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Special Education/IEP For 4th Grader Who doesn't test well


My child was developmentally delayed and struggled with reading and thus homework.  We personally hired a wilson reading tutor who taught her to read at our home.  The school implemented program provided zero results.  We have found since her K-3 years in public school yielded little in her development to read.  All results were based off of her once a week one hour tutoring sessions with her wilson tutor.  Because our daughter struggled so much early on we fought to have her in a self contained class wehre she doubled up:  enetered self contained in 2nd grade and was taught k and 1st grade this year and then for 3rd grade doubled up on 2nd and 3rd.  This is proof of hos bright our child is.  Yet, when she tests she tests awful.  She has had a very extensive private evaluation where the results were screaming Speech and Language.  My district did nothing with this.  I fought for a LD classification as this is what the report labeled her as.  The district fought to classify her with multiple disabilities.  Both her wilson tutor and her once a week  math tutor (picked this up in mid second grade) are baffled.  Both have informed me that becuase her testing is so low that they feel my district is automatically giving up on her.  So sad since she truly can learn.  I have removed all services and have kept just speech ('tho useless and only 2xs a week with a group) and have requested she be mainstreamed thru their inclusion program.  We explained there isn't a concept she doesn't understand and that we need to make better testing accomodations.  In the end I am going to ask that she be removed from all of special ed.  She pushes into mainstream for math and science and both her test scores in mainstream and in self contained are exactly the same 50's mostly.  I belive exposure to the mainstream for more extensive curriculum and responsbility is so much better for our chld.  Plus she doesn't or rather has not had a big interst in learning as she is a "fun" child - loves life, people and just doesn't have a big interset.  Queestion:  may i just opt to pull her out of inclusion and instead a 504 to address her testing accomodations.  And ifso, what would you recommend in a 504 for testing accomiodations?

I am saddened by your description of what happened to your child.  Special Education shouldn't be like this description.

The short answer to your question is yes.  The Individuals with Disabilities Act had a provision added to it in 2008, titled Revocation of Special Education, which was the first change in the law that did not act because of legislative change.  It was done based upon notes attached to the 2004 changes, and, frankly it violates several court cases that state otherwise.  However, it is in the regulations and is current law.  A parent who is dissatisfied with their special education service can opt to withdraw their child from all special education services...the district must first meet with you and complete a Prior Written Notice that states what you have asked for and any objections they might have.  They will explain to you what they believe you are giving up, but in the end, you make the decision.  Under this provision you may not pick and choose, in other words, you can't keep SLP and refuse self contained, it is all or nothing.  

You simply write a letter to school officials informing them of your desire...use the term "revocation of service."  They should invite you to an IEP meeting and present the Prior Written Notice that will exit her from service.  Once she is exited, you still have the district's diagnosis of a disability and they have to provide accommodations through 504.  You didn't revoke 504, rather, Special Education as defined by IDEA.  The school must create a 504 plan with reasonable accommodations...of course, that does not include direct service or any specially designed instruction as special education is defined.  

I would recommend that you continue the outside tutoring, as it seems like it has been effective.  

In my career, I have encountered this sort of situation twice, when I was an outside evaluator and tutor.  I owned my own private learning center.  I had a 4th grader brought in to determine his overall abilities.  He had cerebral palsy and was placed in a self contained life skills class, teaching him no academics.  His mother suspected that he had more brainpower and was being underserved.  My evaluation, using accommodations for his palsied neck determined that he could read a grade level and compute math at grade level.  The result was a long road of catching up.  He was placed in a regular class and given resource room services, as well as my center's tutoring service, similar to what you have had.  He currently is in college, gradated from high school and has thrived.  Unfortunately his palsy has continued to be a challenge, but he is a very happy young man, doing what he can.  The other was a third grade girl who had severe dyslexia.  At the time I tested her, she could only read 12 words on the assessment.  I knew that my tutoring service wouldn't be enough, so her parents, a reading specialist, and I put together a plan of home schooling and tutoring and this child graduated high school with honors and is now a college graduate working in a field she loves.

I don't understand why this happens in our business, but in my nearly 40 years in the field I have seen this sort of thing happen too often.  Thank God for parents like you who recognize their child for what they are and fight for the child.

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Dr. Norm Bishop


I have spent nealy 40 years in the area of Special Education. I have had the pleasure of teaching pre-school, elementary, middle, high school and college levels, as well as, served in school district administration buildings in classroom/legal support positions. I have also spent some time working in a State Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Office and am now currently Division Head and Director of Institutional Research at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. I also teach special education classes on campus. I have also taught full time teacher preparation at Northern Arizona University on the Tucson Campus, Seattle Pacific University, and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. In addition to that I have taught adjunct at Seattle Pacific University, City University in Seattle, Ashford University, and Grand Canyon University.


I have experienced directly special education legal issues, process and procedure, and have taught at all levels in every special education category except gifted. My major expertise is diagnostic prescriptive teaching, literacy as it relates to disabilities, technology in special education, and Educational Leadership. My greatest passion in the field is building new programs, implementing and doing the research to see how they work. My Dissertation and principle research interest is in the area of inclusive education, primarily co-teaching of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.

Council for Exceptional Children, Association for the Supervision of Curriculum, National Reading Council.

Teaching Exceptional Children, Published computer assisted instruction, titled PAL, Special Education Basics, college Textbook, Teaching with Precision, college Textbook, Various devotionals at the website,

I have a B.A. in Secondary Education, a Masters in Special Education (cross categorical), administrative certification, and a second B.A. in Elementary Education. I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

Awards and Honors
Best Summer Program in the Nation (Honorable Mention, when I was Teaching) Multiple local awards

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