New Mission

New Mission

My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Misrepresentation by Schools Regarding Child Progress

What is with schools misrepresenting that a child is making progress when all indicators suggest that child clearly is not?  This issue came up recently in a NYC case handled by this office where the school told the parents of a child with autism that the boy was making progress, not knowing that the boy's parents had spoken to the classroom teacher who said that the child was lost in the classroom and, actually, not doing well at all.  The progress reports (when the school bothered to fill them out) did not reflect progress nor was the school able to offer anything in support of their position, yet they maintained that the student was receiving the full level of support that he required.

In Pennsylvania, parents of a 12-year old child with autism recently filed a class action lawsuit against the Gateway School District, accusing the district of "pervasive misrepresentation of students' educational progress."  This type of problem comes up all the time where there's an issue of systemic wrongful conduct.  The parents in this case have requested that the Court order the district to retrain its personnel on progress monitoring, re-evaluate the IEP's, and provide independent evaluations of all the district's autistic students.  That's certainly a good start and seems to be a reasonable remedy but, unfortunately, courts have shown a reluctance to order this type of across-the-board action where there are allegations of systemic problems.