RTI and Parental Rights

I spoke to the Board of Education on Wednesday November 19, 2014 regarding the RTI (Response to Intervention) program and parental rights. If your children are in this program you have the right to go to CSE (Committee on Special Education) at any time. Here it is….

My Name is Maria Maritsas, I attended Coffee and Conversation on Monday and spoke with Dr. Padalino regarding the RTI program. He explained how the program consisted of 3 tiers, the teacher would first use simple strategies to help the struggling student and then see if the student needed additional supports for success. When asked about evaluations, he stated that parents could request their child be evaluated at any time and the teacher had the right to request an evaluation also. I am happy to hear that this district seems to be complying with the law. The US Department of Education sent letters to all state directors of education stating that RTI could not delay the evaluation process. I am quoting from their letter:

“It is critical that this identification occur in a timely manner and that no procedures or practices result in delaying or denying this identification. It has come to the attention of the Office of Special Education programs that, in some instances, local educational agencies may be using Response to Intervention strategies to delay or deny a timely initial evaluation for children suspected of having an disability. States and local education agencies have an obligation to ensure that evaluations of children suspected of having a disability are not delayed or denied because of implementation of an RTI strategy.” 

This brings me to one of the new goals* for teaching and learning. It is concerning to me that one of the goals is to reduce the Special Education Initial Classification Rate by 10% annually for the next three years. It is impossible to predict what will come in the future and to place a number on how many evaluations will be requested. Teachers have an obligation under IDEA to request a timely evaluation for their students if they suspect their student has a learning disability and for the student to have a free and appropriate public education. RTI data does not provide sufficient data to rule out or identify a disability. Parents have the right to request an evaluation at any time and I am hoping that the consent form for RTI reflects the information that parents CAN refer to CSE at any time in the process.

I have copies of the letter from the United stated department of education for you to view if you so choose. Thank you.

KAFE color logo

*goals presented at November 5, 2014 Board of Education meeting – click here

Ulster County votes in support of repealing Common Core

The Ulster County Legislature voted 23-0 on Tuesday November 18, 2014 to pass Resolution No. 350 in support of repealing common core and race to the top!

Resolution No. 350 – Supporting The Reintroduction and Passage Of New York State Assembly Bill 07994 and Senate Bill 06267, An Act To Amend The Education Law, In Relation To The Common Core State Standards Initiative And The Race To The Top Program

Please thank your county legislator for standing in support of our children.  Here is a list of the Ulster County legislators with their contact information to assist you in contacting your county legislator.

No Common Core words

Press release – Ulster County Legislators Voice Opposition to Federal Common Core Initiative

Video from the legislative session on November 18, 2014


Act now! Help support Ulster County Resolution 350 to repeal Common Core

Kingston Action For Education (KAFE) needs your help.  Ulster County Resolution 350 will be going to the full Ulster County Legislature next Tuesday November 18, 2014 – just a few days from now.  We need people to contact their county legislators and let them know that we want to repeal Common Core in our area!!

Let us know that you and FOUR (4) of your friends have written to your county legislators regarding Resolution 350 and you will get a ticket into a raffle for this Holiday Hostess Basket.
Resolution 350 Gift Basket  Resolution 350 Gift Basket contents

If chosen:  You win the basket, your friends each get a cute holiday snowman pot holder!

Sample letters are attached to make this process easy or tell your legislator your own story about how Common Core has affected your child/family (the most effective option).

Resolution 350 letter a    Resolution 350 letter b

Submit your name/e-mail and the name/e-mail of your four friends in the comment box below after everyone has contacted your county legislators.

For more information on Ulster County Resolution No. 350, click here.