Blog

Is Betsy DeVos on the Verge of Removing Civil Rights Protections for Students of Color?

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?

Accountability · Finding the Right School · School Choice

Not Backpacks Full of Cash: Backpacks Full of Rights! NCSECS Takes On Special Education Equity in Charter Schools

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

Blog · Finding the Right School

Nobody Puts My Baby In The Corner (Except When They Do). A New Report on Inclusion with Relevance to New York.

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.

Accountability

My Take on the Trump Administration’s Disregard for Students with Disabilities

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

School Choice

“I Am Always Amazed How Fast They Can Learn”: Uncommon Schools’ Music Immersion Program

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

Accountability

DeVos Is Stripping Away Civil Rights Protections for Students With Special Needs

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

Blog · School Choice

What Are Ocasio-Cortez’s Views on Public School Choice?

No one seemed more surprised at the obliteration of ten-term, fourth-ranking U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley than victor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified Democratic Socialist. Last week, in a gobsmacking upset, she won the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Politico described her today as “not just a full-blown political sensation but an international news phenomenon.”… Continue reading What Are Ocasio-Cortez’s Views on Public School Choice?

Accountability · Blog

Wesley’s Story, Part 3: “This Is A Bigger Issue Than Wesley,” or How the NYC DOE is Failing Students with Disabilities

Data for [School Year] 2016 –17 contained in this report shows promising movement toward ensuring that students are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate for their individual needs. This is a statement from the New York City Department of Education’s  most recent Annual Report on Special Education, which boasts of the “substantial improvement” and… Continue reading Wesley’s Story, Part 3: “This Is A Bigger Issue Than Wesley,” or How the NYC DOE is Failing Students with Disabilities

Accountability

The Lack of Diversity in NYC’s Elite High Schools Has Nothing To Do With the Admissions Test.

The media is afire with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to diversify NYC’s most competitive high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech — by eliminating the SHSAT admissions test. Instead of basing student suitability for these ultra-competitive schools on a single test, he says, students will be admitted based on classroom… Continue reading The Lack of Diversity in NYC’s Elite High Schools Has Nothing To Do With the Admissions Test.

Blog

My Sister’s Battle With Mental Illness Taught Me Never to Stand for Pretense.

Today is the last day of Mental Health Awareness Month so I’m sharing this story of my younger sister Carla. A different version appeared on New Jersey Left Behind and this one was first published at Education Post. My parents, Jerry and Emily, had three daughters. I’m the oldest, followed by Carla two years later, and… Continue reading My Sister’s Battle With Mental Illness Taught Me Never to Stand for Pretense.