• Headline grabber: A diploma he can’t read.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/hs graduate got cheated of an education ZC10KchIszRn4mGc1zUVjKThe New York Post reports this tale....The high school 'graduate' with a diagnosed learning disability who has 2nd grade reading skills, got a high school diploma. He 'passed' the tests for graduation. How did he do that? Well, on the fifth try, someone read the reading test to him (though testing rules did not allow it) so he 'passed.' Note that in some states, including Massachusetts, [...]
  • FIXING SPECIAL EDUCATION is published!

    I am so happy to let you know that my latest little flipbook is out! It is available at www.parkplacepubs.com and wwww.schoollawpro.com. Fixing Special Education--12 Steps to Transform a Broken System, balances the tale of special education's success with 12 steps to transform it for the 21st century.I hope you find it thought provoking--let's start that national frank and open conversation! Let's get that transformation underway. It is time!
  • I cheered at my TV today! Thanks to Meet the Press!

    Thank you, thank you, Meet the Press, for bringing together Arne Duncan, Newt Gingrich, and Al Sharpton to discuss education. It was a very powerful, positive, and uplifting show. Takeaways? It's all about results--we have a results problem. All of us need to move outside our comfort zones and focus on children, not adults. Schooling is our 21st century civil right. Parents need to work as partners with schools, not fight with them. And on it went. Fantastic. If you missed it, it's today, [...]
  • So glad to see SpedEx on the CADRE website!

    Here's the URL...http://www.directionservice.org/cadre/ctu/practicesA.cfm?id=102As you know from prior blogs, SpedEx is the innovative, child-centered, dispute resolution model in Massachusetts. Free to parents and schools (eight cases per year are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). First come, first served!
  • Alas, not writing well in K-12 has consequences…

    Interesting and sad.... today's set of blogs about the fact that university professors are finding that their science students do not write well. And their law students!What we do at the K-12 levels has legs that continue through the education and life systems... http://science-professor.blogspot.com/2009/10/literally-doomed.htmlhttp://www.joannejacobs.com/
  • NAEP math scores released… and upcoming hearings

    LRP ran an interesting story on line about these scores and students with disabilities (SWD). Among its findings are that SWD continue to perform poorly and the gaps between student groups are pretty much as they were in 2007.Another issue was highlighted, however. That is the fact that different states exclude different numbers of students from the NAEP testing--the range is wide. For example, on the 8th grade math tests, the range was reported to be from 9% in Arkansas to 56% in [...]
  • The gift of life, and its price–New York Times today

    In the context of our national health care debate, today's NY Times front-page story is fascinating... about the rise in births of twins--especially through fertility treatments. The price? Into the seven figures per births.....As I read it, I was struck by the fact that The Times indexed the story in the Health section. Those of us who work in public schools, especially with special education, know that it should also be indexed in the Education section, as, sadly, there is a link between [...]
  • FIXING Special Education–almost published!

    Dear friends of education reform,My almost-ready-and-soon-to-be published new little flipbook, FIXING Special Education--12 Steps to TRANSFORM a Broken System is almost here. We expect a late October launch!The book is mentioned in Joanne Jacob's terrific blog today, http://www.joannejacobs.com/tag/miriam-kurtzig-freedman/This little flipbook will be availabe at Park Place Publications....http://stores.homestead.com/parkplacepubsstore/-strse-School-Law-Pro-Series/Categories.bokAnd, of [...]
  • Another excellent op-ed about reading: Not a SKILL, but a knowledge based necessity.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/daniel-willingham/willingham-reading-is-not-a-sk.htmlWhile this debate is going on about the national standards movement for all students, I am reminded of the many IEPs--Individualized Education Programs--for students with disabilities that schools provide across our land. Too many, focus on reading skills: decoding, encoding, reading comprehension, fluency, etc. ---without relating reading to the knowledge that students need to learn and [...]
  • Common Core letter and Diane Ravitch op-ed

    Isn't it obvious that kids need to know stuff? Lots of knowledge and skills. The world is complex. Yes, it is obvious but seems to be seems to be getting lost in the fog of '21st century skills.' Without knowledge and basic skills--there can be no bright future for students--no matter the banner or latest fad. Here's a letter that sets us on the right (and obvious path).http://www.commoncore.org/p21-challenge.php.And see Diane Ravitch' op-ed piece from this past Tuesday. Similar [...]