Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA
Our schools are our future. We all know that. I am a proud product of America’s public schools and believe in them deeply. My work supports better schools for all students!
I immigrated to this great land from Holland when I was in 4th grade. I quickly learned English since no one in my small New Jersey town spoke Dutch, graduated from high school and college, and became a teacher. Loved that! I taught in a simpler era when fears of lawsuits and broad national policies did not trample on my daily lessons.
This little book packs a hell of a punch. I predict that readers will be alternately amazed, slack-jawed, angry, and optimistic about the future of public education–if we are smart enough to take the advice of a real expert, Miriam Freedman, and work together to make education special for all students. Special Education 2.0 is common sense thinking at its best.
Miriam Freedman is a seed planter of ideas. She describes eloquently what could be in the field of special education that is long overdue for a revision, or rather, a transformation! If you are among the many hundreds of thousands of educators and parents who believe we can do better for our students with disabilities, I highly recommend reading Special Education 2.0 so that you see her vision and perhaps even be part of its transformation.
After celebrating special education’s success in providing education access for all students with disabilities over the past 40 years, attorney Miriam Freedman takes a long overdue look at today’s reality–filled with legal and damaging dysfunction, strangling bureaucracy and litigation. Refreshingly, she creates a vital blueprint for an inclusive, positive new law for all students—general and special education. Special Education 2.0 should start a national conversation to liberate educators, parents, and students from this broken system. I am happy that Ms. Freedman has shared her wide experience in this compelling little book— a must-read for anyone interested in improving education.
This important book raises vital issues that we need to confront in public education—if we ever want to truly improve it for all students. Miriam Freedman has done us a great service by getting the long overdue conversation started. Let’s talk!
Some areas of public policy become so contentious that it is difficult to bring rational consideration to them. Special education has been such an area for the four decades since federal legislation first addressed the issue. Nonetheless, over this time, Miriam Freedman has continued to provide both wisdom and common sense to policies. Now she reaches a startling conclusion: Fixing it is not possible. We need to replace how we deal with special education. Policy makers need to pay serious attention to this idea.
Miriam Freedman once again offers us opportunity to contemplate special education reform. She invites each of us to join in conversation, to think BIG, and to dream aloud. Now is the time. With the “reauthorization” of IDEA looming, all educators, parents, and community members are called to be part of this brave conversation. These 5 directions will give structure to some bold and contemplative interaction that could lead to enlightened, positive, reformative action. Special Ed 2.0 is just beyond the horizon. Use this book to start the conversation or join a discussion. Together, we can break taboos and close in on a better education law for all students.
I heartily agree with Miriam Freedman’s focus on reforming a forty-year old law for our twenty-first century schools. This conversation ought to happen and I always appreciate — even if I don’t always agree with—Freedman’s provocative proposals for reform.
No one will agree with every idea in this courageous, taboo-shattering book. But as a conversation-starter, it’s exactly what we need: a call to re-imagine special education and general education from top to bottom, rather than remain boxed-in by the past. Let the debate begin!
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