• Let’s rebuild special education when schools reopen

    Getty Images/Tomwang112Anne DelfosseMiriam Kurtzig Freedman6.17.2020This spring’s school closures have challenged us to look at many things differently and to be open-minded, creative, and brave about moving toward necessary change. As we consider reopening schools in the fall, let’s hold on to that mindset and ask what should special education become? Does the forty-five-year-old federal law (IDEA) need a thorough redo? We believe it does.There is much to celebrate about all that public [...]
  • We are witnessing the SAT’s slow suicide.

    Breaking News: On May 11, 2020, the Los Angeles Times reported that the University of California President recommended that the SAT be suspended for U C admissions. That is huge! Undoubtedly, as the U C goes, so will the nation.Yet for some of us SAT-watchers, it was not “breaking” news. We have watched the SAT over the last many years slowly destroy itself as the testing gold standard. Let’s call it a self-induced suicide (an oxymoron, undoubtedly).Sadly, as I see it, the SAT, which is [...]
  • Special education in the time of coronavirus: DeVos and Congress need to act!

    Good for U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for working on proposals to Congress urging flexibility to implement the primary federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), during school closures caused by this pandemic. The CARES Act requires her to propose, within thirty days, IDEA provisions that should be waived, if any. Notably, and perhaps overlooked, is the fact that this effort is of great importance to many stakeholders, including the [...]
  • As just published by Fordham Institute! Please share with others!

    As just published by Fordham Institute! Please share with others!Miriam Kurtzig Freedman4.14.2020Getty Images/Toshe_OGood for U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for working on proposals to Congress urging flexibility to implement the primary federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), during school closures caused by this pandemic. The CARES Act requires her to propose, within thirty days, IDEA provisions that should be waived, if any. [...]
  • A bit of art to bring a smile in these tough times

    There’s no doubt. We’re all going through tough times across our country and world. Of course we’ll get through it — but it’s tough going. And while we’re going through it, what do people do? — cooped up at home. Puzzles? Write a book? Clean a closet? Contact friends and family on Skype or ZOOM. All good ideas.Here’s my partial solution. Art! And, I dare say, I hope it brings a smile to your face. IF these pieces do that, they’ve done their job.Yes, medicine bottle art! In my home these [...]
  • Honoring Clayton Christensen and his view of the limits of data

    I wrote this post also on Medium.com--where the links to the two presentations are available. https://medium.com/@miriamkfreedman/honoring-clayton-christensen-and-the-limits-of-data-6e335e7ad591 In fact, please follow me on Medium.com for now as I post there more often than on this blog. When and if that changes, I'll be back here. Here's the story I just posted on Medium.com. Enjoy! The untimely death of Professor Clayton Christensen at the age of 67 has jarred many of us. He [...]
  • Honoring Clayton Christensen and the limits of data

    The untimely death of Professor Clayton Christensen at the age of 67 has jarred many of us. He was truly an amazing and influential innovator and disrupter.I consider myself lucky because I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Christensen at his presentation in Boston many years ago — speaking about education. He was very clear and inspiring, and I’ve continued to follow him from a distance ever since.I’d like to share some of his thoughts on the limits of data. We in education are directed to [...]
  • Violent Students Keep Coming Back

    Joanne, thanks for highlighting this the real-world example of a misplaced common good. Here’s her story and my comment.https://www.joannejacobs.com/2019/12/violent-students-keep-coming-back/Violent students keep coming backDECEMBER 16, 2019 BY JOANNE 1 COMMENTViolent students can assault teachers and classmates, then return to class a few days later, report Brittany Wallman and Megan O’Matz in the South Florida Sun Sentinel. They blame mainstreaming of children with emotional and [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • The IMPOSSIBLE Special Ed Fix!

    The IMPOSSIBLE Special Ed Fix!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 wrenches today’s schools, teachers, students, and [...]