New Mission

New Mission

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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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NCLB Waivers Granted To More States, Including New York

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office   
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202

May 28, 2011

Press Office, (202) 401-1576 or

Obama Administration Approves Eight More States for NCLB Waivers

19 States Approved So Far; 17 States and Washington, D.C., Currently Under Review; Other States Can Still Apply

The Obama administration approved eight additional states for flexibility from key provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership. Today’s announcement brings the number of states with waivers to 19. Eighteen additional applications are still under review.

At an event in Hartford, Connecticut, with Gov. Dannel Malloy, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and a host of local, state and federal officials, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced waivers for Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island.

“These eight additional states are getting more flexibility with federal funds and relief from NCLB’s one-size-fits-all federal mandates in order to develop locally-tailored solutions to meet their unique educational challenges,” Duncan said.

Duncan pointed out that many of the new state-created accountability systems capture more students at risk, including low-income students, students with disabilities, and English learners, adding, “States must show they are protecting children in order to get flexibility. These states met that bar.”

Connecticut’s plan, for example, raises the number of schools accountable for the performance of students with disabilities from 276 to 683; free and reduced-price lunch students from 757 to 928; African American students from 280 to 414; Hispanic students from 356 to 548; and English learners from 97 to 209. States previously granted waivers include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

See also:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Justice Center For The Protection Of People With Special Needs

Governor Cuomo, following up on the creation of the new NY Reform Commission, which seemed heavily focused on the general education side of education, has announced a new special education focused endeavor - the Justice Center For The Protection Of People With Special Needs.  The scope of the project, as described in the below link, will encompass the investigation of abuse and neglect in state-run institutions such as residential programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cuomo's New Commission

Governor's NY Education Reform Commission:
Education advisor out.  Citibank corporate bigwig in. 

Nothing on special education other than a brief reference to "approaches to improving special education programs and outcomes while also reducing costs."

What's this "blueprint" going to look like? 

"An action plan to make this state's education system the best on the globe" - Great let's do it!

"How do you make excellence systemic reality across the board, as opposed to the exception?" - Excellent question

Frightening statistics feed of the day -
  • NYS spends more money per student than any other state in the nation
  • NYS but ranks 38th in high school graduation rates
  • 73% of NY's students graduate from high school but only 37% are college ready
I am pleased to see Chancellor Goldstein on the commission.  He is a visionary with a proven track record for education reform.

Controversial Article About Special Education Reform

The Atlantic published a controversial article about special education reform which is creating a stir in the special education community.  I will respond with my own thoughts at a later time.  In the meantime, what do others think?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Upcoming Informational Session

Below please find details about an upcoming informational session presented by educational consultant Sarah Birnbaum:

What's the next step after CPSE? Is the mainstream the right setting for my child? If not, what kind of elementary program is the right one? What happens at the Turning 5 meeting, and what are my rights and options? How can I best advocate for my child?

Here is a chance to learn how to answer those questions and get a jump on this stressful process. As always, the presentation will be free of charge.

Kindergarten: The Great Beyond; Or, "You Mean I'm Not Done Yet?"
Date: Thursday, May 24, 6:00-8:00pm
Location: Bankstreet College of Education
610 West 112th Street, main floor auditorium