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This Article will contribute to the ongoing dialogue about special education and the IDEA in two ways. First, it will describe patterns that have emerged from our work with individual children and families that shed light on how common IDEA implementation failures increase the risk of poor outcomes for students with social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Critiques of the law and proposals to amend it should be grounded in an understanding of exactly how and why it is falling short of meeting its promise to these children. Our hope is that mapping the common implementation failures we have seen in our cases will advance this understanding - at least with respect to the particular population of students for whom we advocate - and will help guide the development of public policy. Second, this Article will assert that fixing these common implementation failures is a critical reform and a worthwhile investment of public time, money and attention. While proposing specific legislative remedies or strategies is beyond the scope of this Article, we will suggest some priorities for reform that appear warranted based on our work.

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Fordham Urban Law Journal



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