A story about Canadian parents asking for ABA. Of interest is the argument that parents are asking too much and parents wondering what is the difference between asking for ABA and asking for cancer treatment.
A very good article that points out the two sides.
By Michael Tutton
The Canadian Press
Parents of children with learning disabilities are on the legal warpath this fall for costly teaching programs they say could save their children's futures.
I always grapple with the problem of balancing resources among other disabilities (cerebal palsy, rhetts, ADHD, children in wheelchairs or on feeding tubes, etc.) and national needs (military, medicaid, AIDS research, etc.).
Here is a great article from Schaeffer Autism report that discusses one person's perspective of just such problem.
ANGRY New York parents who say school officials pressured them into medicating their children have a very powerful ally in their corner - President Bush's brother.
Neil Bush is condemning the practice for very personal reasons: He endured his own Ritalin hell seven years ago when educators in a Houston private school diagnosed his son, Pierce, now 16, with attention-deficit disorder and pushed medication.
A new web company based in Canada, www.specialkidsresource.com, is catering to parents of children with autism. Of special interest is their flashcard set now on sale for $89 plus shipping. FEAT of Oregon received a complimentary set of the cards and was pleased to find that it contained many much-needed cards lacking in the Language Builder set ($150).
I love POAC (Parents of Austic Children). They are based in NJ and have a very big bias toward trying to incorporate Verbal Behavior into the public schools. The catch is, they want to do it well! What a concept...
Anyways, this article is written by an attorney and really does a decent job of summarizing why IDEA and the Due Process system doesn't really work well.
Story In the town of Butte, Montana there exists 4700 elementary school students. They were taught to read the guessing way called "Whole Language." In 2000, they noticed test scores were falling - probably because Whole Language failure builds over time as a student goes through each grade level.So Butte though "Wow" we need to teach these kids to read:So began a dramatic shift in the way the district's nearly 4,600 students attacked reading: They hired an outside consultant, used a different curriculum and added reading coaches in every school. More time was devoted to the subject: teachers and students spent at least two hours of every school day learning and practicing reading.
StoryWhat? South Umpqua School District students were put in a gaming casino to motivate them to read more? No, not really. The entire school district elementary students used space provided (for free) by the Seven Feathers Convention Center to show how well they have done in the Reading First grant monies for improving reading. One principal actually used the "D" word (let me whisper it - DIBELS), a reading assessment tool developed by the University of Oregon and hated by Whole Language reading proponents. These are the folks that don't want children to read because they put the teacher ahead of the students and pretty much ignore any and all quality research (e.g. Project Follow Through).
In searching around the web on curriculum and textbook development, I found an interesting article entitled The Muddle Machine: Confessions of a textbook editor . Hmmm.The jist of how school texts come to being:They are processed into existence using the pulp of what already exists, rising like swamp things from the compost of the past. The mulch is turned and tended by many layers of editors who scrub it of anything possibly objectionable before it is fed into a government-run "adoption" system that provides mediocre material to students of all ages.
A recent article in edweek.org did a great job of showing some of the goals of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Of course, this was a by-product of showing how it is failing due to lack of oversight. I can just see Mayor Quimby, I mean Senator Kennedy, riding in on his high horse to "clean up" NCLB. Yeah, right.
Apparently, in 1998, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer (yes, PBS), did a segment on the math wars. Based in the little town of Corvallis, Oregon, a small school called Fairplay, decided to start using "fuzzy math" curriculum called Mathland. Fairplay is now closed.But what is more interesting is that a group of parents said "no way to this crap at Fairplay" and started their own school in Corvallis - a public school without boundaries. It's called Franklin and it will likely become tennis courts in the near future for the high school next door.