Monday, June 23, 2008

Need to Read: Legal Aspects in Special Education by Kurt Hulett

After reading the article Special Ed at TAC faulted it still amazes me how some professionals still fail to comply with the law concerning special education students. Some of the things mentioned were suspension without due process, nonexistent IEPs, and failure to meet time requirements. Many requirements were either modified or ignored and this comes from the top down, so why expect teachers to follow the rules? I wrote a previous post called Following Special Education Regulations – it’s not an option; it’s the law! and I stressed that complying with the law is just that, a law and we can’t ignore it or make it fit how we want it to fit. I have worked with too many people who call themselves “professionals” that think they can do what they want to just because they disagree with the law or they don’t understand it.

Recently I was fortunate to meet Kurt Hulett, the author of Legal Aspects in Special Education. He was the keynote speaker at a reception that I attended and he spoke about his interview with Joe Ballard, a pioneer in the IDEA movement. As I flipped through the book I knew that this was a book that I had to read. It seemed an easy to read book but chock full of wonderful information, not just for special education professionals but also for general education teachers and administrators. When I see articles that tell how special education laws are ignored, I want to tell them that they need to read this book! In fact, after reading this article, I don’t think these people can afford not to read this book.

Here is some information from the back cover of the book:
“Legal Aspects of Special Education was written by a practitioner to help teachers, administrators, and advocates understand special education law in everyday language– without excessive legalese or extraneous case law. …all of the elements of this text are intended to help its students obtain the most critical information about special education law and how it is applied in the real world. …Additionally, the book provides case studies and application questions, critical thinking questions, the most current information on the laws including No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, a discussion of Response-to-Intervention (RTI) and the implication of IDEA 2004 for school districts, and the major trends changing the laws including that of autism.”

Will someone please wake up those people and give them this book to read?!


M-Dawg said...

I will definitely check out this book for one of my many summer reads.

I'm always stressed about my SPED students and whether or not I'm truly following the IEP. I do my best but every school I've ever worked in DOES NOT provide enough support for me let alone the student.

My current school was audited (SPED dept) this past year and the DOE found NUMEROUS violations so supposedly next school year, my school will be changing some of the policies. I've been saying for the past two years we've been violating the law.

Thank you for the post - :-)

Anonymous said...

I've had similar experiences working with professionals who think they can do what they want to do regarding complying with the IEP. It's a shame because once an IEP is written many parents trust that it will be followed but sometimes that's just not the case.

I enjoyed reading this and will look for the book. Thanks for suggesting it.

loonyhiker said...

m-dawg: I get very nervous when districts have violations because I always believe that it will all come back to me as the case manager. Since I signed my name to the IEP I feel that says I am complying with the law and the district will say they are not at fault. That is why I am so particular about following the law.

loonyhiker said...

gina: I work hard to establish a relationship with my students' parents and want to make sure I follow the law so that they can trust me. I think that goes a long way in case you ever do make an unconscious mistake. Parents tend to more forgiving if they know you try really hard to comply with the law.