Here are my thoughts in response to this excellent Education Week piece by Matt Miles.

Thank you, Matt, for this vital piece. It’s about time! As a teacher, you clearly set out the downsides of tech addiction, research funded by technology that drives efforts for 1:1 technology, so-called “personalized instruction,” and other efforts. Thank you for that!

I will check out your blog, PaleoEducation.

I wish you, your book, and your efforts much success. The fact that they called you a “resister” is scary and shocking.

Please let us know how we can help get the word out. Of course, we are all well aware of the fact that many Silicon Valley gurus send their own children to schools, like Waldorf, that don’t use technology. HMMM. Really? Yes, really.

Well, too much technology–as public schools are being urged to provide– is not good for other people’s children, either.

Children’s addiction should be to learning, not to technology or social media.

Thank you!

Thank you, Diane, for highlighting this 2011 story. It was also one of my favorites when I first read it.

The hypocrisy in public education is rich. Too often, policies and “great ideas” are for other people’s children–not our own.

Please visit her blog at to see this post and my comment.

If we’re not careful, the rich and powerful will continue to pull their children out of public schools and that will leave those schools ever more for the have-nots. Whither the common good?

These stories matter!

Of course, I mean the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and the way to improve public education is through special education.

If we want strong robust public schools, we need to understand what’s happening in those schools. And then, believe it or not, it’s vital to understand special education. That’s right, special education.

And that’s because special education, which was created in 1975 to mandate public education for children with special needs, has evolved & expanded to the point that it has become one of the principal drivers of public education policy & finances. Even so, it’s largely ignored. Often, it’s the elephant in the room. If you look at end-of-year lists of top education priorities, you’ll not see it. That’s really too bad.

As I see it, we can’t improve schools for all students without understanding the role and effects of the special education law & delivery system for special education.

Especially with today’s challenge from Washington that if public schools don’t serve all children, the feds will help them opt out through choice and vouchers.

So, the way to fix public education is through special education. As for a man’s heart, I’ll leave that as it’s always been.

Please read this review, as posted on Diane Ravitch’s blog. It raises all sorts of excellent issues. So, I was moved to comment. Enjoy!

Here’s my comment:

Diane, Happy New Year and thanks for posting this interesting and unsettling book review about the negative (and, HMMM, unpredicted?) effects of testing policies set by experts and our government.

As I read it, I realized that these concerns go far beyond testing. Policy makers and experts “set unreasonable targets” in many, many arenas of public education. Take, for example, my area of concern and expertise–special education–and the policies that affect all students and all schools–often, with unintended (unpredicted?) and absurd consequences. Yet we carry on. Who will stop this maddening train?

Too often, targets created by policy makers in Washington and beyond– in the testing and other arenas–don’t hit the mark and damage the very schools we are trying to improve.

When will WE ever learn?

HMMM… whose children are these computers for? Theirs or other people’s. You decide….

And see an earlier story,

When Silicon Valley execs embrace technology in schools for their own children, then let’s talk.

Check out the little program in East Palo Alto (10 Books a Home) where I volunteer as a “role model.” I visit a 4 year old boy (we started when he was 3) in his HOME–role modeling for the PARENTS–the help prevent (not close) that “30-million-word-gap.”

Here’s a great link to the cleats that will be worn by the 49ers’ Solomon Thomas!!

Of course I agree that this IS THE HUGE challenge…. developed in early early early childhood. As I see it, we need to enroll parents when children are babies–IN THE HOME. Parents are a student’s first teachers. Let’s help them be as good as they can be.

Thank you! Together, we’re on the right path.

Here’s a story about 10 Books a Home– a small, in-home learning program. It provides an hour a week of games, toys, and books for little kids and helps their parents work with their own children. I know, because I’m as volunteer role model with 10BH–as we call it.

A good read. I do believe in home-based education! Let’s help 10BH and other programs thrive.

It’s about time! No pun intended.

Thank you, Education Week, for this long overdue front page–top story. We need to study how inclusion affects classrooms–teachers and students.

While the story focused on an international study looking at general educators’ time on task and the effect of behavior issues in classrooms, this is but a good first step. We need many more studies need to look at all other aspects of this vital question: How inclusion affects general education–teachers and students (and even parent perception).

As many of you, my loyal readers, know, I’ve focused on this issue for years. See my 2013 Wall Street Journal op-ed on Mainstreaming; see my 2017 book, Special Education 2.0 (in the Store on this website as well as on Amazon).

So, a great first step. Thank you, Education Week, for its front page top story placement!

Special education still in “deep trouble” and needs reform–according to California’s President of the State Board of Education, Michael Kirst. Here are the article about his comments (that includes some from me) and the podcast–again, Mike Kirst, followed by me.

I do believe we’re getting the word out…slowly, slowly.

The podcast is about 17 minutes long. The special education segment with Mike Kirst starts around minute 8 and mine starts around minute 11. Enjoy!

Let me know what you think! Onward and upward!

I attended the EdSource meeting last week in Oakland California and heard Michael Kirst speak about the need for reforming special education. The system is antiquated… and needs “another look.” As you can read, the article cites several people, including yours truly and gives a shout out to my book, Special Education 2.0.

Onward and upward.

I’m an optimist and do believe we’ll make the necessary changes–Step by step, little by little. Thank you, Mike, for getting the word out.