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Topic 1 DQ 1

Review the article by DeMathews and Knight (2019) about the newly hired elementary school principal who is pressured to maintain low special education rates by her director, supervisor, and superintendent. Hypothesize how you would handle this scenario. Justify your response with legal precedence.


1. Derycka Shirley


Working in leaderships is a major responsibility. A leader in an educational establishment is responsible for the well-being of staff, the school community, scholars, and their families. Along with managing, responding, and supporting different personalities, concerns, grows and glows of the school. Effective leadership is pivotal to the vitality of an educational establishment. Leaders are the gatekeepers of quality. However, the fields of early intervention, early childhood, and special education continues to struggle with the challenges of being overlooked and unsupervised when something just does not seem right (Movahedazarhouligh, 2021). History tells us that as a society, we have contributed to the stigmatization and prejudicial treatment of individuals with disabilities (Hughley & Larwin, 2021).

DeMatthews and Knight (2019) demonstrates the climate and the pressure of being a leader where being ethical and unethical collided. If I was placed into this position, my boss always use to say “it is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” The proportion of alternates in a custom curriculum is a reflection on the head (DeMatthews & Kinght, 2018). My first approach would be education for staff withing the Sorenson Elementary School. There will be multiple and mandatory professional development on what special education laws entails and the right due to ALL scholars. Having all staff members being privy to the special education mandates and laws will give a better understanding of what needs to proactively happen. Legislatives created mandates for free, appropriate public education for students with disabilities and the requirement in U.S. law for special education services to be provided in the least restrictive environment (Wehmeyer & et al., 2021). I will also make it very clear that having a high number of SPED scholars does not reflect on how one teaches, delivers instruction and it is not a personal thing.


Nonetheless, once that is in place and I have vetted and have a good sense of all educators. Next, will be to circle back to all scholars who are represented, declassified and who were denied special education services. I will then ask all educators to re-evaluate all scholars with and without IEP’s. Through this I would have a clear sense on the correct percentage of SPED within the Sorenson Elementary School. Through this approach I am handling all my affairs internally. So that data is collected, education is being delivered, conversations are being had and I am using my knowledge of why I was hired in the first space to turn this school around. A school is a community, and we owe our scholars the opportunities they deserve to gain the necessary tools to prepare them for the real world. Now that I have a clear understanding of the percentage my school has, I will then compartmentalize the different units of scholars who have IEP’s, intervention groups, RTI’s and behavior issues. Through this we will be able to tackle each support and different services for scholars given; along with, what we can do to give tiered services so that scholars are progressing and not digressing. I will also hold parent groups seminars and individual meetings so that parents are clear of their child’s services and what needs to happen going forward so that we all can work together. Lastly, in-house we will no longer say to parents, or to other colleagues, or anyone in the school building that “the district does not allow it”. All scholars will receive appropriate support for their wellbeing. Now that we are all on the same page in-house, I will then fight the big beast, which is the district. I will have proof, data, and the support of my staff and families. We will fight to present the higher number, to showcase that they are high now, but will lower because the services that are given are appropriate, fair and it is equity for all scholars.




DeMatthews, D. E., & Knight, D. S. (2019). Denying special education to students in need: A case of accountability, compliance, and fear in a Texas elementary school. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership22(1), 55-72. doi:10.1177/1555458918786988


Hughley, K. S., & Larwin, K. H. (2021). Is There a Disproportionate Representation of African American Males in Special Education? A Causal-Comparative Investigation. Journal of Organizational and Educational Leadership7(1), 1.


Movahedazarhouligh, S. (2021). A Scoping Review of the Knowledge Base, Landscape, and Trends in Leadership Literature in Early Intervention, Early Childhood, and Early Childhood Special Education. Infants and Young Children34(3), 159–177.


Wehmeyer, M. L., Shogren, K. A., & Kurth, J. (2021). The State of Inclusion With Students With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the United States. Journal of Policy & Practice in Intellectual Disabilities18(1), 36–43. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/jppi.12332



2. Lynnel Campos


If I were placed in Ms. Martinez’s situation as an educator with previous special education law and now becoming the administrator it would be my duty to ensure that each child is getting Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). It is imperative for me to listen to the concerns of the parents but most importantly to get others within the community involved so that the changes that need to be made can be seen by other stakeholders. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), states that if the parent’s opportunity to participate in the decision-making process has been impeded then there is a significant problem (Zirkel, 2022). Since I am such a data drive educator currently, it would be interesting to look at the data on the RTI model that was being used with these students because if they weren’t making progress through tier 3 then we are providing them an appropriate education without more supports Arias-Gundin & Garcia Llamazares, 2021).

There are significant problems at this school, and it is imperative to continue to do what is best for the students even if that means going against what others what you to do. Students should always be our number one priority and especially when they are struggling and parents have concerns, since they are the advocates for their students. It is imperative that parents are given the opportunity to understand what is being done with their children and have a say in getting special education; especially when interventions have been made and the data shows no improvements. I am a student’s first educator, and this scenario really bothers me since I had to fight for my daughters to get help in school as well!


Arias-Gundín, O., & García Llamazares, A. (2021). Efficacy of the RtI model in the treatment of reading learning disabilities. Education Sciences11.


Zirkel, P. A. (2022). The four faces of a Free, Appropriate Public Education. Intervention in School & Clinic57(5), 355–358. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/10534512211032627


3. Maria Montenegro


Working in a leadership position in a school setting can be very difficult because everyone has their own thoughts on how certain situations should be handled. The article by DE Mathews is a great example at the many pressures and decisions that leader in all setting need to talk and how it can affect the climate of the school. If I was put in this position, I would have to ensure that my approach is very neutral and that it is backed with evidence to support my stance on it and to better understand why I am choosing a very specific approach. As an educator it is very important to always to right by students, I believe that it is the principals or leader of the school to really educate the staff on the steps that are required in order to have a student qualify for special education services. It is also important that the staff understand that have a high number of special education students is not a reflection of anyone specific in school. It is very important for educators in all position to see one another has team mates and a family.  Once everyone is able to fully understand their role it is much better it can help all parties understand how to help all students both with IEP’s and those without. This means that everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to certain topics including how to refer students for special education. It is important that all teachers know and understand Ed. Code and Special Education law. I would make this a yearly mandatory training or refresher course to help all who work in education help understand the process and be proactive.

Power-deFur, L. (2022). Ethical Challenges in Special Education? An Approach for Resolution. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups7(1), 1–5.  https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1044/2021_PERSP-21-0021


Etscheidt, S. L., Schmitz, S. L., & Edmister, A. M. (2022). Legal Issues in Early Childhood Special Education. Journal of Disability Policy Studies32(4), 257–268.  https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/10442073211023165


4. Derycka Shirley

replied to Rosaline Nixon


Hi Rosaline,

This scenario grinded my gears. I was so applauding that a district could ever give a number on how many scholars should deserve services to support their growth and well-being. As a special educator myself, I could never see myself every doing that to minorities who already have a disadvantage to funding and opportunities in their communities. Along with having language barriers. Being a leader is a role than is for individuals who are selfless, but who would make an unethical decision for the benefit of all. DeMatthews and Kinght (2018) research underlined how accountability policies can provide to the marginalization of defenseless scholar groups, such as scholars with disabilities. This research showcased how there needs to be research on evaluation of districts that are not giving all scholars their due education. History tells us that as a society, we have contributed to the stigmatization and prejudicial treatment of individuals with disabilities (Hughley & Larwin, 2021). Through what history has been telling us, change must be made. Through Christ all things were made, not by man. So, who are we to take away what is due to us, to survive this world.




DeMatthews, D. E., & Knight, D. S. (2019). Denying special education to students in need: A case of accountability, compliance, and fear in a Texas elementary school. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership22(1), 55-72. doi:10.1177/1555458918786988


Hughley, K. S., & Larwin, K. H. (2021). Is There a Disproportionate Representation of African American Males in Special Education? A Causal-Comparative Investigation. Journal of Organizational and Educational Leadership7(1), 1.



Derycka Shirley-Clarke



Topic 1 DQ 2

The Supreme Court has permitted parents of students with disabilities to remove their children from public school and enroll them in a private school at the government’s expense so long as the parents can prove that the public school failed to provide the child with an appropriate education and that the private school will succeed in its place. Argue the advantages and disadvantages of this law.


5. Lynnel Campos

Posted Date

Jun 16, 2022, 7:42 PM


There are many advantages such as students getting the appropriate education and their needs being met if that is what happens when they enter private school. If a family wants to put their child into a private school which they feel will meet the needs of their child, that is always a choice. The disadvantages of vouchers will always be the money that is being put towards private education and not public education, which our world is founded on, is hard to understand. These vouchers take away from public education and the beliefs that are instilled in public schools. I do believe that there still needs to be so much more data taken on the academics and the performance of private schools; since there really isn’t any yet (Tang, 2019). Private schools that have specialized programs are less likely to participate in the voucher program (DeAngelis, 2020). It becomes the responsibility of that private school to provide those academics.

I can really see both sides of this law because providing students with an appropriate education is our job as educators, so if no one within the school is able to provide these services then parents should have the opportunity to get their children what they need. I also believe that families of low income will be less familiar with these programs and may not even take advantage of them; also, they may not even know this law. I also feel that having students with disabilities excluded from public education or students of low-income would-be segregation eventually. It is imperative to have all students be within their own community schools so that they can learn to social with people in their communities.


DeAngelis, C. A. (2020). Regulatory compliance costs and private school participation in voucher programs. Journal of School Choice14(1), 95–121.


TANG, A. (2019). School vouchers, special education, and the supreme court. University of Pennsylvania Law Review167(2), 337–397.



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