CNN  picked up this story,,

as did

We all know… as my father used to say, if something sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not. College readiness for all–in today’s current climate–is too good to be true. So now, students have to meet reality on their own.

So sad, this story.

We can’t do it all with a wink and a prayer, as we’ve been doing: pass everyone in elementary and secondary grades; water down standards; modify standards beyond recognition; get everyone into college. 

At last we are looking at what happens to these ill-prepared (and ill-served) students in college. Hopefully, clearer thinking will prevail.

We need to get back to basics at the elementary and secondary grades. Teach the knowledge and skills. Realize that college is not for everyon. Stop passing kids through just cause it looks good.   It’s not good.

This is a trend worth watching. Just because high school students are in college classes, does that mean they are doing college work?  Not so sure.

And I relate this to inclusion classes in public schools. Just because students with disabilities are included in regular classrooms, does that mean they are doing regular classroom work? Not so sure.

Nate Levenson’s new paper

Here’s the citation–article came out earlier this week. I haven’t read it yet, but will do so!

Rethinking special education–yet again. We need to reform it.

Here are a few numbers that say it all.

We educate 13-14% of students in special education (6.8 million students).

In contrast, we educate just 2-3% in charter schools and perhaps 1-2% receive vouchers–for a total of 3-5%.

 Yet, to date, there’s been very little talk of reforming special ed and tons of focus on these other two ‘choice’ options–that involve only about a third as many students.

Why so?  Why is special ed still off   limits? A third rail that noone will touch.

I’m looking forward to reading this piece and will comment later.

Here’s a great piece by Julia Steiny–about the children and families left behind with school choice options. While she supports those options, she raises concerns about the children left in the regular schools.

We’ve always known that, with choice options, most children and families will be left behind in schools that come to have an even greater concentration of needs. This piece states the case well.  Thus, choice, which Steiny supports, has unintended consequences. 

However, I have two concerns with the piece.
First–she suggests that states do something about this issue.  And I say, where is the notion that parents, too, have a responsibility. At what point does their role come to play? In this piece, Denny’s mother and father should have a job to do to help Denny at school and, if they choose, to help Denny apply to a school choice option. They can’t. They won’t. They don’t–and the piece says nothing about that. Just about the state doing something.  I don’t believe that getting more programs by states is the answer.  It’s time to tackle the issue at home.
Second- I am saddened that the analogy chosen here is to ‘shopping.’  Shopping is the American way and parents now shop for schools–so it says.   A major concern that many of us have about schools is that they are now in the consumer business. The customer is always right. Please the customer, etc.   It’s a problem.  “Hey, I sent my child here and he’s not getting a C. I want him to have a B or an A.”   Teachers now have to educate kids but also please parents as consumers–not as partners in education.  Let’s change the analogy please!

And what about a different option–not school choice–but closing all private schools and concentrating everyone’s children in the public schools. That, too, will improve them for all kids and I suspect, quicker than by opening the door for some kids to leave. Just a thought!  And yours?