Let’s take back reform and revive, rally, and recover public schools.
Here she takes on Arne Duncan (red mine):
The fact is there has been a concerted effort for years to get rid of special education. It did not start with Arne Duncan and it probably won’t end with him either.
Consider IDEA 1997 and IDEA 2004. Why did they come up with those reauthorizations? If you think throwing all kids into regular classes, in the name of inclusion, and curbing parental rights for legal representation is a gift, think again.
The sad fact is the ed. reformers know special ed. requires credentialed, well-prepared teachers and good programming and they don’t want to pay for it. Charter schools don’t know how to serve these children…or they don’t want to pay for it. And it is tough to implement good special education with Teach for America.
You also can’t sell Common Core State Standards. Special education is a great indicator to show the importance of differences. You can’t put everyone on the same page, with any of the standards really, if students require an Individual Educational Plan. See here.
But it's not all bad news, not by a long shot.
So are students with special needs doomed? I don’t think so. I’m remembering the court cases PARC v.Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia. There are other cases too.
I am actually encouraged. I see special education as the Achilles heel of the reform movement. Duncan and his ilk don’t know how to assist these kids, and parents find the “high expectations” talk shallow. What parent has low expectations for their child? What person becomes a teacher not to expect great things for their students?
And if it has been done before, it can be done again. We can fight for the rights of children. The ed. reformers know this. It is what they are afraid of.
So, we must look beyond these outrageous acclamations by Duncan and his ilk and remember these words: Free Appropriate Public Education, or FAPE for short. Say it to yourself over and over again.