Special Education Action is a 501(c)3 nonprofit publisher covering special education.

Its mission is to ensure parents, educators, and students have the information and tools necessary to fully understand, address, and safeguard the unique needs of all students who require special education.

Recent Articles

2008 IEE Noncompliance Finding

Updated 11.1.23—16 Years of Independent Educational Evaluation Noncompliance: Virginia Department of Education Fails Students and to Perform Its General Supervisory Duties

11.1.23: Article updated to include FCPS staff’s internal emails about how they made a decision to deny payment of an IEE in full at public expense. (See Lowballing Rates section below.) For at least sixteen years, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) failed to ensure compliance with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and implementing Virginia regulations.

In 2007, FCPS refused to fund Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE) at public expense and refused to file due process to defend its refusals to fully fund IEEs at public expense. An FCPS parent filed a state complaint and, in 2008, VDOE found FCPS at fault for failure to comply with IDEA and implementing Virginia regulations regarding IEEs.

During the 16 years that followed the 2007 complaint filing, the same noncompliance continued in FCPS and other Virginia local education agencies (LEAs).

What’s New in Fairfax County Public Schools? Legal Invoices, Court Cases, Noncompliance, Closed Meeting Minutes, Toxic Emails, and the Failure to Secure the Privacy of 35,000+ Students

What’s New in Fairfax County Public Schools? Legal Invoices, Court Cases, Noncompliance, Closed Meeting Minutes, Toxic Emails, and the Failure to Secure the Privacy of 35,000+ Students Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) included unredacted records for over 35,000 students within…
Writing Goals: "The Problem with Measured Quarterly"

Writing Goals: The Problem with “Measured Quarterly”

Quarterly measurements invite skewed and misleading data. Imagine the following goal is being proposed for your student: “Given content-area vocabulary (English, History, Science, Math), STUDENT will earn 85% accuracy on 3 out of 4 vocabulary assessments per quarter.” In the case of vocabulary, students are provided content-area vocabulary on a daily basis. Depending on the type of assessment (more on this below), the student could be assessed on vocabulary once-to-a-few times a week during each grading quarter. Which assessments count toward the goal? The first four consecutively administered assessments? The last four consecutively administered assessments? Four randomly chosen assessments administered throughout the grading quarter? Four cherry-picked assessments administered throughout the grading quarter?
VDOE CSEA Fairfax County Public Schools Review Summary Report

VDOE FOIA Response: VDOE 2022 Monitoring of FCPS

June 22, 2023, the following FOIA request was submitted to Virginia Department of Education: “Please provide me VDOE’s Summary Report of the Review of the Provision of Special Education in FCPS.” June 30, 2023, VDOE responded by providing the report below. In a separate FOIA response, VDOE provided the data collection spreadsheets associated with the report.

FCPS FOIA Response: How FCPS Ascertains the Prevailing rate for IEE Assessments and Written Guidelines for Independent Education Evaluations

In 2019, a Fairfax County Public Schools parent submitted a FOIA request for “Information on how FCPS ascertained the prevailing rate for IEE assessments within the Washington DC metro area as written on your Guidelines for Independent Education Evaluations.”

U.S. Department of Education Emergency Guidance, Plans, and Training

Documents, videos, and other assets created by the U.S. Department of Education’s various agencies, collected in an effort to ensure they’re available for future learning—and to ensure we don’t forget best practices created and mistakes already made.