Miami School Board Pushed Survivor of Multiple Sexual Assaults Out of School

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) with co-counsel Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Florida attorneys, Alice K. Nelson and Allison Hertog, filed a lawsuit against the school board of Miami-Dade County and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of “Jane Doe,” a high school student who was 14 years old when she was repeatedly sexually assaulted and verbally harassed by fellow students at Carol City High School in MDCPS, the fourth-largest school district in the country. Jane Doe was subjected to repeated sexual harassment, including three sexual assaults [...]

Miami School Board Pushed Survivor of Multiple Sexual Assaults Out of School2019-01-15T22:26:13+00:00

Why the ACT, College Board are Denying Your Request for Accommodations and How To Turn That Around

Being granted accommodations for high-stakes standardized tests is no easy task, especially if your child is a high-achiever who has learned to successfully compensate for a disability.  Fortunately, during the Obama administration there were some positive legal developments that have made the law both clearer and more favorable to high-achieving applicants. When testing companies deny accommodations to high-achievers, the reasons are usually the same.  Here are those reasons and several strategies to combat those denials. "Eleventh Hour" Disabilities Testing companies to which you submit an accomodation request get hundreds of applications for extended time for every test sitting; they often don’t [...]

Why the ACT, College Board are Denying Your Request for Accommodations and How To Turn That Around2018-03-16T12:31:44+00:00

Win in Federal Court for Our Clients!

Today our triplet clients had another huge win against the Miami-Dade County School District - the fourth largest in the country.  We're so thrilled to report that Judge Joan Lenard of the Federal District Court of the Southern District of Florida denied the school board's motion to dismiss our case.  Our clients, who won a due process case against the district under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, filed a complaint in federal court to enforce that win and the school district tied to get the case dismissed.  Today that motion to dismiss the case was denied.  This is a great development because if [...]

Win in Federal Court for Our Clients!2018-03-21T18:52:28+00:00

Allison Hertog Speaks to the Florida Psychological Association

Today Allison Hertog and Samantha Carella spoke to the Miami-Dade and Monroe Chapter of the Florida Psychological Association about Helping Disabled Students Obtain their Legal Entitlements: Grades K-12 and Beyond.  Ms. Hertog and Dr. Carella spoke for nearly three hours including actual case studies on which they collaborated to help special needs students improve their educational performance.  The topics involved advocacy in K-12 public schools as well as helping high-achievers with disabilities obtain accommodations on high-stakes exams. Their PowerPoint presentation is available here. FLPA Presentation

Allison Hertog Speaks to the Florida Psychological Association2015-11-13T23:11:27+00:00

Some High-Performing Charters are Innovating in Special Ed – Leaving School Districts Behind

Charter schools often have an awkward, if not contentious, relationship with their local districts. That makes sense, as the public charter school movement is essentially a reaction to what can be a cookie cutter way of educating kids in neighborhood schools. Yet charter schools are part of the very same district (or state) that funds the neighborhood schools. It’s as if they’re siblings – they have the same parents but are often rivals – vying for funding, control, students, and political power among other things. Some district/charter relationships are cooperative, but others are rancorous, as illustrated by recent disputes in New York City and Pennsylvania. [...]

Some High-Performing Charters are Innovating in Special Ed – Leaving School Districts Behind2014-07-07T11:15:22+00:00

Charter Schools, the Time is Now to Take On Special Ed in a Big Way

Charter schools and special education. Two concepts antithetical to each other? Not in my book. A handful of public charters are already doing a bang-up job educating kids with disabilities, I swear. And some visionary charter school leaders already see special education not merely as a political liability, which it is now more than ever, but as an opportunity to propel charters even further into the mainstream and to prove that charters can do special education better than the traditional public school system – unfortunately, that shouldn’t be a very difficult feat. But why would I have so much faith in [...]

Charter Schools, the Time is Now to Take On Special Ed in a Big Way2014-04-01T11:45:19+00:00

The Common Core and Disadvantaged Learners – Does NY Have Some Answers?

The short answer is a resounding, YES.  As you may have heard, after New York announced that their test scores under the Common Core dropped a full 30 percent, Obama's Secretary of Education notoriously singled-out "white suburban moms" as particularly vociferous opponents of the Common Core standards - which are coming soon to a school near you. Secretary Duncan, in trying to belittle their maternal opposition, went on to say that these moms oppose the higher standards because "all of a sudden their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn't quite as good as they [...]

The Common Core and Disadvantaged Learners – Does NY Have Some Answers?2014-02-07T12:41:00+00:00

The Promising Future of Virtual SpEd

In my role as a special education advocate working primarily in Miami-Dade – the fourth largest public school district in the country – I’ve participated in hundreds of school meetings.   Naturally as an advocate, I meet lots of dissatisfied parents, but I also see very unhappy teachers and administrators who are equally frustrated with a special education system laden with laws and red tape that often doesn’t result in even adequate educational achievement. One bright light in Miami is an emphasis on high quality online education options for struggling learners which they can access at home and in school.  Virtual ed [...]

The Promising Future of Virtual SpEd2013-12-02T17:34:57+00:00

Don’t Let Your School Get Away with Denying an Evaluation to Your Child

Every so often the government takes a powerful stance on the side of the less powerful.  January 21, 2011 was one of those moments.  On that date the United States Department of Education released a memo to the State Directors of Special Education stating that schools cannot deny or delay a parent's request for a psycho-educational evaluation of their child if the parent and the school believe that the child may be eligible for special education services.  It is pretty unusual for the US Dept. of Ed to issue a memo like that, and it must be that my experience in [...]

Don’t Let Your School Get Away with Denying an Evaluation to Your Child2013-01-28T20:43:48+00:00

Can A Child with Behavior Problems Survive in a Typical Classroom?

This issue is really getting to me lately.  It seems I have several clients right now who have bright kids who are perfectly capable of doing well in a general education classroom but for their behavior problems.  The schools I'm dealing with often want to transfer the kids to special education classrooms which are exclusively for kids with "emotional or behavior disorders" or to another type of classroom purely for kids in special education, such as a class for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). "EBD" or Other Self-Contained Classrooms EBD classrooms are generally "self-contained" that means that they have only special education students [...]

Can A Child with Behavior Problems Survive in a Typical Classroom?2013-01-27T12:05:55+00:00