A term I heard, new to me, during COVID upended my view about special education: “General education students with IEPs.” Really? Who are these students? Do you know any?

Labeling students as disabled because they struggle is wrong, especially if our goal is to educate them better. Such mislabeling has even been called abusive! Mislabeled as Disabled: The Educational Abuse of Struggling Learners and How WE Can Fight It: Hettleman, Kalman R.: 9781635766394: Amazon.com: Books

Instead of plugging these students into an ill-fitting 45+ year old legal system — the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, enacted in 1975 —…


Miriam Kurtzig Freedman

6.4.2021

Here’s my story just published in Fordham Institute’s Flypaper.

Sitting on a Boston city bus, I watched a mother with a young child. For the twenty-five-minute ride, they didn’t speak a word. No “Look at that little girl on the bicycle” or “We’re having pizza for dinner!” When you’re with a young child for that long, do you talk to her?

The dearth of language is where critical learning gaps begin for many poor and disadvantaged children — gaps that often don’t close in school, no matter how much we spend or how early we start…


TRUST — Build trust for schools, students, and parents because trust is the coin of the realm!

I believe that TRUST is necessary for excellent education — trust among players — students, teachers, parents, administrators, tax payers, and others.

Excellent education means that students learn all they can to become all they can be! That is the WHY of schools; it’s where our discussion should start — with the WHY. Schools should focus on student competence every day, all the time. Yet, they often can’t and don’t. As I see it, lack of trust contributes to that.

Positive relationships between…


What’s the best thing that happened to you today? Victor Perton, the “Optimism Guy” asks us.

For me, it’s that I’m here in Australia (by ZOOM) at the Diversity and Inclusion Forum on February 3, 2021 (actually it’s February 4 already, in Australia) with Victor and another presenter. I was invited by my friend, Ivan Kaye, and am very grateful for that.

What an incredible world we’re in these days. Business and education leaders can “meet” half way across the world and discuss important issues from their diverse perspectives. Victor’s positive message is infectious. Check him out at the “centre…


Elon Musk and Vernon Jones asked for advice. Here goes!

Dear Mr. Musk and Mr. Jones,

Amazingly — as I’ve been watching and reading the news, it turns out that both of you have asked for similar advice! So, I hope it’s alright that I’m addressing you together. You want to know how to spend money and promote ideas and policies that will move the needle forward and make a real positive difference for our nation. Thank you for that question and invitation, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, and Vernon Jones, Georgia state representative.

For half a century, I’ve focused…


School crossing signs. See US in bottom right corner!

Many thoughtful and concerned people are asking this vital question here in the USA — especially now that we have a new administration in Washington and possibly a new Education Department Secretary, Miguel Cardona. Here are my thoughts –as of now. I’ll write more about this, of course.

As a passionate supporter of public schools since the time I arrived as a nine-year-old immigrant who spoke NO English — on an ocean liner that docked in Hoboken, New Jersey and, within months, was lucky to attend New Jersey’s then wonderful public schools, I know that we need to fix special…


In this PANDEMIC, let’s be honest — sometimes ART can bring a smile to our faces. How about, medicine bottle art! I hope it brings you a smile!

During this pandemic, we need to be creative! Alas, during this pandemic, we also accumulate many medicine bottles — both at home and among my friends and colleagues. Since I like to “make lemonade out of lemons”, I set out to create Medicine Bottle COVID Art! Walks on the beach in Half Moon Bay give me the shells — whole and broken, driftwood, and the silver dollars you see in these pieces…


Bureaucracy and Leadership — what I’m learning at the Peter Drucker Forum 2020.

It’s been a long time since I wrote…. The pandemic and some health issues got in the way. Now I’m back! Thanks for staying with me.

I have always believed that it can be useful to attend a conference that is NOT in one’s field. You never know what you’ll learn!

With that in mind, I’ve been attending a conference in Vienna, Austria — alas, virtually. I’m sitting in my own kitchen, sipping my coffee alone — not in a breakout meet and greet. While I wish…


On March 19 — at the start of this corona virus pandemic which seems lightyears ago — I published a few of my medicine bottle art items — hoping they’ll bring a smile to your face. People liked them! So here are a few more.

— Hawaiian Sun Rays

— A menorah for COVID days


Getty Images/Tomwang112

Published by Fordham Institute: https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/lets-rebuild-special-education-when-schools-reopen

Anne DelfosseMiriam Kurtzig Freedman

6.17.2020

This spring’s school closures have challenged us to look at many things differently and to be open-minded, creative, and brave about moving toward necessary change. As we consider reopening schools in the fall, let’s hold on to that mindset and ask what should special education become? Does the forty-five-year-old federal law (IDEA) need a thorough redo? We believe it does.

There is much to celebrate about all that public schools now provide for students with disabilities. We’ve certainly come a long way since 1975, when the law was enacted. …

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman is an attorney, reformer, and author. Her latest book is Special Education 2.0. And, check out her pandemic medicine bottle art!

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