• Build TRUST — Lessons learned during COVID for Special Educators

    Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA12 hours ago·5 min readYears ago, when my Boston law firm hired me, Bob, the hiring partner, gave me a piece of advice: Return phone calls the same day, even if just to say that you got the call and will be in touch later.This was originally posted on Medium
  • “General education students with IEPs” — an unwise oxymoron

    A term I heard, new to me, during COVID upended my view about special education: “General education students with IEPs.” Really? Who are these students? Do you know any?Labeling students as disabled because they struggle is wrong, especially if our goal is to educate them better. Such mislabeling has even been called abusive! Mislabeled as Disabled: The Educational Abuse of Struggling Learners and How WE Can Fight It: Hettleman, Kalman R.: 9781635766394: Amazon.com: BooksInstead of plugging [...]
  • President Biden’s $220,000,000,000 “American Family Plan” should also pivot home

    Miriam Kurtzig Freedman6.4.2021Here’s my story just published in Fordham Institute’s Flypaper.Sitting on a Boston city bus, I watched a mother with a young child. For the twenty-five-minute ride, they didn’t speak a word. No “Look at that little girl on the bicycle” or “We’re having pizza for dinner!” When you’re with a young child for that long, do you talk to her?The dearth of language is where critical learning gaps begin for many poor and disadvantaged children — gaps that often don’t [...]
  • TRUST — Build trust for schools, students, and parents because trust is the coin of the realm!

    TRUST — Build trust for schools, students, and parents because trust is the coin of the realm!I believe that TRUST is necessary for excellent education — trust among players — students, teachers, parents, administrators, tax payers, and others.Excellent education means that students learn all they can to become all they can be! That is the WHY of schools; it’s where our discussion should start — with the WHY. Schools should focus on student competence every day, all the time. Yet, they [...]
  • Open the schools! And here’s why they are closed.

    How to curb the power of public employee unions (usatoday.com) Here's Philip Howard's piece about the unintended consequences of strong public employee unions.... and their power over our democracy. Scary.
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Competence —  for the day after graduation!

    What’s the best thing that happened to you today? Victor Perton, the “Optimism Guy” asks us.For me, it’s that I’m here in Australia (by ZOOM) at the Diversity and Inclusion Forum on February 3, 2021 (actually it’s February 4 already, in Australia) with Victor and another presenter. I was invited by my friend, Ivan Kaye, and am very grateful for that.What an incredible world we’re in these days. Business and education leaders can “meet” half way across the world and discuss important issues [...]
  • Elon Musk and Vernon Jones asked for advice. Here goes!

    Elon Musk and Vernon Jones asked for advice. Here goes!Dear Mr. Musk and Mr. Jones,Amazingly — as I’ve been watching and reading the news, it turns out that both of you have asked for similar advice! So, I hope it’s alright that I’m addressing you together. You want to know how to spend money and promote ideas and policies that will move the needle forward and make a real positive difference for our nation. Thank you for that question and invitation, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, and Vernon [...]
  • Special education post-pandemic — what and how?

    School crossing signs. See US in bottom right corner!Many thoughtful and concerned people are asking this vital question here in the USA — especially now that we have a new administration in Washington and possibly a new Education Department Secretary, Miguel Cardona. Here are my thoughts –as of now. I’ll write more about this, of course.As a passionate supporter of public schools since the time I arrived as a nine-year-old immigrant who spoke NO English — on an ocean liner that docked in [...]
  • After COVID, whither special education?

    Many, many thoughtful and concerned people are asking this vital question. Let me set my thoughts –as of right now. I’ll write more about this, of course.Here’s today’s conversation starter.Today’s headlines tell us two very critical and disturbing facts about our public schools.First, that student enrollment is down — across the board, with special declines at kindergarten levels. Parents are not sending their children to school. They are seeking and creating other options for them.Second, [...]
  • In this PANDEMIC, let’s be honest — sometimes ART can bring a smile to our faces.

    In this PANDEMIC, let’s be honest — sometimes ART can bring a smile to our faces. How about, medicine bottle art! I hope it brings you a smile!During this pandemic, we need to be creative! Alas, during this pandemic, we also accumulate many medicine bottles — both at home and among my friends and colleagues. Since I like to “make lemonade out of lemons”, I set out to create Medicine Bottle COVID Art! Walks on the beach in Half Moon Bay give me the shells — whole and broken, driftwood, and [...]