• Boredom is good for you!

    When I raised my two children (back in the dark ages!), how often did I say to them, "That's good. Boredom is good for you." Obviously in response to a complaint, "Mommy, I'm bored."  They were unhappy with that but I had a good sense about it. Boredom is good for you! Little did I know that I was ahead of the brain research on this matter!  I was gratified to read this report from Great Britain on boredom's contribution to creativity. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21895704
  • Let’s go back to ability grouping.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/03/lets-go-back-to-grouping-students-by-ability/274362/ Here's a piece in The Atlantic on bringing back ability grouping that, I believe, is related to inclusion. The non-tracking idea was also based on ideology, notions of 'equality,'  not research, as the inclusion movement seems to be based on rights.  The author writes.... "Unfortunately the efforts and philosophies of otherwise well-meaning individuals have eliminated the achievement [...]
  • Defining bullying down–op ed in the New York Times

    In case you missed this op ed--I found it very thought provoking, especially after reading the many comments it garnered. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/12/opinion/defining-bullying-down.html. One question for me is whether bullying--no matter how it is defined, broadly or narrowly--is a problem that Congress or state legislatures can solve. Think about that. More layers for schools to deal with --with questionable effectiveness--and, of course, less time for teaching and learning. Just [...]
  • Paperwork reduction in schools… for what purpose?

    Many states are looking at paperwork reduction--teachers and administrators are inundated with requirements. In special education alone, back in 2002, there were 814 monitoring requirements for states and districts. It's gotten worse. We are certainly losing the so called 'paperwork reduction efforts (PRE).'  I applaud efforts to reduce paperwork and bureaucratic requirements. But, I want to be sure that in our efforts, we stay focused on the big purpose,  lest we lose track (MT4TO).  It's [...]
  • My new PayPal account! Still learning the ropes.

    Thanks for visiting my website. Here's the Picasa link to the road sign collection. https://picasaweb.google.com/111922357335807924669/ChildrenGoingToSchoolRoadSignsFromAroundTheWorld. You may have to cut and paste it... If you are interested in buying the greeting cards on line, here is the PayPal account:  http:/tinyurl.com/awwydzh. You may have to cut and paste this also, for now. I hope you can use it. Let me know if there are issues. I'm still learning the ropes on this!    
  • Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin, How about a Milner Prize to fix special education?

    This is exciting!  Silicon Valley entrepreneurs (the chief executive of Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg, and the co-founder of Google, Mr. Brin) have  teamed up with investor Yuri Milner to create a new prize to spur innovation. Called the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, it provides $3M to each of a  group of 11 scientists to spur breakthrough discoveries.  Here's the Wall Street Journal article about it. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323549204578315480875059390.html HMMM.  [...]
  • Signs, Letreros, Hyoushiki–children crossing signs from around the world!

    Check out the ROAD SIGNS exhibit at the Boston Children's Museum--February 15 to March 17! Signs, Letreros, Hyoushiki .... This exhibit features my collection of road signs of children going to school around the world. Japan, Mexico, China, Czech Republic, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, etc. etc. Check out the entire collection online. As I mentioned in an earlier blog about my mother (December 18), I think these signs are fantastic. Artistic and colorful--in basic red, yellow [...]
  • Early language is key. We have known this. Here’s more research…

    Children who come to school with a small vocabulary are already behind. Beore day one. We have known this for a long time... In fact, I remember how startled I was when I first learned of this gap. See, e.g., the 2003 longitudinal studies by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley, showing that by age 3, youngsters from language rich (generally well-to-do) families have a working vocabulary of 1116 words, children from working class families have a 749 word vocabulary, and children from [...]
  • Great story about fixing schools… the old fashioned way

    Happy Sunday! I enjoyed reading this review of the Union City schools in New Jersey. "The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools." It's step by step focus by all--administration, teachers, students, parents--on results, starting in early childhood. It's not about firing bad teachers or getting charter schools. It's an amazing story of success. Congratulations to the hard workers in Union City, New Jersey! As someone who grew up in Flemington, New Jersey, this story makes me proud to have grown [...]
  • OCR’s new letter on students with disabilities in sports.

    An OK letter in some ways and very troubling in many others. OK? In many ways this "letter to colleagues" states the current practice--as schools have successfully been including students with disabilities in sports programs for many, many years. [NOTE that much of OCR's regulations and letters, including parts of this letter reach far beyond the law, Section 504. More on this in a later blog]. Interestingly, this 'directive' or 'ruling' as headlines proclaim, came in the form of a [...]