Promoting systemic school reform–with common sense!
Join Miriam in her work to change the climate in special education—to end the adversarial climate and focus on teaching and learning for all students. “It’s the climate change we like!”
Miriam is an attorney, reformer, author, speaker—and expert on special education policy and law. Her mantra? Schools, the law and common sense!
2012-2013 school year.
Hello loyal readers and occasional ones, too. So glad to have your visit on my site. I continue to be 'bicoastal'-- spending the fall and early winter in Boston and the late winter/spring/early summer in Palo Alto, where I am visiting Stanford Law School this winter/spring--and have time to spend with my wonderful baby granddaughter!
Let me hear from you on either coast! firstname.lastname@example.org
So here's what's happening:
Onward and upward! Our efforts to reform special education continue-- with some success even.
Miriam continues to do presentations for professionals and to sell those popular little flipbooks! They provide practical, legal, and even fun information for educators, administrators and parents. Please visit the Store on this website for more information.
Miriam's piece in the University of Chicago Law Review on line was published in May. Here's the link.
I'm happy to report that it's been widely read!
SpedEx--the innovative dispute resolution option supported and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education--continues to grow and thrive. There is a new website: http://spedexresolution.com. Check it out!
Miriam's piece in The Atlantic on line, "Four Common-Sense Proposals for Special Education Reform" was published .... It turned out to be the most commented on of that series--"America the Fixable." Check it out at
Miriam continues to participate in COSA events and discussions regarding special education. COSA is the Council of School Attorneys, part of the National School Boards Association. COSA members are a fantastic committed group of school attorneys--dedicated to improving education for all.
As well, we have a nascent little group forming in Massachusetts trying to get "More Time for Teaching!" Stay tuned on that one.
Check out my blog on this website... I try to get to it at least once / week--sometimes, when things are hot, even more often... and let me know what you think!
If you have questions or would like to schedule a consult or presentation, please contact Miriam at email@example.com.
Here's to a successful school year for all!
2011-2012 school year.
Happily, efforts to reform special education--making it more focused on learning and teaching than compliance and litigation continue.
SpedEx is up and running -- in it's third year! Parents and schools find it to be a positive, trust-based approach for resolving disputes--and it's free to both parties! No need to hire advocates or attorneys. SpedEx allows parents and schools to jointly select a neutral consultant who works to help them resolve the dispute about the child's placement. For more information, please visit www.doe.mass.edu/sped/spedx.
The other reform effort, Procedures Lite, is no longer in effect as it was. Please visit www.doe.mass.edu/sped/news/news.aspx?id=6585.
We continue to work to build trust between parents and schools, to improve communication between parents and schools so they can focus on the child's needs and work to improve teaching and learning for all students.
Miriam's upcoming University of Chicago Law Review article is scheduled to appear this spring! Stay tuned!
Miriam's speaking schedule for April in Boston will appear in the Events section of this website, as will some on the west coast....
Please visit this website's FREE Stuff section for downloads that are useful for parents and schools alike.
If you'd like more information about any of the above, feel free to contact Miriam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONWARD and UPWARD for MEANINGFUL SYSTEMIC REFORM!
2010-2011 school year reform efforts in Massachusetts. SpedEx and Procedures Lite are doing well and continue to expand and please those who take advantage of the opportunity they offer to build trust and stay focused on student learning.
Miriam is happy to report that SPEDCO’s efforts continue to bear fruit as the reform efforts underway seem to be growing and satisfying those who take advantage of the opportunities. SPEDCO is the Special Education Day Committee. Special Education Day is December 2. For additional information, please visit www.specialeducationday.com and, for SpedEx, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website, www.doe.mass.edu/sped/spedx
Spring 2011. Miriam’s provocative article, “Where is Willie Sutton When We Need Him to Fix Special Education?” Copyright (C) 2011 by Texas Study of Secondary Education, Texas Association of Secondary School Principals. All rights reserved. It is published in the Spring 2011 Texas Study of Secondary Education, TASSP (Texas Association of Secondary School Principals). www.tassp.org.
April 2011. Miriam has a busy speaking schedule back in Boston in late April. Please see particulars in the Events section of this website.
January-June 2011. Miriam is a Visiting Fellow at Hoover Institution, Stanford University. She is updating her little flipbook of laws, Testing Students...and the Law. stay tuned for publication news--hopefully later in 2011.
Miriam's books are now available at Keplers--right here in Menlo Park. Please visit www.keplers.com
Also, as always, they are available at Amazon through these websites:
December 2010. 35th Anniversary of the federal special education law--the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). We will celebrate that at the 6th Annual Special Education Day! Check out www.specialeducationday.com
September 2010. Check out the September-October Education Update.com!We have an exciting three-part discussion of fixing special education: Michael Best, General Counsel, New York City Public Schools, Jean Johnson, Executive Vice President of Public Agenda, and me! See page 9. www.educationupdate.com/
July 2010. John Merrow's new book, Below C Level--How American Education Encourages Mediocrity and What We Can Do About It cites Miriam and the Fixing Special Education--12 Steps to Transform a Broken System book!
June 2010. The Newton Tab has a featured article about Miriam's book, Fixing Special Education--12 Steps to Transform a Broken System. The article generated many comments on its on-line blog.
Miriam was a member of Fordham Insitution's 'brainstorming group' to consider next steps for special education. The meeting was held in Washington DC. Next steps? We'll keep you posted.
May 2010. Common Good hosts book party at its New York City office for Miriam's new book, Fixing Special Education--12 Steps to Transform a Broken System. The event generated much discussion and forthcoming articles in EducationUpdate.com.
January 2010. Check out the educationnews.org interview about Miriam's new book, Fixing Special Education… , including dozens of comments from fellow educators and parents.
November 2009 . Miriam's new book, Fixing Special Education… 12 Steps to Transform a Broken System will be published. It challenges us to celebrate special education's successes over the past 35 years and to meet today's challenges with creativity, commitment, and courage. Fixing... is co-published by School Law Pro and Park Place Publications. It can be ordered from Park Place Publications at www.parkplacepubs.com or through this site, by email.
Summer 2009. Miriam was an expert member of the NABG Technical Advisory Panel on Uniform National Rules for NAEP Testing of Students with Disabilities. The Panel issued its report in July 2009. It is available at www.nagb.org .
Special Education Day. Celebrated every year on December 2. Check the Special Education Day web site for ongoing reform efforts: specialeducationday.com
When the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) celebrated its 20th Anniversary in Washington, DC, Miriam participated in a panel discussion on testing students with disabilities on the nation's report card (NAEP--the National Assessment of Educational Progress). Check the blog for links to the podcast and materials presented.
Miriam visited Stanford Law School again in the winter of 2009. While there, she spoke at Stanford University's Ethics in Society program, "Ethics at Noon." Presentation was "Special Education and its Ethical Dilemmas." http://ethicsinsociety.stanford stanford.edu/ethics-events/ethics-at-noon
Check out the new book, published by Education Week, 'Obama's Education Plan." Miriam's recommendations for special education reform are included. Check out my blog for info!
Spring 2009--SpedEx is launched--the alternate dispute resolution reform, supported and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. SpedEx grew out of our Special Education Day celebrations. We expect success! For information see website: www.specialeducationday.com
Winter 2008: Fourth Annual Special Education Day held on December 2, 2008 in Wellesley, Massachusetts. For information see website: www.specialeducationday.com
Fall 2008: Miriam's third little book of laws, IEP and Section 504 Team Meetings… and the Law is selling across our nation! It is a practical guide to the key requirements, differences and similarities between these meetings and provides several pages of hints for good practice. As always, full citations for all court decisions and government letters and memos are provided. See below for more information and the order form.
Fall 2008: Miriam's voice was among 76 voices collected by John Merrow to provide advice to the new president! You can download her podcast at www.merrow.org/ed_advice .
Spring 2008: Miriam's updated and revised Second Edition, Grades, Report Cards, Etc... and the Law is published by School Law Pro.
Spring 2008, Miriam's updated Second Edition of Meeting NCLB's Mandates: Your Quick-Reference Guide to Assessments and Accountability is published by LRP Publications.
Jan-March 2008: Miriam is a visiting fellow at Stanford Law School.
November 30, 2007 : Third Annual Special Education Day celebrated in Boston. The day marks the 33rd anniversary of the nation's first special education law. It celebrates the successes achieved, highlights current challenges, and makes concrete and specific recommendations for reform as we move forward. For information, visit specialeducationday.com .
Summer 2007: Miriam's book, Grades, Report Cards, Etc. …and the Law is republished. It is available at Miriam@schoollawpro.com
June 2007. Recognition by the Better Government Competition, Pioneer Institute. Miriam's proposal, part of SPEDCO's submission, to reform special education in Massachusetts, was honored as a runner up in the Better Government Competition. www.pioneerinstitute.org
Spring 2007: Miriam's book, Grades, Report Cards, Etc…and the Law is adopted by Colorado, as every high school has now been provided with a copy!
Jan - March, 2007: Miriam visiting fellow at Stanford Law School, speaking at various West Coast locales.
Jan 8, 2007: Miriam quoted on Gerald Ford's Special Ed legacy in Education Week.
December 19, 2006: Second annual Special Education Day. Scott Harshbarger keynoted the event, which marked the 31st anniversary of the federal special education law with the theme of "Dreams, Realities, Possibilities." Participants discussed creative options for change.
Promoting systemic school reform–with common sense!
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