ERIC Number: ED367074
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
The Efficacy of Mediation in the Resolution of Parent-School Special Education Disputes. Report from Rutgers: A Working Paper Series.
Vitello, Stanley J.
The study reported here focused on whether some special education disputes are resolved more effectively and efficiently by mediation than by a due process hearing, and whether parents and school officials feel satisfied about the process, outcome, and implementation of the agreement. Researchers analyzed requests for due process hearings filed between January 1, 1987 and June 30, 1988 in New Jersey, and received completed questionnaires from 53 mediated cases and 51 cases transmitted for a hearing, for a research sample of 104 cases representing about 30 percent of the total number of requests for a due process hearing during the 1-year period. Major issues in the 104 cases involved eligibility and identification, appropriateness of special education services, related services, and placement. The expectation that mediation would resolve certain types of issues more readily than other issues was not met. Parents lost in 55 percent of the cases that went to a hearing, but lost in only 25 percent of the cases that were mediated. Parents lost or compromised on more cases involving eligibility and identification, won more cases dealing with the appropriateness of special educational services, and won or compromised on 67 percent of the placement cases. Lay advocates were equally as effective as trained attorneys in assisting parents in resolving disputes. School officials tended to be more satisfied than parents with the outcome of mediation. Parents reported significant problems in the implementation of the mediation agreements. (Contains 28 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rutgers, The State Univ., New Brunswick, NJ.
Identifiers: New Jersey
Note: A product of the Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.