Thank you, Mike Schmoker, for this important and necessary Commentary. You are so right! We need more (objective, not-agenda-or advocacy-driven) researchers and educators to speak up for effective educational practices and results.

What’s missing, though, is any mention of special education–the arena filled with agenda-driven, faddish, mandated, and yet, unproven approaches. Beyond differentiated instruction, which is mentioned here as “popular”, but not evidence-based, how about the use of 1:1 aides, the push for technology for “personalized instruction”–whatever that term means (it is still not defined), the overuse and misused of so-called accommodations, the mandate for “inclusion” even when it does not work for all students–just for starters!

When education is driven by Washington and state capitals–instead of by honest researchers and classroom teachers and, even, common sense–can we be surprised that it is not evidence-based? We need more teachers to speak up and pursue what works. Thanks for getting the conversation going.

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.

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *