March is National Disabilities Month, but in my family we observe this designation every day. Our fourth child, Jonah, has Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic mutation that can cause (as it does in our son’s case) a constellation of symptoms including global developmental delays and autistic-like behaviors. My sister is afflicted by both physical disabilities… Continue reading My Worlds Converge: A Personal Story About My Special Needs Son and The Contraction of Education Reform
Of the 55 million students who attend U.S. schools, 46 percent will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime. And one in five of our young people live with a mental health condition, but less than half receive treatment. These are staggering statistics that speak volumes about an epidemic facing our school children, especially… Continue reading Mental Illness in Our Schools: A National Crisis
This is a guest post by Ariela Rozman who co-founded EdNavigator, where this post originally appeared. Before that, she served for eight years as Chief Executive Officer of TNTP. In October, The New York Times shared the heartbreaking story of TJ, a child with special needs who had been left behind by New York City schools. Heartbreaking because… Continue reading In NYC’s Special Education Labyrinth, Families Need a Guide: For Proof, The Heartbreaking Case of TJ.
Fifteen years ago when I began my journey as an education advocate, I was in it for myself. More specifically, for my son Jonah, who has multiple disabilities stemming from a genetic mutation called Fragile X Syndrome. I saw my quest as securing a high-quality seat for my boy in a school that would provide… Continue reading The Dead Canary: The Problems Within NYC’s Special Education System Signify Global Dysfunction
This is a guest post by ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson, the mother of two free-spirited, strong-willed girls and whose husband should be appointed a saint for co-existing in the madness that is their life. She writes on politics, education, current events and social justice. This piece was originally published at Education Post. Dear Fellow Parent Warriors, While every… Continue reading A Back-to-School Love Letter to Parents of Kids With Special Needs and Disabilities
Let’s just call her Betsy DeVoid. Our secretary of education earns a name-change because of her predilection for voiding laws that protect our most disenfranchised students. First it was rescissions to the civil rights regulations that protect students with disabilities. Now it’s the 2014 Obama administration’s school discipline guidance, also based on civil rights law, that requires… Continue reading Is Betsy DeVos on the Verge of Removing Civil Rights Protections for Students of Color?
It’s a common complaint among those who turn down their collective nose at public charter schools: they don’t serve their fair share of students with disabilities, or at least those with moderate to severe disabilities, and they counsel out kids who can’t deal with academic rigor, either back to their sending districts or to private… Continue reading Not Backpacks Full of Cash: Backpacks Full of Rights! NCSECS Takes On Special Education Equity in Charter Schools
Parenting typical children is hard. Parenting children with special needs is harder. (I get to say this; I’ve got three of the former and one of the latter.) For our youngest son with multiple disabilities that range from moderate to severe, we have committed ourselves to finding the best educational placements for him. But what… Continue reading Nobody Puts My Baby In The Corner (Except When They Do). A New Report on Inclusion with Relevance to New York.
My friends and colleagues at Education Post, Lane Wright and Ikhlas Saleem, asked me to join them on their Voices4ED podcast to talk about the Trump Administration’s stripping away of civil rights protections for students with special needs under the direction of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. To listen, click here. Episode Details: Why Laura’s recent article about Betsy DeVos resonated with so… Continue reading My Take on the Trump Administration’s Disregard for Students with Disabilities
I’m detecting a trend. Recently, The Atlantic ran a piece that catalogues the Trump administration’s disregard of civil rights protections for Americans (and aspiring Americans) during the tenure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Across every issue, from criminal-justice reform to voting rights to LGBTQ rights,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil… Continue reading DeVos Is Stripping Away Civil Rights Protections for Students With Special Needs