ERIC Number: EJ706582
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct-1
Reference Count: N/A
Courtside: Settle Good?
Zirkel, Perry A.
Phi Delta Kappan, v86 n2 p172 Oct 2004
In the Spring of 1998 the Portland (Oregon) Public Schools hired Dr. Pamela Settlegoode as an adapted physical education teacher for the coming academic year. Her job was to provide adapated PE to students with disabilities in three different schools and to draft individualized education plans (IEPs) in accordance with federal law. Soon after starting in her position, Settlegoode became concerned about Portland's special education program. She had difficulty finding a place to teach her high school students, and material and equipment were often lacking, inadequate, or unsafe. When she spoke to her immediate supervisor, Susan Winthrop, about these problems, she was told that she was the only one who had ever made such complaints. At the end of the school year, Settlegoode wrote a 10-page letter to Winthrop's supervisor, expressing her concern that the adapted PE program suffered from problems of "systematic discrimination, maladministration, access, pedagogy, curriculum, equity, and parity," in violation of federal law. Drawing an analogy to earlier stages of the civil rights movement, she wrote that the illustrative experiences that she described presented "a portraiture of a form of education that is . . . all too familiar in this country. It wasn't too long ago when Black African Americans took a back seat on the American School bus (though in Portland, there's still lots of 'Separate, but equal' to go around)." She also criticized Winthrop for being too tied to the school bureaucracy to be in touch with the needs of students with disabilities. In the end the school board decided not to renew Settlegoode's contract. Settlegoode sued in federal court. This article examines this court case and the events leading up to it. (Contains 7 notes.)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Federal Legislation, Physical Education Teachers, Civil Rights, Individualized Education Programs, Attitudes toward Disabilities, Adapted Physical Education, Disabilities, Equal Education
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon