    I appreciate your thoughts.


  4. Thanks Anon,

    I appreciate you sharing your experience.


  5. Anonymous,
    I agree. In some of the briefs for the District and its amici in T.A., they argue that the ninth circuit's contention that the District's position would have the absurd result of allowing districts to avoid reimbursement by simply never classifying a student, is undermined by the availability of, and time limits placed on, due process proceedings. If a District really wants to fight the parent, though, they can appeal the decisions, and effectively drag out the resolution for years. It seems that a ruling for the District in this case would mean that if a parent put their child in private school during these proceedings, even if there was a favorable due process decision, they couldn't get reimbursement until the final appeal ended.