May 29th, 2010

Newton Tab blog about FIXING SPECIAL EDUCATION!

Interesting feedback…I am heartened that the conversation is happening. Several thoughtful comments so far. It would be interesting to hear from educators, as well as parents. Maybe they have time during this Memorial Day weekend…

My goal in writing Fixing Special Education–12 Steps to Transform a Broken System is to encourage that national conversation. Let’s talk! Let’s act. Let’s dare to create trust-based special education and education for all children.

Check the blog at:
(reaction to Tab story about my book).

And, it turns out, the book is available at AMAZON.com!

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May 28th, 2010

The saddest article I’ve read in a long time…

No more federal funds for the top half of the class! What type of public policy is that. One of the persons quoted in the article talks about the Race to the Top being the Race to the Bottom. Kinda sounds like that. SAD! BAD! EGADS!

(End of federal funding for top students)

( AP and G&T stripped of federal dollars?!?!)

Say it ain’t so!

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May 27th, 2010

Multitasking–not advised!

Multitasking–Another example of popular concepts that have no research support. This time, it’s the belief that kids can multitask and not lose out. Well, psychologist Dan Willingham says they can’t. An important read for parents and educators.

(multitasking not advised for teens)

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May 27th, 2010

Newton Tab piece picked up by several blogs!

Here’s some:

(Newton story about Fixing Special Education)

(Teaching on edge)

(Great blog by editor of Newton Tab)

The power of the web to connect ideas and people is truly amazing.

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May 26th, 2010

Check out Wicked Local story on Fixing Special Education!

here’s a nice story. Enjoy!

(Story about Miriam’s book, Fixing Special Education in local paper)

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May 24th, 2010

Success story from Birmingham…

(Mainstreamed student featured)

Here’s a story for reading pleasure of special education working well. Your thoughts?

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May 23rd, 2010

Human-powered motivation at Maker Faire!

Yesterday was the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California–inventors of all types were featured there. (human powered stage at Maker Faire).
One was my son’s human powered stage at (Rock The Bike), powered by people sitting on stationary bikes to harness energy to power up the music and lights for the singers and performers on that human-powered stage! Awesome…

So interesting to me was watching little children (age 8? 9? 10?) who clamored to get on those bikes and power them. All day long, one after another, these kids jumped on the bikes and volunteered! They checked out the pedal meter which told the audience if there was enough power at any moment. If there wasn’t, they had to pedal faster! Those kids watched that meter like hawks! They wanted to help. They wanted to be useful. They wanted to participate. They created the power. They mattered. They were important. No whining or complaining there. Just young children looking to be useful and having fun doing it (and getting lots of exercise pedaling)…

I often think that in our schools we do way too much for kids and expect them to contribute way too little. People want to be useful and to be needed. So do little people. We should learn from the pedal powered stage at Maker Faire!

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May 23rd, 2010

Alternate route to success–no college!

And here’s today’s Boston Globe weighing in with the story we tracked last week. Let’s hope it get the traction it needs. College is not for everyone. There are better success paths for some students. We need to legitimize them and make them honorable. It’s time we educate all students in their areas of strengths, rather than forcing everyone into a one size fits all model. Trying to fit everyone into that model has created damaging distortions in the system and for young adults. Colllege is good for many. But not for all.

(College not for everyone, says The Boston Globe story)

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May 19th, 2010

I love this article! Plan B–Skip College.

(Plan B–Skip College).

I’ve written about this often. We need to acknowledge and support the multiple ways to be a success life. There are many many paths. Not everyone needs to go to college after high school. Finally, we have The New York Times on board! College is not for everyone. Perhaps later. Perhaps never. Perhaps whatever. Thank you NY Times for opening the discussion at last.

See also Joe Lamacchia’s website, (Alternate ways to be a success in life!)

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May 19th, 2010

Top producers conference…

HMM. What is a ‘producer’ in this era of double speak?

HMMM. I was walking around San Francisco and saw an insurance company conference for its top producers. I wondered. Are they the folks who make patients better? who improve services to clients? who reduce health care confusion and costs? who produce something? No, I was told, they are the sales people who sell the most insurance. HMMMMM.

In education, what are our top producers? Are they the teachers who document what they do the best? who fill out the most forms or attend the most meetings? who are the most caring and concerned? I wonder and rather doubt it. I believe we want top teachers to PRODUCE (along with efforts by parents and students–too often overlooked) the best learning for their students. A real goal. A real need.

With all the language about holding teachers responsible for student learning, what word will we use? How about top producers of a REAL good!

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