Tag: special education

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization advancing opportunities so 57 million Americans with a disability can fully participate in all aspects of community. She shares her personal story struggling with dyslexia and ADHD, and what drew her to this cause. She reviews the various kinds of disabilities that people live with, and the strides our society is making to integrate and accommodate disabled citizens into everyday life. She offers thoughts on how well K-12 education generally serves students with special needs, and improvements she would like to see. She discusses how disabilities contribute to students’ achievement gaps in schools and colleges, and what can be done to educate people about and help remediate this. They also explore how assistive technologies and artificial intelligence can be used to help people with disabilities, and the importance of showing students with disabilities examples of great historical figures, heroes, and celebrities with disabilities who were able to accomplish remarkable feats and overcome their challenges.

Stories of the Week: 50CAN’s Derrell Bradford connects the dots between election outcomes in New Jersey and Virginia and parents’ dissatisfaction with their children’s in-person learning time in those states. A Wittgenstein Centre report covered in EdNext shows just how significant a role educational advancement plays, especially among women, in raising the standard of living and civic engagement in developing countries.

Bob and Cara talk with Jason Bedrick, EdChoice’s director of policy,  about New York’s controversial “substantial equivalency” proposal that would give the state Department of Education oversight of school curricula at yeshivas and other private and parochial academies to ensure parity with their public school counterparts. Jason explores the historical roots of “substantial equivalency” statutes, and questions their compatibility with a free and pluralistic society. He points to European approaches to educational pluralism, and New York’s case, as bellwethers for the rest of the country. This battle is the subject of Jason’s forthcoming book with Jay Greene, Yeshivas vs. the State of New York: A Case Study in Religious Liberty and Education.

Stories of the Week: In Michigan, a new partnership model to improve struggling schools that serve 50,000 students puts the districts themselves in charge of managing their own turnaround plans instead of the state – can this strategy work? Is Texas’s cap on special education services an arbitrary and unfair denial in violation of federal disability laws, or a legitimate effort to limit over-classification of special needs students? A new report claims that teacher morale has fallen dramatically, from 50 percent in 2018 to 34 percent in 2019 – how can we change course?

Autism and the Thomas Sowell You Haven’t Read

 

51CRJ5V7UfL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Most people know Thomas Sowell from his political writing.  I came by Thomas Sowell differently: My kids didn’t start talking until they were well past the age of three.  During those non-verbal months, plenty of parents, teachers, doctors, and others suggested my twins were autistic.  Sowell’s book, Late Talking Children, was a reasoned counterpoint to that suggestion, not to mention my lifeline to sanity.

This lengthy post (and it IS lengthy!) is for any parents or grandparents with little ones that don’t hit their growth milestones on time, raising the question of autism. I sincerely hope it helps.

My twins were born in 2001.  At 36 weeks, they weren’t too premature, but they were small and had to spend time in neonatal intensive care gaining strength.  In those first weeks, my husband and I were stressed but overjoyed, especially since we had struggled to conceive.