Dear friends and colleagues,
I hope your holidays are joyous with family and friends and that we’ll share a wonderful new year of peace, prosperity, and meaningful education reforms. I’m staying put in California—if you make it to the Bay Area, let me know.
It’s a good time to review the work year and raise hopes for the new. Yes, I know we’re all super busy now but just maybe, maybe you’ll enjoy collecting reading ideas for the end-of-year break.
With that happy thought, here are three to consider.
First, if you haven’t shared my latest thought-provoking book with others yet or gotten your very own copy of Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law, there’s still time! It’s available on Amazon and on my website, http://schoollawpro.com/store. It’s a great road map for reform and discussion starter. Let me know what you think.
Second, I’m happy to share that I was published in a law journal again—this time, about Endrew F., the 2017 Supreme Court decision setting out what a FAPE (free appropriate public education) is and what schools should provide for all students with disabilities. It’s is a counterpoint in the Journal of Law and Education, Volume 47 Number 4 Fall 2018. I’ve attached the PDF.
Fascinating stuff. Briefly, I argue that
• The Supremes did NOT raise the (FAPE) free appropriate public education standard.
• The Supremes acknowledged the two groups of students with disabilities—those with mild and moderate needs (making up about 80-90% ) and those with profound and severe needs. My loyal readers and fans know that I believe we need different legal procedures and systems for these two groups (more fully discussed in my book).
• The Court confirmed that in the IEP Team process, schools are the experts and parents provide input. It’s time that all Team members understand their unique and important roles, value everyone’s contribution to the Team, and thereby provide well for the child.
Third, have you discovered https://Medium.com ? It’s a fascinating free website—full of good writing—and it’s super easy to be published there. Check out my latest at https://medium.com/@miriamkfreedman/happy-birthday-special-education-its-time-for-a-real-redo-d541867d5fb2. When you add your thoughts to that website, please share. Give it a go!
Finally, if you’re in Los Angeles in February at the AASA (American Association of School Administrators) conference, let me know. I’ll be part of a round-table discussion there. And if you’re in the Boston area in May and want to participate in a reform event that may include a creative out-of-the-box game and other surprises, let me know. We’re starting to plan.
So, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it! What’s yours? Please share. Here’s to systemic and meaningful reform of special education. Come aboard! Let’s get it going in 2019!
Schools, the law, and common sense!