• Please call them advanced or high achievers–not gifted or talented!

    I just read an excellent piece by Jonathan A. Plucker, “Common Core and  America’s High-Achieving Students.”  It is on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute website. For the most part, the piece uses terms appropriately--'high achievers,' 'advanced.' But, unfortunately, the terms, 'gifted' and ' high-ability' also slip into the piece. Those are labels placed  on children.  Using those labels is not helpful in advancing the important argument of the piece--which is that we need to focus on the [...]
  • Stop the invalid use of student testing to judge teachers!

    I just read this piece about needing a New Deal for testing... and add my voice to the conversation. http://edexcellence.net/articles/stump-speech-challenge-a-new-deal-on-testing Using student test results to measure teacher performance is not just 'starting to damage our schools.'  It is flawed in a far more basic way--it is invalid use of those tests.  These tests are designed to measure student performance against the Common Core--and to assess college and career readiness. They are [...]
  • Who benefits from these laws?

    Who benefits from these laws--the Common Core related testing, which is supposed to be implemented this spring,  and special education. I'm sure you can add many other laws that are presumably about schools and students but have huge unintended (or was it intended?) beneficiaries. Without getting into the pros and cons of any specific law, we can all agree that it is intended to improve the education for students. Undoubtedly, the stated  mission. And surely, many students do benefit, [...]
  • My favorite book for teachers and parents…..

    The school year is starting, a good time to talk about favorite books and inspirations.    My favorite book about children and education is Mindset—the New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychology professor.  She sets out the advantages of a growth mindset, instead of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset is based on effort, working hard, grit, believing that a student can learn, and, according to the book, even believing that a student who works hard can grow his/her [...]
  • Here, at last, comes Generation 2! The new special education law! Join us!

    It's been a long while since I blogged.... for loyal readers, I do apologize for my absence. The great news is that I've been hard at work--with much support from friends and colleagues-- on an exciting project--writing a new law for special education!  It's current title is Education for All:  Reaching High for Generation 2.   Its mascot is the giraffe--who always reaches high! The project started back in January... at the cafe when I was talking to Dave and his teen-age son about the [...]
  • It’s OK to ask your doctor: ‘Have you washed your hands?’

    If you live long enough, you can see it all—if you’re looking. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal in the Personal Journal section, ‘Never too Awkward to Ask:  Have You Washed Your Hands?’  Apparently only 50% of doctors do—and it’s dangerous to patients that so many don’t.  Who knew? I thought they had solved that one… For me, I'll have to change my presentations!  In speaking of the professionalism of teachers--that we need to honor--I used to  say that they are like doctors. We should not [...]
  • To fix special education, let’s get everyone at the table!

    My August 5  Wall Street Journal op-ed--that garnered many comments and letters--is all about getting everyone to the table--regular and special ed folks; teachers and parents and adminstrators; students and citizens.   We can't just be talking to our friends and people who agree with us.  We need to talk to others, as well. In my view, we need to expand the national discussion.  In your  view?  Let us know!  
  • CASE in Indianapolis

    I'll be speaking at 24th CASE Annual Fall Conference in Indianapolis tomorrow on "Fixing Special Education--It's Time to Reinvent this Broken System." If you'd like a copy of the presentation material, please send a comment.    
  • Time to turn off those smart phones? Read and watch!

    Yesterday we were at a fancy Boston restaurant during Restaurant Week.... It hit home--all those cell phones going; peole together not really together. Photos, emails, texts. Nobody was actually there. An now today's NY Times. Same story on a national scale. What are we doing here? http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/disruptions-more-connected-yet-more-alone/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130902&_r=0
  • Slate on ‘bad people’ who send their children to private school…

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/private_school_vs_public_school_only_bad_people_send_their_kids_to_private.html   Wow. Years ago I wrote a piece about the reality that the ONLY way to fix our public schools is the CLOSE all private schools.  Here is the link!http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/miriam-k-freedman-one-radical-idea-to-fix-public-schools/ WOW. Where does this go? I'm not into labeling parents as this Slate headline does. But, [...]