My father told me–if something sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not. Differentiated instruction (DI) is designed to make mainstreaming/inclusion work. As far as I know, including all sorts of learners in one classroom is an unproven theory created in the name of a civil right, not pedagogy. It’s basis is a dream. It’s reality is unproven. Will another generation of students be the guinea pig for this ‘hot’ theory? As a former teacher and current school attorney, I admit that I’m a skeptic. I worry that DI will lead to further dumbing down for all–in the name if ‘all together now.’ The slide is slow and imperceptible–yet very real and troubling in our current world.
Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.