• NEWS FLASH! SpedEx: new resolution model!

    Please visit the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at www.doe.mass.edu/bseaScroll down to the June 15, 2009 SpedEx launch.SpedEx is the innovative way for schools and parents to resolve disputes about special education placements--keeping the child's need for a FAPE (free appropriate public education) front and central.SpedEx is the new game in town. Check it out! For more information, please contact us at www.specialeducationday.com or at [...]
  • Let’s have a beer! www.nytimes.com.

    How about this.If the President, Professor Gates, and Sergeant Crowley can sit down and have a beer at the White House, how about parents of students with disabilities and school personnel--sitting down just to talk with and listen to each other. When the President mentioned that idea at his impromptu news briefing yesterday, didn't the nation breath a bit easier?Surely worth trying. Talking and listening to move forward together might work better than the endless battles we now have about [...]
  • Dual and dueling laws: www.ed.gov

    As I think about how we do special education in the U.S., sometimes reality stares us in the face; yet, we overlook it.The better regular education is, the less special education we need. That is the way it is. Rock bottom solid reality.A bit of history. Back in the 1970's, the law seemed to create two systems--regular and special. Special education was going to 'fix,' 'cure,' 'educate' students identified for IDEA services. Often it succeeded and students benefited. But, over the years, [...]
  • Massachusetts launches dispute resolution SpedEX!

    As a co-founder of Special Education Day (http://www.specialeducationday.com/), I am so happy to let you know that one of our holiday's reform efforts, SpedEx, is now launched. Supported and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), SpedEx is ready to help parents and schools resolve disputes about special education and a FAPE (free appropriate public education) to students.For information, please visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/bsea/spedxWe wish [...]
  • More on that Supreme Court decision, Forest Grove…

    Am I the only person who was taken aback by the Court's decision to grant the parents reimbursement for their private placement (even though the child had not received special education in the public school) for several reasons, including the fact that the legal process takes too long! Oh my. Where is the justice for all?The timing:Parents sought a due process hearing in 2003.The District Court issued its ruling in 2005.And here we are in 2009, with the Supremes--almost a year after the [...]
  • SpedEX is launched! http://www.doe.mass.edu/bsea/spedx.html

    A new, creative, child-centered dispute resolution model is now launched by the Bureau of Special Education Appeals in Massachusetts! Funded and supported by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, it is full of promise and creativity. It will provide a child with a FAPE--a free appropriate public education, with follow up to assure its implementation. We expect stories of success!Check it out! http://www.doe.mass.edu/bsea/spedx.htmlThis model grew out of [...]
  • Blue Collar and Proud of It–in USA Today!

    Joe Lamacchia's book, Blue Collar and Proud of It--which was featured in my June 15 blog, is the subject of today's USA Today article. Yes, Virginia, there are many ways to succeed in life and perhaps, not everyone should go to college. One path does not fit all.http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-06-22-blue-collar_N.htm
  • Supreme Court decision on private school tuition

    Hot off the Supreme Court docket! Parents of special education students may seek reimbursement for their private school placement even if the child never received special education services in the public school. Once a finding is made that the school district denied the student a FAPE--a free appropriate public education--and that the parent's private school provides a FAPE--reimbursement is possible.Here is the N Y. Times [...]
  • What education can learn from Bernard Madoff…

    What the (NCLB) No Child Left Behind Act and the IDEA, the nation’s special education law, can learn from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.My stepfather often told me that if something sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not. P. T. Barnum put it this way, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” As the Madoff story unfolded, many of us wondered—how could so many 'affluent and smart' investors and charities put all their money in one basket and believe it could earn 12% year after year after [...]
  • Great New York Times article… Let’s hear it for working with our hands!

    "The case for working with your hands." A fascinating article about just that--how the author became a motorcycle mechanic (and author) and how the manual trades may be making a come back in our economy. You can find it atwww.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/magazine/24labor-t.htmlMany of us in education have long argued against the dilution of vocational and technical training and the elevation of academics and lots of testing for all. This article by Matthew B. Crawford is taken from his new [...]