• 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 [...]
  • Bureaucracy and Leadership — what I’m learning at the Peter Drucker Forum 2020.

    Bureaucracy and Leadership — what I’m learning at the Peter Drucker Forum 2020.It’s been a long time since I wrote…. The pandemic and some health issues got in the way. Now I’m back! Thanks for staying with me.I have always believed that it can be useful to attend a conference that is NOT in one’s field. You never know what you’ll learn!With that in mind, I’ve been attending a conference in Vienna, Austria — alas, virtually. I’m sitting in my own kitchen, sipping my coffee alone — not in a [...]
  • A bit more art to bring a smile in these tough times

    On March 19 — at the start of this corona virus pandemic which seems lightyears ago — I published a few of my medicine bottle art items — hoping they’ll bring a smile to your face. People liked them! So here are a few more.— Hawaiian Sun Rays— A menorah for COVID daysA lovely vase with seashells on driftwoodPalms with mirror….— And finally, it’s time to Climb Health Mountain!Are you smiling yet? I hope so!Here are the photos sent in March….Our friend Dave Wilson took many of these photos. [...]
  • 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. [...]