• The IMPOSSIBLE special education FIX!

    (I first published this piece in Medium.com. Please check out my writing there! We’ve heard about the “IMPOSSIBLE burger” — making burgers from vegetables, not beef. Some people think it’s actually yummy! So how about the IMPOSSIBLE Fix for special education! It’s time and it’s not complicated: focus on teaching and learning for all students, general and special education, not procedures, rights, due process, litigation, and the ever-present anxiety-laden fear of litigation that so [...]
  • As published in EDSOURCE: My memorable year teaching as Berkeley integrated its schools

    After hearing the last debate and Kamala Harris' busing story from years ago, here's my teaching story from those years.... My memorable year teaching as Berkeley integrated its schools COMMENTARY JULY 24, 2019 MIRIAM KURTZIG FREEDMAN Who would have thought that my one year teaching in Berkeley more than a half century ago would make me feel like a participant in events that are now the subject of political debates and front page stories? It brings back powerful memories of [...]
  • The new SAT “adversity index”–Another concerned citizen in the LA Times!

    https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/opinion/tn-dpt-me-patrice-apodaca-column-newport-beach-20190610-story.html My question: Who appointed or voted for the College Board to have an "unhealthy power over college admissions," to quote Ms. Apodaca, and to continue to mess with our public schools? Why do they have all that power? And, why do we continue to allow them such unfettered leeway? I'm struck by Ms. Apodaca's statement that [the adversity index] is a desperate, cynical [...]
  • Who appointed or voted for the College Board to damage our schools & colleges?

    Here's George F. Will's column, June 7, 2019. I've put in BOLD my questions for starters. 1. Who voted for the College Board to be our "earnest improvers?" 2. Who picked them to "shape th world of social inertia?" 3. Who is promoting their latest attempt to keep the SAT relevant--in an increasingly diverse world (where many colleges are now test optional) that has made that test "descreasingly important?" The College Board's intrusion into our schools is very concerning. [...]
  • Teachers unprepared to teach all students? Let’s hear it from all teachers!

    I read, with great interest, the Education Week Blog by Christina Samuels, http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2019/05/teachers_feel_unprepared_to_teach_students_with_disabilities.html The blog summarizes a report by the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Understood-- an advocacy group for students with learning disabilities. The report concludes that most general education teachers feel unprepared to teach students with disabilities and that most of them want more [...]
  • How did we let computers and Zuck misappropriate “personalized learning?”

    Finally, finally some backlash. Let's hope it catches on and grows! The parents and students are right. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/technology/silicon-valley-kansas-schools.html?ref=oembed What they are getting is NOT personalized learning. It is not enriched teacher-student relationship learning. It is not excellence in teaching building excellence in students--one student at a time in a personalized way. Learning should be personal, of course, but it should be part of [...]
  • Close the extra time loophole on the SAT and ACT!

    Here's my recent op-ed in the Palo Alto Weekly. Caution! The loophole is NOT the extra time that some students need in order to demonstrate what they know and can do. The LOOPHOLE IS the fact that the College Board (SAT) and ACT don't notify colleges and universities when tests are taken with nonstandard conditions. Read the sad tale of what that "attractive loophole" has lead [...]
  • Washington Post story about extended time on the SAT and ACT needs a response!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/abuse-of-extended-time-on-sat-and-act-outrages-learning-disability-community/2019/03/29/d58de3c6-4c1f-11e9-9663-00ac73f49662_story.html?utm_term=.12e3add4d108 It's a good tale. I liked the analogy about disability parking spots and was not persuaded by the ACT's statement that "The system worked." It certainly highlighted the many stakeholders and competing interests in this sad tale. But--as with so many of the stories about the [...]
  • Those SAT accommodations just won’t go away–in fact they keep growing….

    As part of the college application scandal, today's Wall Street Journal reports that more students use SAT accommodations. I'm quoted in that article. https://www.wsj.com/articles/college-admissions-scandal-relied-on-more-students-taking-the-sat-untimed-11552943635?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1 Yet, the key reality I focus on is not about students or parents--it's about these huge and wealthy testing companies, the College Board (which administers the SAT) and the ACT. Sixteen years [...]
  • Ah, those SAT and ACT accommodations–a story that keeps getting bigger and worse.

    The misuse of SAT and ACT accommodations is an important and unfortunately wholly predictable story as we see in the current college admissions scandal. As a school attorney, I see the current scandal to have been predictable and waiting-to-happen ever since 2003, when the College Board and ACT stopped flagging test results that had been taken under non-standard conditions. And yes, it is gameable. My 2003 story, “Disabling the SAT," actually predicted the current mess: “The [...]