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Topic: special ed

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September 2, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Seattle’s special-ed mess: Who’s in charge of what?

Hodan Mohammed, center, of Open Doors for Multicultural Families, joins Fadil Abubakar, 19, left, and Rahma Ali, 18, for a photo at NewHolly Youth and Family Center in June. Mohammed helped them and their families navigate the complexities of special education. Photo by Maddie Myer / The Seattle Times.

Hodan Mohammed, center, of Open Doors for Multicultural Families, joins Fadil Abubakar, 19, left, and Rahma Ali, 18, for a photo at NewHolly Youth and Family Center in June. Mohammed helped them and their families navigate the complexities of special education. Photo by Maddie Myer / The Seattle Times.

More than year after the state ordered Seattle Public Schools to fix its long-troubled special-education program, progress has been incremental at best and falls far short of the district’s own promises.

When national consultants visited Seattle during the spring, they found a bureaucracy still so disjointed that few know who is responsible for what.

They heard, for example, four different versions of how the district is supposed to handle parent complaints about special education.

The data systems are such a mess that nobody could tell them how many of the district’s 7,200 special-education students — with disabilities such as autism, deafness and dyslexia — were in school on any given day.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Seattle Public Schools, special ed