Tag: special education

Virtual Learning Violates the Civil Rights of Special Education Students


Late last night, the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Board of Directors voted 7-2 in favor of a three-phase reopening plan that will begin the 2020-2021 school year with 100 percent virtual learning. I woke up to this news and, while I am no longer an MPS family (more on that in a bit), I am a resident and taxpaying citizen, and I have thoughts.

A Choice Based on Fear, Not Logic

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.