For years, parents of children with special needs have demanded classroom inclusion. They want a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in general classes, the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). But in Philadelphia, parents want a public school for students with autism and neurodiversity. They recognize that their students are not getting the resources or teachers they […]
Special Education and School Choice: Not Great Choices, If Any
Years of school reforms have stripped public schools of disability services, creating problems for parents (See Carl Peterson’s recent Exterminating Special Education). Parents may turn to charter, parochial or private schools, online learning, or homeschooling, only to find choices lacking, or the school may not want their child, leaving parents in the lurch. Charter Schools […]
The Heartbreak Surrounding Student Behavior and Teacher Attrition in America’s Schools
Children with difficulty controlling their behavior and emotions, large classes, unsupportive administrators, outside interference, and overwhelmed teachers who aren’t behavior specialists can be a recipe for disaster for students and a reason why teachers leave. I wrote much of this post in February 2020, before schools closed due to Covid-19. As schools get back to […]
Where’s the Biden Administration on School Problems Facing Students, Teachers, and Parents?
The pandemic showed us that public schools are critical. Understandably, Covid-19 has been front and center. But the Biden administration glosses over or is silent on critical school issues. Sometimes these topics are front and center not in a good way in State legislatures or ignored altogether. Frustrated parents will seek alternatives, and there’s a […]
How Has School Privatization Contributed to Mental Illness in Students Before and During Covid-19?
Mental illness in children existed before Covid-19. How many students are struggling with it during the pandemic? How did school privatization contribute to this phenomenon? Before Covid-19 A 2018 survey conducted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals noted that their top concern is the rising numbers of students with emotional problems and mental health […]
Who Should Be the Next Education Secretary at This Critical Juncture in History?
Bloggers have been speculating about a Biden/Harris education secretary. During this critical time in American history, that individual should be a black or brown woman, who has been a teacher of young children, and who understands child development. She should hold an education degree and have an additional leadership degree and experience that will help […]
Betsy DeVos and The Quest to End Public School Disability Services
There will be beautiful tulips next spring in 2021, if we correctly and lovingly plant the bulbs this coming fall. Betsy DeVos During this unprecedented and perilous time, The New York Times reported “DeVos Weighs Waivers for Special Education. Parents Are Worried.” The $2 trillion coronavirus law gives the Queen of School Privatization unparalleled power […]
The Unintended Consequences of IDEA
By Aaron Wright It is undeniable that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has aided educational access for autistic children. Prior to the first iteration of the law, children with disabilities did not necessarily have the right to a public education. However, an unforeseen side effect of the IDEA’s deficit-oriented focus upon disability has […]
Students with Disabilities: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Parents with students who have disabilities are troubled by the problems their children face in public schools. They may turn to charter schools believing they will finally get the services they find lacking in public school. But charter schools are not an acceptable answer in most cases. We’ve known for years that students with disabilities […]
A Review of Daisy Has Autism: In 2020, a Commitment to Students With Disabilities!
Daisy Has Autism by Aaron J. Wright should be mandatory reading for every school board member, school administrator, and teacher. It’s a book that will help parents of children with disabilities know they’re not alone. It’s an interesting story for anyone. The book details the struggles of Arthur and Annie Russell, whose daughter has autism. […]