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
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 my friend and colleague Lane Wright. Lane lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three children and serves as Director of Policy Analysis at Education Post, a national nonprofit. You can substitute NJEA and other abusive parents for Lane’s references to the Florida Education Association. Imagine a family with 10 kids: Nine… Continue reading The Abusive Parent in The Charter School/Traditional School Family
Yesterday the New York City Department of Education released student test scores on standardized test scores. What do they mean? It depends on whom you ask. Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said this: “These scores are indicative of the sustained progress we have made in classrooms, schools and districts across all five boroughs,” Carranza said in… Continue reading Everything You Need To Know About NYC’s Test Scores
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
Most of the eighth-grade students in Jeff Walton’s band class at Uncommon Schools Ocean Hill Collegiate hadn’t picked up an instrument before seventh grade. But you’d never know it from the sounds emanating from Walton’s band room one morning as students were rehearsing for their Spring Concert, a program of songs from New Orleans. Standing… Continue reading “I Am Always Amazed How Fast They Can Learn”: Uncommon Schools’ Music Immersion Program
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