Civil Rights for Gifted Students with Disabilities
Stephanie Monroe, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education, has issued an open letter to public schools regarding students with disabilities who want to enroll in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other accelerated programs in high school.
The purpose of the letter is to notify schools that all students who are qualified to enroll in accelerated programs must legally be allowed to do so, regardless of any disability or required special services they may also have. Any school that does not allow a qualified student with a disability into an accelerated program or that requires a student with a disability to drop special services in order to enroll in an accelerated program is not in compliance with federal law.
Assistant Secretary Monroe urges that if you are concerned that a school district is not in compliance with the law to contact the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights enforcement office. They can be reached at: wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm
The full text of the letter can be found at www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-20071226.pdf
—Matthew C. Makel, PhD
Matthew Makel is Gifted Education Research Specialist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program.