What Should be Changed in IDEA: Poll Still Too Close to Call

View of Capitol Hill from the U.S.Image via Wikipedia

What would you change about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act? Special education law is a lot like the weather in Chicago, it changes frequently. In fact I have frequently commented on these pages about the "cycle" of special ed law. The statute was enacted, followed by federal regulations, followed by state regs, followed by hearing officer decisions followed by court decisions, (both trial and appellate court opinions)(we even have ten by the Supremes). Then the statute, IDEA, is reauthorized and changed and the whole cycle repeats until we are pretty comfortable with the law, then the process repeats itself again. As I have said before, if certainty or red letter, hornbook law is your thing, you may not like special ed law. (There must be a Jeff Foxworthy joke in there somewhere, but I can't quite think of it!)

Reauthorization of IDEA is again overdue, but with Congress having other stuff on its plate, it may still take a while. But now is the time to start getting ready. Be prepared to let your senators and congressmen know how you feel about changes to this law when the issue becomes ripe. The organized interest groups are already making their positions known. I plan to share what you mention on this blog with the Congress, so please let me know what you think.

In addition, our ongoing poll reflects this question. I have identified ten of the issues frequently mentioned as areas of IDEA that should be changed. Interestingly only five vote separate the top five categories ( the range is 35 to 30 votes). The other five categories are lagging behind, but it is still anybody's game. Be sure to vote; register your opinion; exercise the franchise. Note these polls are not scientific or anything resembling science. They do sometimes reflect the strong feelings of readers but the samples are not random and the results don't necessarily show the support for these proposals in the country. That said, we have lots of subscribers and readers and, as our exclusive interview with Secretary Posny shows, we do have some street cred!

While voting on the poll on the lefthand side of the blog, be sure to check out the other permanent features there. Under Helpful Links, there are links to the popular special ed law groups on the various social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Ning, LinkedIn, and Plaxo. In the same section there are links to a searchable IDEA statute and federal regs; an info clearinghouse, the dispute resolution(CADRE) site, and the OSERS website. There is also a list of other blogs I read and sources for other news in the education realm. Most importantly, you can subscribe to the blog by any of three methods. You can receive the posts by email directly to your inbox. Or you can subscribe to our RSS feed and receive the posts in an aggregator or reader. Finally you can also get a widget (or blidget = blog widget) that you can place on your own blog or website. Whichever means you choose, please subscribe. Numbers are important in the blogosphere.