have been working with Ms. Phyllis Austin & TNPEC
for the last 4 years. Within that time, there have
been a number of issues that Ms. Austin has helped
me to deal with regarding the DeKalb County School
System, from meeting my childís educational needs,
school transfers, bullying, discrimination, etc. Therefore, it's
really difficult for me to give my perspective about
just one incident that happened with my child. But
what I'll try to do is give an overall summary of
what TNPEC has done to help me & my child.
Initially, one of the most important things that Ms.
Austin gave to me was an education. At our first
meeting, Ms. Austin gave me a detailed explanation
of what the CRCT & ITBS tests meant. She gave me a
clear understanding of how each of the tests worked
as well as what the tests really meant specifically
with regards to my child & our local school system.
This alone opened my eyes to things that I had never
known before. It has also given me the knowledge &
the confidence to be able to evaluate the different
schools in my county. And, I appreciate Ms. Austin
so much for taking the time to do this.
with this knowledge, Ms. Austin & I looked at my
daughter's grades & various test scores. We
evaluated where she currently stood & identified
potential areas of improvement. Additionally, we
took a look at her current school & discussed
whether or not this was a school that was meeting
her educational needs. The end result was that this
school was not so we developed a plan to work on
getting my daughter transferred to another school in
our county that would meet her academic needs. I
stop depending totally on teachers and in many
cases, inadequate low-quality teachers to teach my
child. My daughter has always been on the honor
roll, receiving all A's & B's. She had also scored
exceedingly high on the CRCT. But we wanted to
improve her scores on the ITBS test.
my daughter's scores were improved, the next step
came in the upcoming school year. We applied to my
county's school system to have my daughter
transferred on the basis that her home school did
not meet her academic needs. We were rejected. We
have had to fight with my local county pretty much
every year on this issue. So we've had to appeal
multiple times to the highest level of authority in
my local school system. We were rejected at nearly
every level. My local school system's board didn't
even read the emails that we sent to them. We've had
so many doors closed in our face. But every time,
Ms. Austin was always prepared to take it to the
next level. Whenever I was ready to give up, she
encouraged me to keep fighting. And even with the
current school year, we've had to go outside of my
local school system all the way to the Office of
Civil Rights. That case is still pending at this
point in time.
Austin & TNPEC has done some of everything for me.
She has spent many late nights helping me to gather
documentation, coaching me on what to do/say, &
preparing letters of appeal. As a result of Ms.
Austin's tireless efforts, my daughter has been
approved for transfers to better schools outside of
our home attendance area (but still within our
county). And I have no doubt that we will be
successful again in our efforts this school year.
Without Ms. Austin's help, I believe that my
daughter would've started to suffer academically
the reasons that DCSS has rejected our applications
for transfer, was due to the fact that they see that
my daughter is academically successful. But what
they fail to realize is that when a child of her
high ordered thinking level is not consistently
being challenged, eventually they'll start to get
bored. And, once a child gets bored, they'll start
to become less interested in their academics. Ms.
Austin understands this & that is why she has fought
so hard for my child. And I greatly appreciate her
for that. Without her, I don't know where my
daughter & I would be right now.
want to encourage all of the parents out there to
get involved with Ms. Austin & TNPEC. Ms. Austin has
personally given me the knowledge, power, courage, &
inspiration, to fight for my child's right to equal
access to a high quality education. And if you work
with her, she'll do the same for you & your child.
Ms. Austin understands every aspect of what we go
through as parents as well as what is happening
within our school systems. She can see every angle
because she is a parent herself & an educator. So
everything that we are going through or will go
through, she has already experienced. And it is
because of these things that there is no one else
who can do what she does. So get involved with the
S. Holmes, Dekalb County Schools, GA Parent
first contacted the National Parent Education Center, I was totally at
my wits end with Edwards Middle school in Rockdale County. It was near
the end of the school year and I had been trying to get my son evaluated
for an IEP since the first day of school.
During the school year, I attended a number of meetings that
were supposed to be part of the evaluation process, but turned out to be
no more than a professional string along. I had even contacted the
Georgia Department of Education and still there was little progress.
In the meantime, my son received a series of failing grades
and was bullied repeatedly throughout the school year. There was name
calling bullying. He was beat up by two boys while going to the
bathroom. He was slapped in his head by another boy in the hallway. He
had his IPod and cell phone taken. The last incident was when he was
beat with a chain by another student - - in the classroom. Yes - hard
to believe but true and the teacher was present, claiming that she
didn't hear or see anything. My son is yelling, "screaming" according
to another student, on the floor crying and came home with bruises on
his neck and legs. When I was at the school talking to the assistant
principal and had to hear this story, I broke down and cried. My son,
thirteen years old and all we have been through over the years, had
never seen me cry. I had to wait 45 minutes to speak with the principal
about this situation because he was "playing basketball". I was hurt,
my son was hurt but now I was angry. After meeting with the principal I
knew that they were not going to do anything. They hadn't done anything
to help in the past but I knew something had to change. I didn't know
where to turn for help. I had gone to the principal, the superintendent
and even to the Georgia Department of Education. I was being placated,
I knew it. But I didnít know what to do about it.
In talking with my sister, she recommended that I contact
the National Parent Education Center. They would know what I should do.
They had helped her when she needed help with her son regarding a school
matter. So I looked up the website and called. And when I did, it was
as if a huge bright light came on. Mrs. Austin was unbelievably
supportive. She quickly assessed the number of educational violations
that had taken place using such legislative terminology that my head was
spinning. Violation of the NCLB, failure to provide adequate
accommodations, failure to protect a child in a violent situation and
the list went on. To my surprise, she offered to meet with me that very
day. A load was lifted and again tears came to my eyes because for the
first time in my child's school life, I felt like there was someone
hearing me, there was someone on my side. I met with Mrs. Austin and
brought all the paperwork I had as she requested. This was late in the
day, around 5pm.
Again, I was taken aback and extremely surprised when I
opened my email the next morning and read a 10 page letter that the
National Parent Education Center prepared on my behalf to send to the
school. Unbelievable, I know, but so true. I sent the letter to the
school and it was like I was dealing with a different school. All of a
sudden, I received emails and phone calls from the principal and the
superintendentís office. I had been trying to contact these people all
school year and nothing. Now I was getting responses as if I was the
president of the school board. Needless to say, my son was finally
evaluated for a learning disability - the very next week - after school
had ended. It was determined that he needed assistance in nearly every
academic category - the proof that I needed and had been asking for for
My son was put in a summer school class, in another safer
school, with a special education teacher and his math grades went from
50% to 94% average. He gave me a "high-five" today when I picked him up
from school and he told me about his grades. My prayers were answered.
I know that I still have a long way to go and still need to work to get
him the help he needs and get his formal IEP but I finally feel that it
is doable, with the help of TNPEC. Thank you, from the bottom of my
D. Walton, Rockdale County Schools, GA Parent
like to take this time out to thank The National Parent Education Center
for the outstanding work you did on behalf of me and my children. When I
was in my most dire need of help, I was depress and confuse on how to
help my children, you and your organization stepped in with guidance
on Federal and State laws and regulations that helped turn a negative
event into a positive outcome.
I thank God for The National Parent Education Center,
because you really care about my children. I don't know what I would
have done without your guidance and support. I would recommend your
services in a heartbeat to any parent that needs assistance in helping
their children with any unfair treatment by teachers, principals, or a
M. Duffey, Dekalb County Schools, GA Parent
called the National Parent Education center after speaking with Mrs.
Austin at a mutual friendís residence. I began to explain my issue and
asked if she could possibly help me. My husband and I transferred
our daughter from a private school to a public school closer to our
I visited the school, 2 weeks prior to its opening day in
2009, to speak with the counselor(s) and to let them know what my
childís educational needs are. To my surprise they totally ignored the
official information, which listed prior testing and learning
accommodations, that I had given them. And, to my disappointment my
daughter received straight F's for the first progress report.
I again went to the school every two weeks to check on her
progress only to find that they did not believe me about her needs nor
tried to help her; they continued to say that she was lazy and not
paying attention. I went back and forth with the teachers for almost
half the school year by the time I spoke with Ms. Austin.
I must tell you that from the very beginning I felt
comfortable knowing they were involved. The information,
Professionalism and knowledge that they have were far more than I had
expected. They guided me every step of the way as I began to go to the
top of the Chicago Public School system ladder to get help, a lot of it
was to no avail, yet they knew how to find the right people and what to
say to them.
I worked hard I must admit but with their help I must say
the last two marking periods were A's and B's which was important
because my daughter was in 8th grade and could have had to repeat the
grade over or go to summer school neither of which she had to do. She
graduated with her class. It is important to know as a parent that they
can help you but you must be willing and relentless to help your child
in time and effort.
appreciate what they did for me and my daughter is also thankful. She
is on her way to High School.
Thank You so much TNPEC.
Mrs. A. Mumphery, Chicago Public Schools, IL Parent