A conversation on Facebook about reading became touchy yesterday, reminding me that you only need to scratch the surface to find serious differences when it comes to education and public policy. While many come together against Common Core State Standards, yesterday’s arguing resulted from the same old differences about how to approach reading…phonics or whole […]
Before Common Core—IDEA and Aligning IEPs to Regular Standards
While Common Core’s focus on math and English language arts does nothing to address the needs of students with disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) re-authorizations weren’t great either. Much of IDEA (the changing of PL-94-142) was to make students with disabilities over into normalized regular ed. students. Individual Educational Plans were to […]
Huge Class Sizes and the Increase in Student Mental Health Problems—Connect the Dots!
The New York Times has an article having to do with large class sizes. It’s all about the push to put more kids in classrooms and schools with fewer teachers and specialists. This is happening around the country in every school. It is happening without any thought to the recent tragic events in our public […]
If You Feel Like Grandma Who Got Run Over By a Reindeer—Don’t Despair!
If your child is doing well and you are happy about public school you probably don’t need to read any further. If your house is decorated well enough to win a Martha Stewart contest, and your Christmas dinner was cooked and frozen in neat Zip Lock bags and Rubbermaid containers weeks ago, then you can […]
The Destruction of Special Education
The firing of a special education supervisor and the subsequent elimination of the position, in Wilson County, Tennessee prompted me to address concerns about a concerted effort underway to dismantle special education. There are signs all over. Most likely you have noticed them too. In the case of Wilson County, Director of Schools Tim Setterlund […]
KIPP and the Padded Room
Why does KIPP do padded rooms for kindergarteners and regular ed. students who have run-of-the-mill behavior problems? Calming rooms, in unique and very structured situations, might be justifiable for special education, but not regular ed. The justification for a padded room is that the student needs to be protected from self-injurious behavior or hurting others. […]
Suggestions for Parents Concerned About their Student’s Reading Difficulties
My post about reading picture books generated some comments on Facebook about difficulties students have tracking and mixing-up words. Having a child who struggles with reading is never easy. Sometimes you feel like they are on the verge of making a breakthrough—then they get a bad grade or test score and you are right back […]
Students with Disabilities and/or Gifted Students—Is Private School Better?
If you have a child with disabilities and/or a gifted and talented student, where should you send them to school? Should you homeschool? This is the dilemma facing many families. Parents wonder, is it worth it to pay to send my child to a private school? Would it really be better for them there? With […]
Homemade Activities to Target Disabilities (and/or Just for Fun)–Puzzles!
Just in time for the holidays! I have blogged about not letting the current issues in public schools steal the today that you have enjoying your children and helping them to learn. I know that is easier said than done. But the teacher and mom in me wants to step away from criticism against Common […]
What Part of Individual Educational Plan Don’t They Understand?
A recent Ed. Week article, “Common Core’s Promise Collides with IEP Realities,” claims, “Special Education teachers struggle to make sure individual education programs align with standards.” Wow! You could have fooled me! I thought IEPs were tailored to student needs, not to the Common Core State Standards. But really, aligning IEPs to the standards—has been […]