Ruth Colker


This article reviews 74 special education cases decided by California ALJs between January 1, 2013 and December 11, 2013. The author concludes that the ALJs provided stingy relief even when students prevailed, there was often unsuccessful litigation on behalf of a student following the termination of a consent decree or court order, many of the cases reflected negative attitudes towards the mothers of the student, and school districts often preferred more restrictive placements than the parent/student. Not surprisingly, students faced very unfavorable outcomes when they were not represented by a lawyer.