Recent News

    October 3rd, 2013

    It’s OK to ask your doctor: ‘Have you washed your hands?’

    If you live long enough, you can see it all—if you’re looking.

    Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal in the Personal Journal section, ‘Never too Awkward to Ask:  Have You Washed Your Hands?’  Apparently only 50% of doctors do—and it’s dangerous to patients that so many don’t.  Who knew? I thought they had solved that one…

    For me, I’ll have to change my presentations!  In speaking of the professionalism of teachers–that we need to honor–I used to  say that they are like doctors. We should not ask them ‘little’ things like have you washed your hands–or have you seated students where they will learn best (called ‘preferential seating’). We should assume they are doing what they are supposed to do–. Well, apparently not so fast. Fascinating.

     

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    September 30th, 2013

    To fix special education, let’s get everyone at the table!

    My August 5  Wall Street Journal op-ed–that garnered many comments and letters–is all about getting everyone to the table–regular and special ed folks; teachers and parents and adminstrators; students and citizens.   We can’t just be talking to our friends and people who agree with us.  We need to talk to others, as well. In my view, we need to expand the national discussion.  In your  view?  Let us know!

     

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    September 26th, 2013

    CASE in Indianapolis

    I’ll be speaking at 24th CASE Annual Fall Conference in Indianapolis tomorrow on “Fixing Special Education–It’s Time to Reinvent this Broken System.”

    If you’d like a copy of the presentation material, please send a comment.

     

    Fixing Special Education

     

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    September 2nd, 2013

    Time to turn off those smart phones? Read and watch!

    Yesterday we were at a fancy Boston restaurant during Restaurant Week…. It hit home–all those cell phones going; peole together not really together. Photos, emails, texts. Nobody was actually there.

    An now today’s NY Times. Same story on a national scale. What are we doing here?

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/disruptions-more-connected-yet-more-alone/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130902&_r=0

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    September 1st, 2013

    Slate on ‘bad people’ who send their children to private school…

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/private_school_vs_public_school_only_bad_people_send_their_kids_to_private.html

     

    Wow. Years ago I wrote a piece about the reality that the ONLY way to fix our public schools is the CLOSE all private schools.  Here is the link!http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/miriam-k-freedman-one-radical-idea-to-fix-public-schools/

    WOW. Where does this go? I’m not into labeling parents as this Slate headline does. But, we can’t ignore the reality that there is a large kernel of truth in the reality that if all  people are not invested in our public schools they will not work.  Schools can’t be just for other people’s children.

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    August 7th, 2013

    Check out the on going discussion on Joanne Jacobs’ blog

    They’re talking about my Wall Street Journal piece.  Pretty lively.

    BUT, I’m afraid that I’ve been misquoted…

    I did not write that it’s time to debate mainstreaming. That was the Wall Street Journal’s headline. Not mine.

    I was looking at special education far more broadly.  I wrote that it’s time to bring all stakeholders to the table–regular and special education–to discuss how to educate all students. Mainsteaming is but one of the issues to explore. As many of these commenters say, mainstreaming is often an individualized situation. Context matters! I make no conclusions about it .

    http://www.joannejacobs.com/2013/08/its-time-to-debate-mainstreaming/#comments

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    August 5th, 2013

    Read it here! My op-ed in the WALL STREET JOURNAL today!

    I hope you’ll check it out. The argument I make is that to fix special education, we need all stakeholders at the table–regular education parents and teachers, as well as special ed stakeholders.  The need is for open and frank discussion. My piece is NOT intended to be about the pros and cons of inclusion.

     

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323309404578613532497541300.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

    In reviewing the many thoughtful comments this piece has garnered so far, I am struck by the reality that this piece has struck a chord. I do   hope we keep the conversation going. How about a Center or Forum or Event for these very conversations….

    Are you in?

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | 2 Comments

    August 3rd, 2013

    What happens when the battery dies or the smart phone is lost?

    Here’s an interesting (to me, scary) article in Scientific American.  Now that ‘everyone’ has a smart phone–and calculators are allowed in many classrooms–EEK!– kids (and everyone else) don’t need to memorize stuff.  They just need to click and get it.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=smartphones-mean-no-longer-memorize-facts&WT.mc_id=SA_sharetool_Twitter

    I remember how glad I was when my kids’ school did not allow calculators–that was back in the ’90′s. Times have changed. No one needs to know who the first President was– or how much 3 apples will cost, if each is 19 cents. Just look it up in a flash. Wow, that was easy!

    Yet, I find this unsettling. What happens when the battery dies?  Or the smart phone is lost?  What will anyone know or be able to do?

    I still believe the best calculator and ‘smart’ gadget is our brain–and it needs to be nourished, challenged, and educated.

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    July 27th, 2013

    Inclusion research

    How does inclusion affect regular education students?

    Which students? average, below average, above average, advanced?

    How does inclusion affect special education students?

    Which students with which disabilities?

     

    I’ve seen some research–rather old. What’s new out there? If you know of any, please share!

     

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    July 23rd, 2013

    In case you missed ‘the most famous teacher’ story

    Here’s a good read about someone who is called the world’s most famous teacher (who, I admit) I never heard of..

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/07/16/the-worlds-most-famous-teacher-blasts-school-reform/

    The story has some gems about teaching. As I used to be a teacher, back in the 1960′s and ’70s, before I became a school attorney, it brought back memories. I especially liked his comment about the fact that too many children go to school tired–not enough sleep at home; and that poor parents–as well as more well-off ones–love their children and want to do right by them.

    That tracks my memory of my teaching days back in Berkeley (CA) in the 1960′s!)

    Good summer reading.

     

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments