NCSECS' Monthly Newsletter: July 2018
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Looking Back on NCSECS' July
August 2, 2018
The ADA's 28th Anniversary
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, with a purpose of "providing a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities; providing clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities; ensuring that the Federal Government plays a central role in enforcing the standards established in this Act on behalf of individuals with disabilities; and invoking the sweep of congressional authority, including the power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment and to regulate commerce, in order to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-to-day by people with disabilities." (The Americans with Disabilities Act)
NCSECS on the Road
NCSECS hosted a week long "Special Education Boot Camp" with over 35 participants from Nevada charter schools bringing great energy and enthusiasm. This event concluded a year-long professional development series in partnership with SpedCo and the Nevada Department of Education, funded through the Charter School Program grant. Sessions offered differentiation for the various positions within the schools and levels of experience with topics centering on issues such as creating a great IEP, addressing challenging behaviors, and maximizing staff allocation - all with the goal of improving access and services for students with disabilities.
Co-Founder and Senior Fellow Paul O'Neill took part in a panel discussion on the "Charter School Landscape and the Implications for Start-up" hosted by the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition. Speaking to a room full of emerging charter school founders, he emphasized key considerations for serving students with disabilities. Chief among these is the need for charter schools to serve students with a truly diverse range of disabilities including those with more severe challenges.
NCSECS Resources and Publications
Checkout our recently-released resource, “Building Capacity to Provide Executive Director and Co-Founder Lauren Morando Rhim asserted that transparency can protect students, schools, and taxpayers from potential fraud on numerous levels, urging the Mississippi Ethics Commission to rule in support of the Clarion Ledger’s records request.
Paul reflected on the opportunities presented when people in the charter sector sit down together and brainstorm about how best to serve kids with disabilities; how to innovate; how to work collaboratively to support teachers and educators and families. Read the full post here.
“No matter who you are, or where you come from, our kids can all feel like they belong.” A blog post from Safal Partners dives into the intentional community outreach of DSST Public Schools. DSST's Cole High School was named one of NCSECS' Centers of Excellence with a recently published case study diving into the practices credited with enabling its students with disabilities to thrive.
Special Education News
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia need assistance from the federal government in meeting the requirements of the IDEA, falling into the "needs intervention" category according to assessments of state performance by the U.S. Department of Education.
The U.S. Department of Education is delaying implementation of the Significant Disproportionality Regulations by two years, as students of color continue to be identified as having a disability at higher rates, placed in more separate settings, and disciplined more frequently and harshly when compared to their peers.
A new report from the Center for Reinventing Public Education found that 8 in 10 charter schools in Washington enroll a higher share of students with disabilities than the state average and their neighboring, traditional school districts. In a Seattle Times article, Lauren commended the work of the Washington State Charter Schools Association and the state for being intentional about special education. If she could "wave a magic wand, all states would [direct school founders to plan for delivering special education services well before they start enrolling students]."