What About Special Education in the Age of Corona?

As so many rightfully praise classroom teachers for quickly adapting their instruction for a new, virtual environment, advocates need to be sure that such desperate times do not provide school districts the opportunity to shirk their duties when it comes to IDEA and students with learning disabilities.

Big kudos to Emily Richards and USA Today for placing a spotlight on this important issue, and for speaking with dear illl’ Eduflack about his district’s decision to suspend IEP and 504 meetings for an undetermined period (read until next fall).

For students who already receive accommodations and special services to catch up because of the years their families fought to get them the adequate educations they are guaranteed under the law, lack of leadership by the US Department of Education and adversarial relationships with school districts that have denied special needs learners is a potential recipe for disaster.

“I get that this is the first week. But everything we have fought for in my son’s (individualized education plan) now gets put on hold,” Riccards said.

Read the full article here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2020/03/19/coronavirus-online-school-closing-special-education-teacher-distance-learning/2863503001/

Are We Up to Online Learning?

This week, tens of millions of students transitioned from traditional classrooms to virtual learning environments. This is the new normal of the coronavirus era.

But with high-speed data deserts and a decade of anti-Common Core parents failing against technology-driven instruction, are we prepared to make the most of this new normal?

We explore the topic on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen.

ELL Teachers for ELL Students

A new US Department of Education report details a surge of English-language learners in our schools, particularly in both red and purple states. So with this changing student demographic, what if President Donald Trump tried to appeal to Latino and Southeast Asian families by committing to expanding the pipeline of ELL teachers?

We explore the topic on the most recent episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen!

A Presidential Knife into the Charter School Back?

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump offered his recommendations for the FY2021 federal budget. Surprising no one, there was very little love for education, with proposed cuts this year resembling those that have come in previous Trump years.

Also unsurprising was the belief that education decisions are better made by states and localities, as the a Trump Administration seems to eliminate a number of federal education programs, replacing them with a “block grant” to states.

Curiously, one of those programs slated for elimination is one that funds school choice initiatives. But by proposing the programs closure and proposing a block grant that is largely DOA in Congress, is POTUS providing a lane for charter opponents to now kill federal funding for school choice?

We explore the topic on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen!

Learning In the Moment

If the first month of the year is any indication, 2020 is going to be a doozy of potential learning opportunities. Yes, we have a presidential campaign. We also have lessons of impeachment, caucuses, immigration, trade, socialism, and many others that haven’t yet shown themselves.

Our collective instinct may be to shy away from the controversial when it comes to classroom teaching. But with such a focus on the news of the day, we may be missing golden opportunities by not using these current events as the impetus for teaching and learning.

How so? We explore the topic on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen!

Sorry, North Carolina, But We Need History

“If only 21% of North Carolinians under the age of 45 was able to read at an eighth-grade level, we would declare a state educational emergency. Yet in the face of these numbers in U.S. history knowledge and appreciation, our response is to cut high school history requirements by 50%?”

Eduflack’s latest in the Greensboro News & Record, following North Carolina’s decision to cut American history requirements in high school