Recent News

    September 1st, 2013

    Slate on ‘bad people’ who send their children to private school…

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/private_school_vs_public_school_only_bad_people_send_their_kids_to_private.html

     

    Wow. Years ago I wrote a piece about the reality that the ONLY way to fix our public schools is the CLOSE all private schools.  Here is the link!http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/miriam-k-freedman-one-radical-idea-to-fix-public-schools/

    WOW. Where does this go? I’m not into labeling parents as this Slate headline does. But, we can’t ignore the reality that there is a large kernel of truth in the reality that if all  people are not invested in our public schools they will not work.  Schools can’t be just for other people’s children.

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | 1 Comment

    August 7th, 2013

    Check out the on going discussion on Joanne Jacobs’ blog

    They’re talking about my Wall Street Journal piece.  Pretty lively.

    BUT, I’m afraid that I’ve been misquoted…

    I did not write that it’s time to debate mainstreaming. That was the Wall Street Journal’s headline. Not mine.

    I was looking at special education far more broadly.  I wrote that it’s time to bring all stakeholders to the table–regular and special education–to discuss how to educate all students. Mainsteaming is but one of the issues to explore. As many of these commenters say, mainstreaming is often an individualized situation. Context matters! I make no conclusions about it .

    http://www.joannejacobs.com/2013/08/its-time-to-debate-mainstreaming/#comments

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    August 5th, 2013

    Read it here! My op-ed in the WALL STREET JOURNAL today!

    I hope you’ll check it out. The argument I make is that to fix special education, we need all stakeholders at the table–regular education parents and teachers, as well as special ed stakeholders.  The need is for open and frank discussion. My piece is NOT intended to be about the pros and cons of inclusion.

     

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323309404578613532497541300.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

    In reviewing the many thoughtful comments this piece has garnered so far, I am struck by the reality that this piece has struck a chord. I do   hope we keep the conversation going. How about a Center or Forum or Event for these very conversations….

    Are you in?

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | 2 Comments

    August 3rd, 2013

    What happens when the battery dies or the smart phone is lost?

    Here’s an interesting (to me, scary) article in Scientific American.  Now that ‘everyone’ has a smart phone–and calculators are allowed in many classrooms–EEK!– kids (and everyone else) don’t need to memorize stuff.  They just need to click and get it.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=smartphones-mean-no-longer-memorize-facts&WT.mc_id=SA_sharetool_Twitter

    I remember how glad I was when my kids’ school did not allow calculators–that was back in the ’90’s. Times have changed. No one needs to know who the first President was– or how much 3 apples will cost, if each is 19 cents. Just look it up in a flash. Wow, that was easy!

    Yet, I find this unsettling. What happens when the battery dies?  Or the smart phone is lost?  What will anyone know or be able to do?

    I still believe the best calculator and ‘smart’ gadget is our brain–and it needs to be nourished, challenged, and educated.

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    July 27th, 2013

    Inclusion research

    How does inclusion affect regular education students?

    Which students? average, below average, above average, advanced?

    How does inclusion affect special education students?

    Which students with which disabilities?

     

    I’ve seen some research–rather old. What’s new out there? If you know of any, please share!

     

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    July 23rd, 2013

    In case you missed ‘the most famous teacher’ story

    Here’s a good read about someone who is called the world’s most famous teacher (who, I admit) I never heard of..

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/07/16/the-worlds-most-famous-teacher-blasts-school-reform/

    The story has some gems about teaching. As I used to be a teacher, back in the 1960’s and ’70s, before I became a school attorney, it brought back memories. I especially liked his comment about the fact that too many children go to school tired–not enough sleep at home; and that poor parents–as well as more well-off ones–love their children and want to do right by them.

    That tracks my memory of my teaching days back in Berkeley (CA) in the 1960’s!)

    Good summer reading.

     

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    July 20th, 2013

    Whither the No Child Left Behind Act?

    It’s been challenging to follow the machinations about this law in Congress.

    Yesterday the House voted on party lines to amend the NCLB and take its implementation back to the states–instead of the federal government.

    This write up in Ed Week  is a good one–it lays out the pros and cons and tells us who is for the House version and who against… as well as what the Senate may be up to.

    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2013/07/house_debates_no_child_left_re.html

    What to make of this? First observation–groups that represent school districts favor the House version of more local control. Others don’t. Sad, isn’t it–to have such a dispute–especially as, in the end, it all comes down to those schools.

    Second observation–many groups decry the House version as saying it lowers expectations and doesn’t continue the push for high standards for all students. But I have a hard time understanding this argument since 39 states and DC have received waivers from those very expectations. (Remember how all students were going to be ‘proficient’ by 2014–that is next year! ) What am I missing here?

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    July 18th, 2013

    I know, I know.

    I know. It’s been over a month since my last blog.  I’m sorry about that… and have no excuses. That’s just what happened.

    The good news is that it is now possible for you to buy my three little flipbooks through PayPal on this website!

    Please visit the  Store... and you’ll see this step forward.

    I hope your summer is going well.

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    June 11th, 2013

    ‘Performance grouping’ is back! That’s a good thing!

    There seems to be growing support for ‘ ability’ grouping. I’d much rather it be called ‘performance grouping.’ How is the child performing now! What are the next steps for that child based on current performance (not some notion of ability or potential).
    This practice–whatever we call it– is resurging.  As a former teacher and parent, I believe we should be doing more –rather than less–of this.
    Thus, I was happy to see these articles in the NY Tiimes. I’d call it ‘performance grouping.’ I believe we should be doing more of it to meet children’s needs wherever they are based on current performance.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/education/grouping-students-by-ability-regains-favor-with-educators.html?_r=0

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/02/are-top-students-getting-short-shrift/acknowledging-the-trade-offs-in-differentiation

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments

    June 11th, 2013

    Choice Media on the AASA reform special ed’s dispute resolution system

    For those who like to hear the issues, here’s audio! Enjoy!

     

    http://choicemedia.tv/2013/06/10/reforms-proposed-for-special-ed-conflicts/

    Post by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D. | No Comments