While this debate is going on about the national standards movement for all students, I am reminded of the many IEPs–Individualized Education Programs–for students with disabilities that schools provide across our land. Too many, focus on reading skills: decoding, encoding, reading comprehension, fluency, etc. —without relating reading to the knowledge that students need to learn and know. Reading is not an isolated skill, as this op-ed points out. if students continue with IEPs through elementary school–then middle school and even beyond, when do the knowledge-based reading programs kick in?
Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.