Here’s a good read about someone who is called the world’s most famous teacher (who, I admit) I never heard of..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/07/16/the-worlds-most-famous-teacher-blasts-school-reform/

The story has some gems about teaching. As I used to be a teacher, back in the 1960’s and ’70s, before I became a school attorney, it brought back memories. I especially liked his comment about the fact that too many children go to school tired–not enough sleep at home; and that poor parents–as well as more well-off ones–love their children and want to do right by them.

That tracks my memory of my teaching days back in Berkeley (CA) in the 1960’s!)

Good summer reading.

 

It’s been challenging to follow the machinations about this law in Congress.

Yesterday the House voted on party lines to amend the NCLB and take its implementation back to the states–instead of the federal government.

This write up in Ed Week  is a good one–it lays out the pros and cons and tells us who is for the House version and who against… as well as what the Senate may be up to.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2013/07/house_debates_no_child_left_re.html

What to make of this? First observation–groups that represent school districts favor the House version of more local control. Others don’t. Sad, isn’t it–to have such a dispute–especially as, in the end, it all comes down to those schools.

Second observation–many groups decry the House version as saying it lowers expectations and doesn’t continue the push for high standards for all students. But I have a hard time understanding this argument since 39 states and DC have received waivers from those very expectations. (Remember how all students were going to be ‘proficient’ by 2014–that is next year! ) What am I missing here?

I know, I know.

I know. It’s been over a month since my last blog.  I’m sorry about that… and have no excuses. That’s just what happened.

The good news is that it is now possible for you to buy my three little flipbooks through PayPal on this website!

Please visit the  Store... and you’ll see this step forward.

I hope your summer is going well.

There seems to be growing support for ‘ ability’ grouping. I’d much rather it be called ‘performance grouping.’ How is the child performing now! What are the next steps for that child based on current performance (not some notion of ability or potential).
This practice–whatever we call it– is resurging.  As a former teacher and parent, I believe we should be doing more –rather than less–of this.
Thus, I was happy to see these articles in the NY Tiimes. I’d call it ‘performance grouping.’ I believe we should be doing more of it to meet children’s needs wherever they are based on current performance.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/education/grouping-students-by-ability-regains-favor-with-educators.html?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/02/are-top-students-getting-short-shrift/acknowledging-the-trade-offs-in-differentiation

As loyal readers know, the AASA (American Association of School Administrators) recently wrote a report on reforming special education due process.   I believe they did a great public services in doing so–bringing this issue forward.  It’s generated some controversy and discussion.

It’s been amazing to see the AASA cite our Massachusetts dispute resolution option–based on a jointly selected consultant–SpedEx, as a model going forward!   We in Massachusetts have had success with SpedEx and do believe it could serve as  a model nationwide.

However, there are differences between the AASA version and SpedEx. The major difference, in my view, is that SpedEx is voluntary for schools and parents and that parties do NOT waive any of their due process rights.  See  EdSource below!

http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/its-about-time-reforming-due-process-in-special-education/33080#.UbCc1EAWIRc

Let’s keep this important discussion going. Surely together we can build a better system for schools, parents, and students!

 

Go Massachusetts!  It’s great to see that our innovative reform, SpedEx, has gone national!

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/05/08/30iep.h32.html

SpedEx is an alternate dispute resolution model for parents and schools. It provides them with a jointly selected consultant who will assist them in resolving their dispute about the child’s IEP (Individualized Education Program). SpedEx is child focused, trust-building, free-to-the-parties, and so far, a successful innovation! Please read more about it at

http://spedexresolution.com.

We are happy to serve as AASA’s national model! Onward and upward to fix special education.