Special Education 2.0: Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman

Part 2: Six Impediments that stop change

  • 1. Many aspects of the law and it’s implementation lack objective research. The focus here is on the government’s push for inclusion, which requires that disabled students be educated in regular classrooms. The research here is mostly from the perspective of the disabled students, not the general education students. Inclusion grew out of the civil rights movement rather than research. Some research suggests that students who share classrooms with children who have emotional or behavioral disorders don’t achieve as well. Some believe that inclusion has been taken too far. The author supports putting students in flexible groups with others who have similar skill and knowledge levels.
  • 2. Standards are presented in ways that confuse the public. The government’s push for schools to increase graduation rates has resulted in more students being graduated who are not career or college ready. Sixty percent of community college students need to take remedial courses in college and few graduate. In a way, we are lying to students and parents.
  • 3. The language used often amounts to doublespeak. There is a focus on closing achievement gaps that is unrealistic as all students will never achieve at the same level unless you set the level to the ability of the lowest student. We should work to allow all students to achieve as much as they can and expect differences in achievement.
  • 4. The system almost exclusively focuses on student weaknesses and not strengths. Successful people in business do just the opposite with a strength-based focus.
  • 5. Regulations are a burden and can result in teachers spending more time on paperwork and meetings than they do teaching. This has resulted in special education teachers being more likely to leave the profession than regular education teachers along with a nation-wide shortage.
  • 6. Non-teaching staff grew by 130% between 1970 and 2010. Regulations have resulted in bloated administrative and support staff.
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One Response to “Special Education 2.0: Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman”

  1. […] Special Education 2.0: Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman […]

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