• Another good intention gone awry–Title IX goes from soccer to sexual harassment

    Another good intention gone awry. When will we ever learn? Let's hope clearer heads will prevail so that we can restore opportunities for all students-- girls and boys alike; men and women alike. All of us. Thank you, Joanne Jacobs for posting this. Here is the link. http://www.joannejacobs.com/2018/08/title-ix-twisted-from-soccer-to-sex-harassment/#comment-227475
  • Students with disabilities sue ACT for disclosing personal information.

    Here we go again. The saga that never ends. That is, SAT and ACT accommodations saga. It's been wrong from day one and the reverberations just keep on coming. See recent stories about the overuse of these accommodations.... Back in 2003 I wrote ("Disabling the SAT") about the fact that these testing giants, the SAT and ACT, had just agreed to stop "flagging" test scores when the tests had been taken under nonstandard conditions. The SAT reached a settlement of a potential lawsuit [...]
  • Thank you! A student reacts to the overuse of SAT extended time

    Thank you, Luke Egan for bringing this issue to the fore-- again--and thank you, a loyal reader of my work, for bringing it to my attention. The opening paragraph is terrific, as it raises the issue by students for students. "The most polarizing issue in my high school’s community didn’t relate to religion or politics. It was the issue of extra time. Extra time, which is often given for in-class assignment and standardized tests, typically offers students who qualify 1.5 to double [...]
  • The story that just won’t go away–

    ...Ah, those SAT and ACT accommodations. Some students get accommodations--especially extended time (50 or 75% or ??? more time than other students--without ANY notice to colleges, schools, students, and parents that those tests were taken under non-standard conditions. Really? Yes, really. So long as colleges continue to use these tests in their admission process, the most basic requirement is that they be standardized. They no longer are--as we no longer know how students took [...]
  • Finally, a thoughtful question about inclusion….

    Finally, the question is posed: has inclusion gone too far? Do we know? Can we know? The question posed in this important piece by Allison Gilmour, published in Education Next is: Has Inclusion Gone Too Far? https://www.educationnext.org/has-inclusion-gone-too-far-weighing-effects-students-with-disabilities-peers-teachers/ At last, maybe we’re getting somewhere–that is, maybe we will start to focus on ALL students and ALL teachers in our schools when we set up [...]
  • Finally! Has inclusion gone too far?

    Finally, some research looking at inclusion from the perspective of students with disabilities, their peers and their teachers. The story is not so rosy--in fact, it is troubling. We need far more research. I've been writing about this issue for years--check out my Wall Street Journal op-ed and my book, Special Education 2.0. Here's the article by Alison F. Gilmour. It will be published in Education Next this fall. Check it out. Your thoughts? Has Inclusion Gone Too Far? [...]
  • Early childhood program benefits “over blown” by recent report.

    Check out Joanne Jacobs' blog about this research by Grover Whitehurst at the Brookings Center on Children and Families. http://www.joannejacobs.com/2018/07/pre-ks-benefits-are-overblown/. Read it and weep. My take on all of this? Fascinating and oh, so sad for these children, their families, and our nation. And worse, these studies seem to confirm earlier ones about the lack of long term positive effects from preschools. Yet we continue to throw good money at these, while [...]
  • Great words of encouragement for reformers.

    Do you get discouraged or frustrated that real and effective reforms are too slow and not enough people care about improving schools in meaningful systemic ways. And, that too often, when reforms are actually undertaken, they often go off the rails, even though well intentioned. Yes, sometimes I do get discouraged. But now, thanks to reading The New York Times Book Review about Steven Brill’s new book, Tailspin—The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—and Those Fighting [...]
  • Joanne Jacob’s piece, “None dare call it tracking…”

    An interesting piece. http://www.joannejacobs.com/2018/07/none-dare-call-it-tracking/. And if it's tracking, Joanne is fine with it--because it focuses on what students need, not their labels or economic status. Finally It's about time. I think we're finally getting somewhere. My comment in her piece is this: Check out schools based on proficiency and competency (competency-based education--CBE). Dare I say it--these schools and programs are on the right "track" because they [...]
  • Why I’m an optimist–PART 2: Who will be our Atul Gawande?

    The most inspiring news about improving public education for all students—general and special ed—comes from the new health care venture launched in Boston by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, investor Warren Buffett, and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. It doesn’t come from education at [...]