SF Bay Area Special Education And Disability Resources

US Special Education and Disability Laws and Information

Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - basic protection against discrimination

US Education Department on Section 504 - on protections for discrimination in education

US Department of Education IDEA Resource Site

IDEA Annual Report to Congress 2021 - where the rubber hits the road

Department of Education Seclusion and Restraint Site - there are lots of problems and it  is widely underreported.

Department of Education Seclusion and Restraint Policy Site

Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection - data down to the school level... here's Palo Alto Unified

Wrightslaw - Special Education Law and Advocacy

California Education and Disability Information

Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act a pioneering piece of disability legislation that was passed in 1978 as a follow on to an earlier 1969.

California Annual Special Education Reports under IDEA - for each school district. These aren't pretty or easily usable

California School Dashboard - you can get information on Students with Disabilities (IEPs / Protected under IDEA), no data on students with 504 plans. As of 2022, the last data for which detailed academic and other data is provided is 2019 before COVID. Mostly demographic data more recently.

California Dataquest site - more California Education databases!

Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection - data down to the school level... here's Palo Alto Unified

SF Bay Area Disability and Special Education Resources

Palo Alto Special Needs Moms - Facebook Group

Palo Alto CAC

Palo Alto Special Education (PAUSD) - the school district special education department

Stanford Autism Center - at Stanford Children's Health is dedicated to providing specialized clinical services and advancing research in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Stanford Neurodiversity Project 

Parents Helping Parents

SELPA 1 CAC

Santa Clara Office of Education SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area)

San Andreas Regional Center

Decoding Dyslexia Peninsula Mail list - ddcanorthpeninsula@gmail.com

Down Syndrome Connection Bay Area

CHADD of Northern California - Children and Adults with AD/HD

Other California Disability Resources

Lanterman Coaltion - a pinneering California organization protecting the rights of those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Decoding Dyslexia (California) - We strive to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children, and improve resources for students with dyslexia in California public schools.

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) - is a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities. (Note - based in Berkeley, CA)

Disability Rights California (DRC) is the agency designated under federal law to protect and advocate for the rights of Californians with disabilities.

The State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) is established by state and federal law as an independent state agency to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families receive the services and supports they need.

Department of Developmental Services

 

Other Local Resources

CuriOdyssey - great hands on science museum and zoo that has "Super Families" days for families with disabled children.

Friendship Circle - great programs for disabled kids here in Palo Alto

Barron Park Donkeys - for kids who like animals

Burgess Pool - public pool in Menlo Park. Open more of the year than our Palo Alto public pool

Other Disability Resources

Why doesn't all Dyslexia look the same? - an excellent slide deck discussing the different types of Dyslexia as well as information about special education (IEPs and 504 plans).

SF Bay Area School District Education Metrics

My plan is to add metrics for all of the school districts in the SF Bay Area. I've started with mine, but if you would like me to add yours sooner rather than later, let me know: steve@disabilitymediawire.com

Palo Alto Unified School District Special Education Metrics

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) Special Education / Students With Disabilities Demographics (2019,2021)

The state counts things... bizarrely and samples different data at different times, so numbers never line up. Welcome to California.
JurisdictionSchool YearTotal Student PopulationStudents With Disabilities PopluationPercentage Students with Disabilities
PAUSD202110754108710.1
PAUSD20191199211449.5%
California20196,186,278725,41211.7%

Question - is PAUSD under identifying SWD

Issue - data is not available on students who only have 504 plans

PAUSD Chronically Absent

JurisdictionSchool YearTotal StudentsTotal Absentee PercentageTotal AbsenteeStudents With DisabilitiesAbsentee Percentage SWDAbsentee SWDSWD Absentee Percent of Total Absentee
PAUSD201979965.9%4718679.5%7816.5%
California2019 4,279,57510.1%429207559,82416.3%9125121.3%

This is depressing across the board. There is a substantial excess number of SWD absentee students.

PAUSD Suspension Data

JurisdictionSchool YearTotal StudentsTotal Suspension PercentageTotal SuspensionsStudents With DisabilitiesSuspension Percentage SWDSuspensions SWDSWD Suspension Percent of Total Suspensions
PAUSD2019123470.9%11113133.1%4136.7%
California20196,362,5073.4%216325823,8056.2%5107523.6%

This number usually surprises people by how high it is. The proportion of SWD suspsensions vs. total suspensions is appalling and should be addressed.

You'll note the lack of an "issue" in the California data as they don't capture disproprotionality problems.

PAUSD English Language Arts Data

The key to look at here is the gap between special education students and their general education peers both at the school district and the state level to see the "relative effectivenss" of the education program for both populations
JurisdictionSchool YearOverall Performance Relative to State StandardSWD Performance Relative to State StandardPerformance Gap
PAUSD2019+78.8-17.996.7
California2019-2.5-88.185.6

Compared to the state, Palo Alto SWD are doing well. Unfortunately, the state performance is DISMAL.

The Gap analysis shows (or attempts to show) how PAUSD is serving its SWD relative to their general education peers.

PAUSD Mathematics Data

The key to look at here is the gap between special education students and their general education peers both at the school district and the state level to see the "relative effectivenss" of the education program for both populations
JurisdictionSchool YearOverall Performance Relative to State StandardSWD Performance Relative to State StandardPerformance Gap
PAUSD2019+83.2-25.7108.9
California2019-33.5-119.485.9

Same assessment as for ELA. California over all is DISMAL (when are people going to be ashamed of this?).

The gap between the performance of SWD in Palo Alto is also notably larger than for the state as a whole.

PAUSD College/Career Readiness

The key to look at here is the gap between special education students and their general education peers both at the school district and the state level to see the "relative effectivenss" of the education program for both populations
JurisdictionSchool YearOverall Readiness PercentageSWD Readiness PercentagePerformance Gap
PAUSD201974.2%24.7%49.5%
California201944.1%10.8%33.3%

This metric is kind of cryptic. It does serve as an interesting alternative to graduation data. Some other states are actually doing tracking of students after graduation which is an excellent idea (notably, Arizona).

Again, the big issue is the gap between general education and SWD.

NOTE: I haven't gone through and de-duplicated SWD in the overall population which will increase all of these gaps in performance.

PAUSD Graduation Rate

The key to look at here is the gap between special education students and their general education peers both at the school district and the state level to see the "relative effectivenss" of the education program for both populations
JurisdictionSchool YearOverall Graduation RateSWD Graduation RateGraduation Rate Gap
PAUSD201995.4%81.8%13.6%
California201985.8%64%21.8%

This is the one metric where PAUSD by every measure outperforms the state both relatively and absolutely.

Final Comments

  1. This shouldn't have to be so hard. We should be able to pull out data on students with disabilities and parse them both between each school and the state as well as with other schools.

2. The data is not cleanly separated between "students with disabilties" and their general education peers. This winds up under-counting the gap between the two student populations (I can go back and do this by hand.. but not today)

3. The other largest population across California, and in PAUSD, that has a massive performance gap are English Learners (who are still learning English). We do not currently have any way to include the overlap between these students and students with disabilities (though the school district could do this analysis).