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Parent Choice in the Placement Continuum James E. Tucker, Superintendent Maryland School for the Deaf www.msd.edu State Leaders Summit on Collaborative.

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Presentation on theme: "Parent Choice in the Placement Continuum James E. Tucker, Superintendent Maryland School for the Deaf www.msd.edu State Leaders Summit on Collaborative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parent Choice in the Placement Continuum James E. Tucker, Superintendent Maryland School for the Deaf State Leaders Summit on Collaborative Service Delivery Models for Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing April 28, 2005

2 “Parent Choice” continues to be a widely misunderstood and elusive term in the United States today.

3 IDEA Promotes “Parent Choice" Sec. 601 (c) Findings Sec. 601 (c) Findings “(5) (B) strengthening the role and responsibility of parents and ensuring that families of such children have meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children at school and at home.” “(5) (B) strengthening the role and responsibility of parents and ensuring that families of such children have meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children at school and at home.”

4 Sec. 614 (d) (1) Sec. 614 (d) (1) “(B) Individualized Education Program Team…means a group of individuals composed of - (i) the parents of a child with a disability”

5 Sec. 614 (d) Sec. 614 (d) “(3) Development of IEP – In developing each child’s IEP, the IEP team shall consider- (ii) the concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child;”

6 Sec. 614 Sec. 614 “(e) Educational Placements – Each local educational agency or state educational agency shall ensure that the parents of each child with a disability are members of any group that makes decisions on the educational placement of their child.”

7 Parents’ Perspective: “We do not know what to do.” “We do not know what to do.” “We have to fight.” “We have to fight.” “We have to move to another school district.” “We have to move to another school district.” “We have to move to another state.” “We have to move to another state.” “We have to get a lawyer.” “We have to get a lawyer.” “We did not know our options.” “We did not know our options.”

8 Educational Administrators’ (of Schools/Programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students) Perspective: Educational placements are often determined by the local educational agency’s special education director’s ideology/philosophy. Educational placements are often determined by the local educational agency’s special education director’s ideology/philosophy. Economics often drive placement decisions. Economics often drive placement decisions. Information regarding Continuum of Placements often not shared with parents. Information regarding Continuum of Placements often not shared with parents. SEAs “Hands Off” Approach SEAs “Hands Off” Approach SEAs often do not have a student achievement database for all deaf and hard of hearing children. SEAs often do not have a student achievement database for all deaf and hard of hearing children. “Turfism” “Turfism”

9 A narrow interpretation of LRE is given consideration over the IDEA’s Sec. 614 (d)(3): “(B) Consideration of Special Factors – The IEP Team shall- (iv) consider the communication needs of the child, and in the case of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the child’s language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode.” A narrow interpretation of LRE is given consideration over the IDEA’s Sec. 614 (d)(3): “(B) Consideration of Special Factors – The IEP Team shall- (iv) consider the communication needs of the child, and in the case of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the child’s language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode.”

10 Recommendations: SEAs take charge! SEAs take charge! Use the upcoming revised NASDSE Guidelines and the National Agenda. Use the upcoming revised NASDSE Guidelines and the National Agenda. SEAs establish and announce “continuum of placements” for the state. SEAs establish and announce “continuum of placements” for the state. SEAs and LEAs, with assistance from the continuum of schools and programs, provide parent education and training. SEAs and LEAs, with assistance from the continuum of schools and programs, provide parent education and training.

11 Enact state legislation that ensures “parent choice” or “parent referral” rights. Currently, Florida, Illinois, and South Carolina, and Texas have legislation or state policies ensuring various forms of parent referral rights. Enact state legislation that ensures “parent choice” or “parent referral” rights. Currently, Florida, Illinois, and South Carolina, and Texas have legislation or state policies ensuring various forms of parent referral rights. SEAs and LEAs work closely with Parent Associations, the Deaf Education Community and the Deaf Community. SEAs and LEAs work closely with Parent Associations, the Deaf Education Community and the Deaf Community.

12 “Parents deserve the right to select their child's educational program without "permission" from anyone else. They are the child's most effective and knowledgeable advocates and it is time educators recognize that.” Joseph P. Finnegan, Jr., Executive Director of CEASD April 2005

13 "I have done nothing but in care of thee." William Shakespeare The Tempest Act I, Scene 2. (Prospero tells his daughter Miranda what every parent feels…)

14 Special Thanks to: Barbara Raimondo Barbara Raimondo …and Lou Abbate, John Balk, Michael J. Bello, Claire Bugen, Edward E. Corbett, Jr., Elmer Dillingham, Janet Gordon, Joseph P. Finnegan, Jr., Joseph E. Fischgrund, Joan Forney, Joseph J. Innes, Bob Kellogg, Lin Mackechnie, Linda Mitchell, Harold Mowl, Jane Mulholland, Raymond Olson, Marsha Opauski, Jeanne Prickett, Fern Reisinger, and Ron Stern …and Lou Abbate, John Balk, Michael J. Bello, Claire Bugen, Edward E. Corbett, Jr., Elmer Dillingham, Janet Gordon, Joseph P. Finnegan, Jr., Joseph E. Fischgrund, Joan Forney, Joseph J. Innes, Bob Kellogg, Lin Mackechnie, Linda Mitchell, Harold Mowl, Jane Mulholland, Raymond Olson, Marsha Opauski, Jeanne Prickett, Fern Reisinger, and Ron Stern


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