Increasing the dialogue among stakeholders in New Jersey’s special education system

NJCommonGround.org is working to increase the dialogue among stakeholders in New Jersey’s special education system. Online and via E-news – Subscribe Now!

Feature Articles & Resources

Feature articles • In-depth consideration of current special education topics and practices. • Experienced and authoritative writers. • Resources for parents, teachers, and professionals. • Fostering dialogue among special education stakeholders.

From the Courts & Capitols

Covering legal and legislative developments that shape special education in New Jersey and nationally. • Specific cases from administrative, state and federal courts. • Legislative and administrative policy developments at state and federal levels.

Information Parents & Educators Can Use

By and for parents, teachers and professionals. • Teaching and assessment strategies for specific learning and behavioral challenges • Peer-to-peer advice and experience sharing • Q&As and FAQs for use on the front line • Statistics and data for trend identification.

Latest CG Articles

Q&A: Assistive Technology

Q&A on Assistive Technology for students with disabilities. Ten questions and answers to clarify myths and misunderstandings about this important educational accommodation.

Letter to the Editor: Restraint and Seclusion Should not be Legitimized

Letter – Lost in the hundreds of bills passed during the lame duck period of the final week of the legislature, was a Restraint and Seclusion bill that not only strips students with disabilities of their civil rights, but now legislates their continued physical and emotional abuse.

Charter Schools, Vouchers & Special Education

On the use of vouchers to support student attendance at private schools, parents of students with disabilities are asking questions about charter schools, vouchers and special education. This article provides answers.

From the Capitols: US DOE Issues Q&A On SCOTUS Decision

Nine months after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on the rights of students with disabilities, the USDOE has published a guidance paper. The nine-page Q&A document distills key points in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District.

From the Capitols: Rules on Disparity Delayed

As part of a larger effort to reduce rules and regulations deemed unnecessary, the Trump administration has proposed a two-year delay of a new rule that would require states to take a stricter approach to identifying whether local school districts have wide racial or ethnic disparities in special education. The rule was set to go into effect for the 2018-19 school year.

From the Capitols: USDOE Rescinds 72 Guidance Documents

Earlier this fall, the USDOE rescinded scores of policy documents that outline the rights of students with disabilities as part of the Trump administration’s effort to eliminate regulations it deems superfluous. A total of 72 documents — 63 from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and 9 from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) – were rescinded.

From the Capitols: New Jersey Adopts Rules for Seclusion and Restraint for Students with Disabilities

On his final days in office, NJ Governor Chris Christie signed into law a measure that establishes requirements for use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities in special education. The bipartisan bill, which was passed unanimously in both houses of the NJ Legislature, was strongly opposed by child advocates and parent groups, but was widely supported by school administrators.

Parent’s Perspective: Process Over Product

I have long believed the education system in America is widening the gap between students with and without disabilities. We are a product-driven society and our education system is set up the same way. I listen to parents in my community complain about test scores and rankings and property value. As a special educator I hated testing students, comparing them to the “standards” of non-disabled children. As a parent, I don’t care about school ranking and test scores.