Margo Moriarty
SPE 350
"I believe our children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they posses inside, give them a sense of pride to make it easier let the children’s laughter remind us how we use to be..." Whitney Houston once sang decades ago. One passion we as educators all share is the love for our students. Those of us who chose the path of working with special education students especially know that genuine place we have in our hearts for teaching students disabilities with learning disabilities. Over the last few decades, more awareness about these disabilities has florist throughout our nation. Many advocates of their time have fought to educate these students in order to help them overcome their struggle. Over time we see the long protect the rights of the students and provide them with the restrictive environment settings in order to provide an equal but adequate education. Despite the fact services are an essential part of protecting a student with special needs rights; it cannot be at the cost of their education either. If the student is able to complete the work at the same annual yearly progress as the general education population, proper services whether it be assistive technology or a personal aide, must be provided to the student. The services not only help students’ with special needs successfully graduate school but it provides them a promising future. Graduating with the tools and knowledge needed to survive on their own, students are now becoming functioning members of our society. As the candidate for my interview, I chose Dr.Gerard Crisinino, special education director of Jersey City Pubic School. He has instilled within him that compassion for working with these children and dedicated the last 30 years of his life to providing services for those students in need. Therefore, he was the perfect advocate to answer the following interview questions. To begin this interview, The first question I asked was,

"How has the legal system involved, as it applies to special-education over the past 20 years and how has that affected the legal framework for special-education today?" Dr.Crisinino further explained

,"In my opinion, this law was probably one of major changes in special-education law for children with disabilities providing entities from the federal government."G.C. He went on to explain how the IDEA act that brought about the changed that we know today was once known as the education for all handicapped children act also known as EHA. This act no longer focused specifically on the child's condition that was geared towards protecting the rights and providing the services for the children, opening up new doors for children who may not have been physically handicapped but reached the needs of the cognitive the cognitively impaired as well. This law introduced the science behind the struggles students with specific cognitive learning disabilities go through. It was the bridge between gap that began all those decades ago separating the child and the disorder. In accordance with Dr.Crisinino, during the mid 1960s through 1975 state legislatures, the federal courts, and the U.S. Congress began developing educational rights for children with disabilities. Forty-five out of fifty states passed laws mandating, encouraging, and/or funding programs to benefit the special education population. In accordance with Federal courts, the Fourteenth Amendment, equal protection and due process, ruled that schools were no longer allowed to discriminate against a student based on the severity of their disability. The law was no longer geared toward the disability, but on the child as mentioned in the interview. The IDEA act granted parents’ due process rights related to their children’s schooling to ensure they were provided with adequate services and an equal education. This lead to the bridge between the EAH act being enhanced by Congress to the...
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