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Trying to catch learning issues early

District officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new $10 million diagnostic facility to spot and address developmental delays in small children.

Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee said she hopes that the Early Stages Center, housed at Walker Jones Education Campus in Ward 6, will begin to fix at least one of the broken strands in the District’s special education system, which is under supervision of a federal judge.

“One of the many things that has sort plagued the District is the fact that there was an under-identification of young people before they started in the school system of their special needs,” she said. The earlier that delays in walking, talking, playing, learning or behaving can be treated, the better for the child and the less costly for the school system.

The center is free to all District families with children between ages three and five, regardless of whether they attend public, private, or charter school. It also provides hearing and vision screens, as well as assessments of immunization and lead status.

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By Bill Turque  |  January 13, 2010; 4:23 PM ET
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The link, seems to be to a program in NYC?

Posted by: parentof2redheads | January 14, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

What was that? Did I finally hear Michelle Rhee admit that there may be something else besides the teacher--some outside force not controlled by the teacher--which may affect a student's ability to learn or their academic achievement? She almost exhibited a bit of humanity there towards her teaching careful girl!

Posted by: UrbanDweller | January 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

No, Urbandweller, don't get your hopes up - focus on the last part of Rhee's sentence: "...the less costly for the school system."

It's all about saving money on kids so she can spend more for consultants and central admin staff.

If she really cared about special ed kids, she wouldn't have tried to do something for them, besides make them disappear, before now.

Posted by: efavorite | January 14, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I meant "WOULD have tried to do something..."

Posted by: efavorite | January 14, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

FYI, Early Stages program existed before (pre-Rhee) but under a different name.

Bill, how can I find this blog on the Washington Post website? I looked under the listing of columns a blogs and did not find it. I have only been able to get to it by going to the DC Wire where you announced this blog in one of the entries and connecting to the link.

Why is it so hard to find?

Posted by: letsbereal2 | January 14, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

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