My mission is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues.
I would like to visit and observe different types of schools that have proven records of success, wherever those schools may be. I would like to meet with school directors and administrators, government officials, leaders in the business world, and others who are responsible for implementing education systems or otherwise connected to education to learn more about how education is being addressed in their communities.
If you know of any remarkable schools in other parts of the world (especially special needs schools), please let me know about them. If you know of any education experts who are engaged in remarkable work in this field, please introduce me to them.
Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the above. Read more about my mission here.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
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Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
- student's state test results would account for 40% of the teacher evaluation which is twice as high as what the teachers' union agreed to last year
- should the emphasis be on state exams as opposed to local exams (or some combination of the two) and to what extent is this going to encourage "teaching to the test"
- the cut-off scores for each of the performance categories were raised making it harder for a teacher to attain "highly effective,""effective," etc.
- during negotiations, the DOE has fought for principals not to have to meet with teachers after a designation of "ineffective" to disuss areas of needed improvement
- Governor Cuomo wants this system to be put in place for all teachers (not just 4th through 8th grade math and reading teachers) in time for the 2011-2012 school year
The DOE and teachers' union would have to agree on these terms in order for this system to be put in place. They haven't even been able to work out a new teachers contract which expired in October 2009. Obviously there is some serious tensions here.
Also of interest are the flurry of corruption stories within the DOE. Once recent example is Judith Hederman, the Executive Director of the DOE's division of financial operations, who resigned amid allegations that she had an improper personal relationship with one of the DOE's consulting companies. The DOE was employing the company for a $43 million contract for technology and computer services. Apparently, the consulting firm hired subcontractors (which the DOE contract prohibits) and charged the DOE $22,400 per month for the work while the subcontractors were paid only $3,370 per month - the rest presumably going straight into the company's purse. Nevertheless, the DOE plans to designate $1 billion for consultants next year.
Monday, May 16, 2011
For the full article: http://www.gothamgazette.com/blogs/wonkster/2011/05/16/new-state-education-commissioner-named/
To learn more about Yachad visit: http://www.njcd.org/
Thursday, May 12, 2011
In one particular case, Compton Unified School District v. Addison (9th Cir.), the facts are shocking. The student performed very poorly in the 9th grade and demonstrated abilities of a fourth-grade academic level. The school chalked this up to "transitional year" difficulties common to all students and promoted her to the 10th grade. In the 10th grade she failed every academic subject and demonstrated signs of serious school distress such as refusing to enter the classroom and urinating on herself while in school. A mental health expert recommended to the school that the child be evaluated for learning disabilities but the school did not initiate that process and instead promoted her to the 11th grade. Finally, halfway through the 11th grade, the girl was evaluated and found eligible for special education services. A lawsuit was commenced for compensatory education to make up for all those years. The school district attempted several arguments that the law should not apply to them here but the court summarily struck them down as absurd (and rightfully so - the district's logic was ridiculous). The court agreed with the lower courts' decisions and concluded that the district violated its child find obligations by failing to take action in light of clear signs that the child might have a disability.
P.S. The school district has refused to quit. Uunsatisfied with the ruling from the 9th Circuit, it has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for the case to be heard yet again. It is unclear whether the Supreme Court will be accepting the case.
See related article at:
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Autism Center Links Vaccinations To Autism; South Korea Study Suggests Incidence of Autism Is Higher Than People Think
In another story, a research study in South Korea suggests that there are many more young individuals with autism than we think. The study suggests that 1 out of every 38 children has some form of autism. I have questions regarding the sample size and the pool of students tested. I'm also not sure how this data transfers over for U.S. purposes if the research was conducted on Korean children. But I'm sure this information will add to the debate. See below: