Exciting News About The IEP Task Force in Delaware!

Delaware Special Education, IEP Task Force

In my conversation with Attorney General Matt Denn the other night, we also talked about the possibility of the IEP Task Force in Delaware reconvening.  This group dealt with issues surrounding Individualized Education Programs and special education in Delaware.  This culminated with Senate Bill 33, signed into law by Delaware Governor Jack Markell a couple weeks ago, which will launch a multitude of new laws concerning special education in Delaware.

Denn said Senator Nicole Poore was planning on introducing legislation that evening/morning to get the IEP Task Force going again, but with the very hectic schedule due to the budget issues, he wasn’t sure if it was going to happen.  I looked on the Delaware General Assembly website yesterday to see if anything did happen, and I didn’t find anything.

I contacted Senator Poore, and she did confirm what Denn told me, but she said it was absolutely crazy that last day and was not able to get it in for a vote.  However, she did state that herself and State Rep. Deb Heffernan have discussed this at length about getting the IEP Task Force going again, and they will be working during the next 6 months to examine ideas and issues to tackle when they introduce legislation in January 2016 to get the IEP Task Force reconvened.  Attorney General Denn will not be the Chair, but Poore and Heffernan would be co-running the task force.

Poore recognized that while the original IEP Task Force tackled a lot of issues, there are certainly many more matters to tackle.  While the make-up of the group may be a bit different, I look forward to this group getting together again and discussing these issues!  Recently, Delaware was rated as “needs assistance” by the Office of Special Education Programs based on their 17 part indicators for compliance and results, but this blogger does not believe this paints a full picture of the issues facing special education in Delaware.

One thought on “Exciting News About The IEP Task Force in Delaware!

  1. Sara

    I had the opportunity to work directly on more than one occasion with three-four separate monitoring teams. Each team had a slightly different configuration- some contained the Director “Mitch” and others contained a newly hired psychologist. Some days were full 2014-2015 monitoring visits. Never once did anything that is mentioned as an improvement mentioned in this article or by Watson come up. There is no connection between what they are talking about in the article and my experiences with this team. They only understand compliance- they do not measure outcomes- they do not have a SOP so they can change the rules and hold you out of compliance- with no recourse. Their is no one on any monitoring team that appears to have read or attended any of the Task force meetings. Our scores would improve if monitoring was suspended. Some of the bloggers that follow this- can you try to get more ED’s to agree with this in writing while protecting privacy. Most people that can’t retire are afraid to speak out. Please consider suspending monitoring for a year or so and let all of us that know what to do – do what we do best with raising achievement without the damaging impact from the DOE monitoring teams. I promise the gap will close if they all leave us alone with the damaging technical assistance.
    Not only does the monitoring teams ignore the issues tackled but the Task force- they have an arrogance that is often frightening. They do not provide any real assistance- but nit pick the most trivial issues as if they are paid to put checks on boxes. They know they have the power and they behave like you would assume tax auditors act. They never once asked how a student was achieving on the non subjective adaptive assessments like Map/Smarter Balanced formative- but narrowed down to ridiculous goal statements- they did not ever ask if there was evidence that a student was improving on the measures we are held accountable for- but whether a narrow goal was writing to their standards. They create fear, intimidation and are counterproductive.
    Please encourage other ED’s to post without revealing their identity. I am retiring so I can say what I want. Others agree that they just write the goals so narrow that the committee will not get mad- and run around getting teachers to sign because the meetings are so out of control. A student and his parent are scared to death to sit in a room while five people talk and gang up on them talking about their deficits- there is no sense in how we handle achievement discussions- but if we break one rule- the committee including “Mitch” is insulting and dismissive. There is no real theory about how anyone learns- including the adults in the process- that indicates we will learn when we are intimidated. Everyone needs to go and they need to start over. The IRS would love the women on the committee.


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