Oct 13, 2008

How To Report Special Education Violations

DC parents, teachers /related service providers and concerned citizens- I just received this post on my blog from a special education advocate on 'how to' report suspected special education violations in DC Schools. This deserves front page billing and may be the answer to our DC special education teacher and related service provider shortage amongst a host of other ills that DC students continue to face in our special education programs in DCPS. Posted by The Washington Teacher.

October 13, 2008

Dear Washington Teacher:

Please inform DCPS parents, teachers and school staff how they can anonymously report certain categories of apparent violations of special education policies and procedures. The Blackman/Jones consent decree establishes certain requirements and procedures to which DCPS has consented. Its primary focus is on:

1. Obstacles to proper implementation of hearing officer decisions, settlement agreements and/or resolution of complaints; and

2. The proper deployment of special education and related service staff and resources (including funds) to meet the IEP services and timely assessment needs of students.

If anyone thinks he/she has evidence of recurring practices or issues that they consider relevant and requiring to the attention of those charged with oversight over the decree's implementation, they can report the matter, including any supporting evidence, to the court appointed monitor:

Ms. Amy Totenberg, Esq. (Blackman/Jones Monitor, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia). They can be sent anonymously with no return address to: Amy Totenberg- 757 Flat Shoals Ave. SE Atlanta, GA. 30316404-622-6970 email: atotenberg@aol.com and/or to the plaintiffs' counsel, Ira Burnim, at the Bazelon clinic: Ira Burnim, Esq. c/o Judge David Bazelon Center- 1101 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20005- Phone: 202-467-5730, Fax: 202-223-0409, email: irab@bazelon.org

Thank you,
DC SPED-advocate


Gen X Teacher said...

I'm for SPED advocacy. I believe that the students who need the highest level of reform in this system are the students with special needs.

HOWEVER, I believe that reporting any irregularities to "FOR-PROFIT organizations" that claim to represent students with special needs is DISSERVICE to our students.

I have sat in numerous occasions when students were represented by advocates and there were 90-100% probablity that (continue reading at http://generationxteacher.blogspot.com/)

Anonymous said...

Dear Generation X Teacher: I must correct your comment as it is inaccurate. Amy Totenberg is the federal court monitor (attorney) for the Blackman Jones consent decree in DC. She does not represent a for-profit organization and is appointed by the federal courts here to investigate DC Special education students whose educational needs are not being met as required by their IEP's. This is a long standing class action lawsuit. The other federal court monitor is Mr. Clarence Sundram and both report to Judge Paul Friedman here in DC. The information that has been supplied is accurate and I encourage parents and teachers and others to follow through on reporting their concerns as all information will ultimately be reviewed by Judge Friedman who is concerned about the continued mismanagement of special education and the negative impact it continues to have on our special education students in DC.

Gen X Teacher said...

Thanks for the additional information, Ms. Candi.

Please note that the entry is not about Atty. Amy Totenberg but the 'for'profit' advocacy groups plaguing our system. I'll add a note on top of my entry so that readers may not get the impression that the blog is about Atty. Amy Totenberg or her office.

I admire Atty. Totenberg's herculean task but I still stick to what I said: as claaroom-based educators, we should FOLLOW the command of communication when it comes to SPED issues/concerns.

Again, Thank you.