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Are the California special ed task force reforms achievable?

In our last post, we began a discussion about the recommendations which were recently released by a special California state task force focused on reforming special education. We noted that the task force’s recommendations report urges reform that would affect virtually every aspect of special education in California. From teacher training to increased integration into mainstream classrooms, the task force’s recommendations are comprehensive.

Task force may impact Southern California special education

Recently, the California Statewide Task Force on Special Education released a report entitled “One System: Reforming Education to Serve all Students.” This report insists that numerous significant reforms should be embraced with regards to special education programs in the Golden State. Among these reforms are more substantial efforts aimed at integrating special education students into general education classrooms and an overhaul of teacher training processes.

Could pre-K attendance reduce the need for special education?

Experts have argued for many years about the importance of early childhood education. Some insist that solid early education can impact children for years to come, while others insist that early education efforts only impact children for a short period of time. Regardless of whether this broad issue will be disputed well into the future, a new study indicates that early education may have one specific and significant benefit that has been relatively unknown until now.

Are charter schools a good fit for special needs students?

California boasts a rich diversity of students, educators and educational approaches within its public school systems. Increasingly, charter schools are adding to this diversity. Charter schools often allow students opportunities that they would not otherwise be granted access to. However, not every public charter school’s mission is a good fit for every student. For example, a charter school with a focus on more technical aspects of education may not be the right space for a student passionate about the arts.

State explores special education vouchers

Education is meant to evolve. Certainly, many lessons that children and teens are exposed to are ultimately taught in much the same way they have been for centuries. For example, when children are taught to write, they are given writing utensils and they mimic images of letters until they perfect them. However, other forms of education evolve as the times evolve. Nowadays, many children are taught on desktop computers, laptops and even tablets. None of these devices were in classrooms when their grandparents were in school.

Positive strides are being made in special education

We frequently write about many of the challenges that students with special needs and parents of those children face in the pursuit of a proper education. Thankfully, not all news regarding the state of special education in America is challenging. Several positive strides have been made recently towards the goal of ensuring a proper education for children with special educational needs.

Children with disabilities denied speech services at school

There may be fewer issues more pressing than the education of young people in California. In particular, children with disabilities usually require specialized education and therapies that will help them function to the best of their ability once school is over. For many of these students, speech therapy is critical to making sure that they are able to adequately communicate.

Seeking 'free and appropriate' public special education

Perhaps you live in a large school district. Your child attends a school in your district that is adequate, but you suspect that a different school within the district would better serve your child’s special educational needs. What do you do? Some districts offer open enrollment and other programs that allow parents freedom of choice to enroll their children in whatever school best fits their needs. However, many school districts have strict policies that do not allow for movement between schools within district lines.

The benefits of technology in special education classrooms

We frequently write about the importance of allowing students with special needs to learn in the least restrictive environment possible. And yet, it is not difficult to acknowledge that integrating special needs kids into mainstream classrooms can pose unique challenges for teachers. For better and for worse, we live in an age that is increasingly defined by use of individual electronic devices. When it comes to special education, use of these devices can significantly benefit students.

When special education is a breeding ground for discrimination

Federal law protects students with special needs from being discriminated against in an educational context. Specifically, federal law mandates that students with learning disabilities are given access to a proper education in the least restrictive setting possible. However, federal law does not protect students from all forms of discrimination. Just as many mainstream students do, special needs students can become targets for bullying and other forms of unfair treatment that do not necessarily rise to the level of illegal negative treatment.

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