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.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
"Child Find" Requirement
In one particular case, Compton Unified School District v. Addison (9th Cir.), the facts are shocking. The student performed very poorly in the 9th grade and demonstrated abilities of a fourth-grade academic level. The school chalked this up to "transitional year" difficulties common to all students and promoted her to the 10th grade. In the 10th grade she failed every academic subject and demonstrated signs of serious school distress such as refusing to enter the classroom and urinating on herself while in school. A mental health expert recommended to the school that the child be evaluated for learning disabilities but the school did not initiate that process and instead promoted her to the 11th grade. Finally, halfway through the 11th grade, the girl was evaluated and found eligible for special education services. A lawsuit was commenced for compensatory education to make up for all those years. The school district attempted several arguments that the law should not apply to them here but the court summarily struck them down as absurd (and rightfully so - the district's logic was ridiculous). The court agreed with the lower courts' decisions and concluded that the district violated its child find obligations by failing to take action in light of clear signs that the child might have a disability.
P.S. The school district has refused to quit. Uunsatisfied with the ruling from the 9th Circuit, it has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for the case to be heard yet again. It is unclear whether the Supreme Court will be accepting the case.