Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Landmark Lawsuit Aimed to Fix Special Ed for California's Black Students. It Didn’t.

"My dream is to be able to pick up a book and read it by myself."Darryl Lester, lead plaintiff in landmark special education lawsuit in California

"The letter delivered good news: Lester would be getting disability benefits after blowing out his back in a sheet metal accident. But he crumpled it up and threw it in the trash.
Why? Because he couldn’t read it. From first through seventh grades, Lester had attended three public schools in San Francisco. At each, he struggled with reading and didn’t get the help he needed for it."

"Whether Lester has dyslexia is unclear. What is clear is that instead of getting help with his reading, he got teased, into fights and suspended.
“I would get frustrated, agitated, upset, and then I’d get sent to the principal's office,” he said.

"Lester’s mom, Lucille Lester, didn’t learn that the school district had labeled her son “mentally retarded” until one of the black psychologists visited their home to evaluate Darryl and go through some tests.
“After he talked to Darryl, he turns to me and says, ‘Well, there is nothing wrong with this child,” she testified in court in 1977."

Read complete story here.

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