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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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Will Governor Cuomo Sign The Special Education Bill?

The hubbub about the special education bill continues.  There was a story about it in the New York Times:

The Wall Street Journal has reported on it:

The mayor's office sent out a press release opposing the move.

The bill purports to do three things: (1) force school districts to take into account a child's home environment and family background when making decisions about special education placement; (2) change the timelines for due process proceedings and reimbursement with the goal of speeding up the process; and (3) ensure that, once a private school is deemed appropriate, it continues to be treated as appropriate until the school district changes the child's IEP.  Again, I say "purports" because what this means exactly still needs to be worked out. 

Schools and school districts are waiting in the wings to see how this will affect their regular course of business.  Some questions that remain to be answered:
  • What does it really mean to consider a child's "home environment and family background," and are there parameters? 
  • To what extent will this decrease litigation and reduce the high cost that such litigation typically entails?  
  • How will this affect the district's process of making placement recommendations? 
  • What, if any, effect will this have on the way in which State Ed treats private schools?
  • To what extent does this bill comport with applicable federal law relating to children with disabilities?     
I believe the governor has ten days from the time he receives the bill to approve or veto.  To my knowledge he has not yet received it from the legislature.  Stay tuned.