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June 16, 2006


Daunna Minnich

Getting the political ball rolling in 50 state legislatures might take 50 years!  What about existing federal anti-discrimination laws?  A complaint to OCR ended a similar practice in my school district about 20 years ago.

Susan Hodson

A similar complaint to the Chicago OCR office 3 years ago resulted in federally sanctioned discrimination (isn't it discrimination when treatment is based on ability/disability, and aren't sped kids shuffled around like chess pieces *because* they're sped kids??). OCR used the "it's the program not the physical placement" argument in spite of the fact that at the time the "placement" wasn't even in a school - it was in an administration bldg.

Times are a'changing though - this year the "placement" for the program that my soon to be 18 y/o son attends is in a junior high school 20 miles and an hour away. Let's hear it for education w/ nondisabled "peers".

If I thought anyone would give a darn, I'd request of our local school board that the incoming freshman class at our local HS be shipped off to aforementioned junior high so that my son might perhaps actually get to catch glimpses of his peers during lunch, because of course actually *educating* him w/ his peers is out of the question.

Can only hope that someday some parent w/ better a better tolerance for the ridiculousness that is IL sped (and a big bank account to hire a firm or ten of attys to offset SD's impressive collection of attys who appear to think IDEA is a suggestion, not law) will come in and force FAPE in LRE in IL.


Thank you! Regarding GATE, I agree with you there is really not much going on at the enraeltmey school level. There are a couple of really dynamic PPS members who are engaging with the SFUSD GATE coordinator on these issues and if you email me privately I can put you in touch with them. What I would love to see is a plan put together for how we could improve our ES offerings for high-potential students, and then perhaps go to the Prop H money next year to fund a pilot or modest district-wide project. Of course money is part of the problem but another piece is that there hasn't (to my knowledge) been a lot of thinking done about what an enraeltmey-level program for gifted students should look like. That planning has to come first before we look at more funding. On the science question, I have been very impressed with the new K-5 FOSS curriculum the district has implemented this year. It is very hands-on and very comprehensive. Every enraeltmey school should have implemented this curriculum this year, so if you are not seeing it at your school yet, talk to your principal. I think it has been fairly intense for the teachers to absorb and fully digest, so we may not see the full benefits of the new curriculum until next year.

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