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

Language of IEPs and 504s-All and Before

The Language of IEPs and 504s: The Importance of “All” and “Before”

Imagine your child has the following on his IEP:

“The IEP will share reading data with parents on a monthly basis.”

After six months of meetings, your internal parent alarm starts going off because the data provided by the school doesn’t match what you’re seeing at home.

You submit a FERPA request for all reading data related to your child.

The FERPA response provides you negative reading data that the school didn’t previous share with you.
You want to complain to the school and/or submit a complaint to the state, but . . . 

The school followed the IEP. It did share reading data on a monthly basis. There wasn’t anything in the IEP that stated all data had to be provided.

It's the Law

It’s the Law: Comprehensive Evaluations

Whether your child is receiving an initial evaluation for eligibility or being reevaluated at a later date, the evaluation must be a comprehensive evaluation.

In the case of initial evaluations, §300.301(a) of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is your go-to regulation:

Each public agency must conduct a full and individual initial evaluation, in accordance with §§300.304 through 300.306, before the initial provision of special education and related services to a child with a disability under this part.

Culture of Cover-Up Continues in FCPS; Superintendent Admits Systemic Problem, Staff Testify Otherwise to VDOE

The more things change, the more things stay the same in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

Within two hours of Superintendent Michelle Reid taking the extraordinary step of breaking with FCPS’ tradition of covering up noncompliance, her staff continued along the old, traditional path.

Breaking with FCPS Tradition, Superintendent Michelle Reid Chooses Systemic Change Instead of Staying the Course

Superintendent Michelle Reid just did what no FCPS superintendent or school board member has ever done (at least not to my knowledge).

1. Admitted FCPS is at fault for systemic FERPA noncompliance (maintenance of, access to, and security of student educational records) and is owning the systemic noncompliance;

2. Hired an independent law firm to do an investigation, committed to sharing the findings of the investigation, saw that the investigation was completed in what to my knowledge is record time for FCPS; and today shared a summary of the findings;

3. Committed to fully addressing the noncompliance and implementing the changes recommended as a part of the investigation findings;

The Problems with Quarterly IEP Measurements

Whether it is a functional or an academic goal, waiting a quarter is waiting too long, because the goal might need to be adjusted sooner. Why not assess whether the goal needs narrowing or expanding as soon as possible?

I’ve never understood why Individualized Education Programs (IEP) include goals for quarterly measurements. As a parent, if my kids failed to do their chores for a week, I wouldn’t wait until the end of the quarter to assess the situation. Why wait an entire quarter to address a problem that’s clearly getting worse? Why not assess sooner and narrow the goal until it can be expanded in full—or expand the goal if the student achieves the goal sooner than expected?

UPDATED 12.13.23—Pro Tip: Don’t Believe Everything Fairfax County Public Schools Tells You

This article was published 12.12.23. It was updated 12.13.23 to include the message from Superintendent Michelle Reid, which FCPS posted to its site on 12.12.23.

The one thing that can be said about Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is that it is consistent. When it engages in noncompliance, rather than engaging in immediate transparency and honesty, it crafts messages that lead the public to believe someone else is at fault.

Why am I mentioning this?

Turns out FCPS left out some key information, such as that I have never and will never publish private information about kids—but I will publish information showing FCPS retaliates, is in noncompliance, and intentionally pushes inappropriate programs onto kids.