In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act:
Student success requires we put each of them at the center of everything we do, especially when things don't go right.
That’s why I’ve reestablished equal treatment of IDEA cases in the Office for Civil Rights, ensuring they are prioritized as much as any other complaints.
At Education Week, Evie Blad interviews Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary for civil rights in the Obama administration’s Department of Education:
I certainly don’t think that the posture of this administration—in what it has said and the actions it has taken to date—is consistent with the traditional ebbs and flows of administration change. The particular hostility to civil rights enforcement and a callous and astonishing lack of knowledge about the civil rights minimums—that are bipartisan and long-standing in this country—amaze me.
To be concrete about that, just two days ago, the secretary of education gave a speech in which she said that she directed the office for civil rights to return to improved [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] enforcement, but the office for civil rights does not enforce the IDEA. So that core lack of knowledge about the jurisdictional charge for the jewel of civil rights within the Department of Education is distressing and dangerous and is unprecedented in the existence of the Department of Education. So I don’t think what we are witnessing today is just the shift in administration. I think what we are witnessing today is dangerous on a level that we have not yet seen as a country.