About Us

I am John Panagos (Dr. John M. Panagos, Professor Emeritus, Wayne State University, Detroit). After a career in college teaching and research, I worked in six Arizona schools as a professional speech-language pathologist (three high schools, two junior high schools, two middle schools, six elementary schools).  The experience showed me there are gaps between what we teach at the university and what school speech-language pathologists (SLP) actually do. It turns out that SLPs are heavily influenced by government regulations and public policy, directly and indirectly. Best practice is often pushed aside, and at-risk children are caught in a system that can’t correct itself.

Eligibility Project

The Special Education Eligibility Project evolved from the practical issues of caseload management. For at least a decade now, SLPs have been flooded with children referred for special education placement. Professional organizations have pressed SLPs to

Main road in Lakeside, Arizona, in the White Mountains

solve the numbers problem through external solutions. An external solution is one where SLPs take it upon themselves to manage caseload problems outside the structure of their job descriptions. Time-management skills should be improved, and load analyses performed to document workload excesses. Computers should be used to manage paperwork. SLPs should appeal to school districts, legislators and departments of education for load relief. Ironically, such measures increase workload without producing workload reductions systemically. SLPs seek change at the margins of educational policy.

Internal Solutions

The Eligibility Project gives weight to internal solutions, ones changing the circumstances through which at-risk children are placed in special education. SLPs recommend some 20% of the children placed in special education in American schools, and therefore have something to say about the size of their caseloads. And they have the responsibility of recommending children for dismissal from special education. Every day they interact with school personnel giving them the chance to articulate the importance of proper eligibility management. Eligibility determinations can be sharp and appropriate. SLPs can provide leadership within schools to change national, state and local policies and procedures. There is little evidence presently that the over-subscription of at-risk children is a major concern among state and local special education departments. Schools are failing to address the issue squarely, and speech-language pathology is in the picture.

Special Appreciation

Special appreciation goes to the faculty and staff of Blue Ridge Unified School District, Lakeside, Arizona, and to the administration for two years of merit-pay funding.  The funding allowed me to gather and test ideas about the changing role of the school speech-language pathologist.  Opinions are my own.  September, 2008

Dr. John M. Panagos, Élysée Palace, Paris.

 Founding Member:

“The International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association is an inter-national scholarly association dedicated to the study of speech disorders and language disorders. It was founded in 1991. The Association sponsors a biennial conference. The official journal of the Association is Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics published by Informa.” (Wiki)  Dr. Panagos is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Fall, 2013

Our early positions are now well documented within the posts presented. We might ask now, “How does ASHA address change?” Both history and present study indicate much reform is needed to provide a modern foundation for school practice.



  • Susan Stark  On September 10, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Hello Dr. Panagos,

    It appears that my company, The Speech Pathology Group, has similar interest in evaluating student eligibility for SLI in the schools. I noticed that The Speech Pathology Group is in your “blog roll” — noted on left of your web page. Can you tell me how our name appeared here? Was this related to one of my employees responding to a question on your blog?

    Also, I am curious if you are still practicing? We have an ASHA issue that needs to be addressed and we may need to call in “experts” to speak to efficacy and eligibility issues related to services we have provided in the public school setting.

    Thank you for your time!

    Susan Stark, MS, CCC-SLP
    The Speech Pathology Group

    • schoolspeechpathology  On September 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      I do not know for now your group name appeared. Send me email for other matters. I will help if I can. JMP

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