Here is the letter I emailed to Tom Friedman, NY Times columnist.

Hello Mr. Friedman,

 I enjoy reading and hearing you.

 In your appearance on Sunday on Meet the Press, you paint a tough picture of our schools. You’re right. I’m a former teacher, current school attorney, and parent of children who attended public schools.  It is obvious to me that focus on the wrong half of the class–the bottom. With No Child Left Behind and the special education programs, our focus is NOT on improving American’s competitiveness–and not on the top half of our classes. Or to use the popular mantra, alas, our focus is on equity, not excellence. We are NOT doing both.  Maybe it’s just too hard?

 In terms of special education, my area of expertise, we spend 20-40% of school budgets on this program and lots of time and effort and bureaucracy–without evidence that all that effort and resources work effectively to improve results. Should you wish more information, please visit my website, 

 If we add your column in today’s NY TIMES, a call to truth telling. Let us finally tell the truth and the whole truth where our money, passion, and effort is going in our public schools.  We need to change direction–fast!

About Miriam

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,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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