My mission is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues.
I would like to visit and observe different types of schools that have proven records of success, wherever those schools may be. I would like to meet with school directors and administrators, government officials, leaders in the business world, and others who are responsible for implementing education systems or otherwise connected to education to learn more about how education is being addressed in their communities.
If you know of any remarkable schools in other parts of the world (especially special needs schools), please let me know about them. If you know of any education experts who are engaged in remarkable work in this field, please introduce me to them.
Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the above. Read more about my mission here.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
D.G. vs. Cooperstown Central School District
Unfortunately the parent's arguments were rejected. For the 2007-2008 year, the district court stated that there were baselines because the 2007-2008 IEP took into account the most recent testing that was available, the child's various teachers and evaluators participated in the meeting and identified present levels of performance which were included in the IEP, and there were clearly written goals which provided directions about the baselines to measure progress.
Regarding the parent's second point, the court didn't find it problematic that part of the resource room instruction was happening in the general education classroom. It believed that it was a legitimate goal to use the mainstream setting to help the student generalize his/her skills. The part that was confusing was the way the court reasoned through this while also quoting NY regulations saying that "specialized instruction can best be accomplished in a self-contained setting." There was also evidence to suggest that the resource room teacher was teaching another class (a reading class) at the same time, which would cause you to raise your eyebrows.
Finally, the court pointed out that other Orton-Gillingham based methods were available at the proposed school and the fact that the parent didn't get the specific one that she wanted -- the Wilson program -- is not enough to amount to a denial of FAPE.
These same points were basically reiterated with respect to the 2008-2009 school year and tuition reimbursement was denied for that year as well.
It is interesting that we don't know how the child actually would have done at this public school -- could be that it would have been horribly bad and not conducive to academic progress -- but since the parents never gave it a shot, the court went based on what the schools would have been able to offer, and concluded that the school would have met his special education needs. Pretty speculative but it is what it is. The court concluded with these oft-repeated words: "School districts are not required to furnish every special service necessary to maximize each child's potential or provide everything that might be thought desirable by loving parents." What a gem.