DOE & Arne Duncan Accused of Breaking The Law With IDEA & Special Education by GOP Senate

In a letter addressed to United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, GOP Senators from the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Lamar Alexander, Mike Enzi, Richard Burr, Johnny Isakson, Orrin Hatch, Pat Roberts, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Kirk have accused the US DOE of breaking the law when it comes to special education determinations being based on NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) testing and making changes to IDEA without legislative approval.  The letter was dated August 4th, 2014.

“The changes spelled out in your “Results-Driven Accountability” framework clearly amount to Federal influence on the standards and assessments states and school districts use to direct the educational program of students with disabilities and would give the Federal Government authority to use student proficiency as measured by the NAEP to evaluate and either reward or sanction school districts.  This is clear influence and coercion, if not direct control.  It is troubling that the Department made unilateral changes to the IDEA compliance framework without seeking legislative approval, disregarded Congressional intent, and appears to have violated the clear letter of the law.”

The Senators also said the authorizing statute for NAEP states “Any assessment authorized under this section shall not be used by an agent or agents of the Federal Government to establish, require or influence the standards, assessments, curriculum, including lesson plans, textbooks, or classroom materials, or instructional practices of States or local education agencies.”

Does this invalidate OSEP’s ruling against Delaware, Texas, California and Washington D.C.?  Special Education has now become a Federal intrusion into public school districts.  I hope this issue becomes much bigger, and can also be used as another reason why standardized testing and common core just don’t work for students with special needs.  Someone needs to hold Arne Duncan and his wild bunch over at the US DOE accountable.

Thanks to Education Week for supplying the link to the letter: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/Secretary%20Duncan%20Letter%208.4.14.pdf

Top 25 Countries Reading Exceptional Delaware #netde #edchat

I find it fascinating that other countries would read such an America-specific blog.  But special education is not something that is just in America.  And there are special needs children all over the world.  I have found great advice in doing research on Jacob’s disabilities from other countries.

Top 25 Countries Reading Exceptional Delaware

1) USA
2) Canada
3) United Kingdom
4) Sweden
5) Thailand
6) Romania
7) Paraguay
8) Germany
9) Russia
10) Puerto Rico
11) New Zealand
12) Ireland
13) India
14) Malta
15) Denmark
16) Turkey
17) France
18) Mexico
19) Phillippines
20) Italy
21) Norway
22) Czech Republic
23) Australia
24) United Arab Emirates
25) Hungary

I expect Finland to be high on this list very soon!  What upset me was in my statistics, it colors in the countries that have read this blog and it didn’t color in Greenland.  Isn’t that part of Denmark?

Questions, Questions, Questions: The WordPress Community Experiment Thanks to Suzie81 Speaks

Suzie81 Speaks wrote a blog about this last December and received a huge response.  She wants everyone to do this.  She has an awesome blog, and you should check it out.

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

Special Needs children are referred to as Exceptional, and I live in Delaware, so my blog is for all the Exceptional people in Delaware, children, teens and adults!

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

Social Media is key to increasing your audience.  Utilize Facebook and Twitter whenever you get the chance.

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

There have been so many!  Probably the time I slept with a Nicoderm patch on and had a dream about a mountain where survivors of the end of the world were staying.  A couple weeks later I read about a mountain in France called Bugarach that people were going to visit on 12/12/12, which was supposed to be the end of the world.  The mountain in my dream looked exactly like Bugarach.

4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

Any time my son says “I love you Daddy”

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

The weeks before 9/11 so I could stop the terrorists who flew the planes.

6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

Hmm, how about Tyrion?

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?

The Exceptional Blogger!

To see other responses and to view Suzie’s great blog, check it out here: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/08/13/questions-questions-questions-the-wordpress-community-experiment/