Special Ed Update

The district has sent out a letter to "principals, teachers and staff."  It does not include parents but I'm supposing that is not an omission but rather, a separate letter to be sent.

I think there will be a few readers here who will say, "I told you so."  I myself have told various Board members, through the years, that in Seattle Schools, if there is smoke, there IS a fire somewhere.

Evidence that your voice(s) can make a difference.  I believe in this case, that it has.  (Bold mine)

Dear Seattle Public Schools principals, teachers and staff,

Making sure each and every student has access to a high quality education is our goal at Seattle Public Schools. As part of this work, we have spent the last several years working to improve our Special Education services.

More than 7,000 students receive Special Education services and we know we need to do a better job to meet their needs. Last year, the state Office of Public Instruction (OSPI) directed the District to develop and implement a Comprehensive Corrective Action Plan (C-CAP) to help improve results for our students in special education. We have made some improvements, but we still have work do to.

The School Board will vote next month on a revised C-CAP that will outline our work for the 2014-15 school year. As part of that plan, we will focus on writing and implementing new internal procedures, outlining a professional development plan and improving both our program and fiscal accountability, which will help us better support our students.
Last spring, the Special Education department worked with a consultant to help meet the requirements of our C-CAP. The department issued a request for proposals and considered four consultants. In April, the District signed a contract with the TIERS Group (Teams Intervening Early to Reach all Students) to evaluate special education services and make recommendations for improvement. 

TIERS visited the District this spring to collect data for initial analysis on the special education department. They released a report on July 22 that highlighted 12 recommendations to improve the department.

On August 5, the District learned that all proper procedures may have not been followed during the contract procurement process. While we review this, a second contract with TIERS has been put on hold. We know there are likely many additional questions and we will move quickly to resolve this matter.

I want to assure our staff that we will not waiver in our commitments to improving Special Education services. We will work swiftly to meet the requirements and timelines outlined in our revised C-CAP.


Charles Wright
Deputy Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools


Anonymous said…
Told you so!

Anonymous said…
On August 5, the District learned that all proper procedures may have not been followed during the contract procurement process. While we review this, a second contract with TIERS has been put on hold. We know there are likely many additional questions and we will move quickly to resolve this matter.

Ok, who is the "District" ? I believe the "District" orchestrated the collusion to award TIERS the contract with the exec director privately emailing people to make sure that happened.

I'm sure it will be just a misunderstanding , she didn't understand the rules. She really was just doing what she thought best for the kids.

Anonymous said…
But isn't the real fire the mess that sped is in? Of course I want proper contract procedures to be followed, but does placing this second contract on hold mean there will be further delay in implementing the changes necessary for SPS to comply with IDEA? (Or maybe it doesn't matter? What does this mean for kids in special education? Nothing? A lot?)

Anonymous said…
Why would a contract stop SPS from following the law?

The whole TIERS thing is meant to delay or possibly stop more law suits. A provision of the C-CAP is a reduction of Citizen Complaints and due process hearings filed with OSPI. Which have already increased 300% from last year and SPS will again fail the audit. Unless they ask to reset the time frame AGAIN!

Tiers original plan called for 30 months minimum to implement changes and use evidenced based services and methodologies to achieve meaningful academic progress or FAPE. SPS pushed back hard on that and now it just referred to as "FAPE" very vague and broadly interpretable.

We are back to the paper tiger OSPI failing again to enforce the laws of the state.


mirmac1 said…
Yes Chris. This is a mountain out of a molehill. For one thing, the person who is accused of violating procedures was initially going to pursue the correct approach, put was advised to use an incorrect approach blessed by Ron English.

Charles Wright has NO credibility with respect to SpEd or caring about students and families.
Anonymous said…
No Chris this is not "molehill" It's $450,000 up to $1,500,00 of funding going to a consulting group that for $150K provided basically a duplicate of an SPS internal audit with some mumbo jumbo thrown in.

I don't know about certain close friends of directors, but to me the $150,000 should have been used to send 7 students to Morning side or Hamlin Robinson to receive the services SPS is unwilling to provide. You know not unlike the 3 million dollars the district spends each year sending Autistic students to NWSOIL and other schools.

For $450,000 SPS could send 15 SLD students at Non Public Agencies to receive FAPE.


mirmac1 said…
Ah! The truth comes out. Michael wants more private tuition for SLD students like his own, less for students with severe emotional, developmental or behavioral disorders. Because those kids and their parents are the Mafia and control and impoverish the district.
Anonymous said…
No, I dont want Less for pervasive, just more than ZERO for students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia and I see it happens!

I also don't believe students with server behavioral disorders should be placed in local public schools when they are a threat to injure teachers and other students. I believe it is appropriate to send certain students with behavioral issue to a Non public agency for FAPE, but not for $126,000 per school year!


Anonymous said…
The real SPED issue is a small group of parents have hijacked SPED and caused 80% of the funding to be spent on their cohorts that's around 7% of the SPED student population consuming 80% of the funding.

Sorry not to be PC, but many of these "students" are simply being baby sat at public expense.

Diaper changing and restraining students should be be happening in schools. I just think it's gone to far and we need to stop it.


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