Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Seattle Public Schools improves online access for people with disabilities

The Accessible Educational Resources Portal provides information, accessible technology and resources, and steps on how to request a review if someone is unable to access content on the site, the district announced last week. It also allows users to report issues with accessing any technology used by the district.

SPS Launches Accessible Educational Resources Portal

Seattle Public Schools is pleased to announce the launch of its Accessible Educational Resources Portal for technology, communication and educational resources.
The portal is now linked from every Seattle Public Schools website, including the district and school sites, on the bottom of every page with the link titled "Non-Discrimination Statement."

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Why Are Educators Learning How to Interrogate Their Students?

 By Douglas Starr

"One vice-principal told Nirider that the first thing he does when he interrogates students is take away their cell phones, “so they can’t call their mothers.” 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Global teacher unions say ‘no’ to Trans-Pacific Partnership

(02 February 2016)

"The TPP also places new restrictive rules on intellectual property, and includes the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism that gives foreign investors exclusive rights to challenge domestic laws and regulations, which they feel are unfavourable to their business, before private arbitration panels."

Australia: TPP impacts on education and education services

Posted 16 November 2015 by Jen T. Kwok (NTEU National Office)

"However, Chapter 9, the Investment Chapter has the effect of locking-in and intensifying pressures of commercialisation and privatisation. It establishes rules that bind nation-states not only on the basis of regulatory differences between domestic and non-domestic investors, but on the basis of an effect that results in ‘expropriation’ or ‘nationalisation’ of an investment for international providers, including in relation to changes to ‘licences, authorisations, permits and similar rights’ conferred pursuant to the law. This means, a for-profit VET provider owned from overseas could demand compensation from the Australian government if they changed laws which meant that they could not enroll domestic students or could not access public subsidies where those requirements would mean a loss of investment." 

Why the TPP seriously threatens education and public interest regulation

"If not about trade in the traditional sense, then the TPP and similar agreements are really about creating a new international framework that grants corporations powerful new rights, weakens regulatory oversight, and threatens to intensify the commercialization and privatization of public services like education and health care."

Changing Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Disability through Writing

Emily Brooks is a writer, public speaker and advocate who is passionate about changing perspectives on gender, sexuality, and disability through journalism and activism. Emily is currently writing from New York City, where she works with children, teens, and young adults with disabilities and pursues her MA in Disability Studies. Emily is involved in the autistic, LGBTQ, and alternative education communities. 

Focus on autism must broaden to include non-binary genders

"When people assume that I missed out because I was not diagnosed as a child, they are implicitly discounting the services my parents provided to me as well as the many positive experiences I had. Although many professionals consider it to be the best option for autism, ABA is not the only way to go. In fact, many autistic people consider ABA to be not therapy but rather training for acting like everyone else. The emphasis on early intervention for autism also allows us to skirt the fact that services for adults are sorely lacking."

Monday, March 21, 2016

New Article Refuting the Assertion There Are Too Many Due Process Cases


Despite this limited success, or perhaps because of it, organizations representing school boards have recently launched a new attack on special education. They are now attempting to convince Congress to dilute or eliminate the right of parents to bring a due process hearing before an impartial hearing officer to challenge the appropriateness of an education program offered to a child with disabilities. In April 2013, AASA, the School Superintendents Association, issued a paper entitled “Rethinking Special Education Due Process.”6

COPAA members Joe Tulman, Andy Feinstein, and incoming Chair of the Board Michele Kule Korgood recently published a law review, that grew out of the work of the COPAA Amicus Committee, establishing that contrary to assertions of some critics, the rate of due process complaints and hearings is relatively low. The already low national rate of about 2.6 complaints per 1,000 students lowers by half without the three outlier jurisdictions.

Tulman, Joseph, B., Feinstien, Andrew A., Kule-Korgood, Michele. Are There Too Many Due Process Cases? An Examination of Jurisdictions With Relatively High Rates of Special Education Hearings (Spring, 2015)  University of the District of Columbia Law Review David A. Clark School of Law, Volume 18, Number 2. 

Available here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Divide et Impera

“You are kept apart that you may be separately fleeced of your earnings. You are made to hate each other because upon that hatred is rested the keystone of the arch of financial despotism which enslaves you both. You are deceived and blinded that you may not see how this race antagonism perpetuates a monetary system which beggars both.” ― Thomas E. Watson, late 19th C