Friday, September 28, 2012
Before we jump in, let's give some praise to Valerie Cavazos at KGUN Channel 9 for her series on the Rose Hamway retaliation case and the Tucson Unified School District special education issues she's unearthed in the process. So far, Cavazos at KGUN and Weekly World Central are the only Tucson media outlets to dig a little deeper.
If you haven't had a chance, take a look at Cavazos' work on the KGUN website under Education Watch. And you can get to our work here. A third Weekly story with a parent interview runs this week, followed by an additional parent story and a story on the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights' process.
So let's get to the matter at hand with a question: With this body of work out there on the Hamway story, what is the point of a recent KOLD piece on TUSD's "Exceptional Education" department that not once mentions the issues raised by the school psychologist in her complaint?
While it's true, not every special ed student or parent in TUSD has had the same experiences as the 14 parents Hamway helped during her short time in the district, this story only takes a small look at a program, a couple of parents, and makes the district's program seem like a sought-after gem it must keep hidden.
The truth on special education, its successes and its difficulties is somewhere in between both stories. Nonetheless, Hamway's issues should be alarming, because there are other schools and many other kids who didn't have a Hamway intervene on their behalf or help parents' file much-needed OCR complaints.
Point is, Hamway isn't an anomaly.