Category Archives: Revolution Edu

Can Special Ed Be Fixed? – by Chester E. Finn, Jr.

In a searing expose, reminiscent of the heyday of journalistic muckraking, the Houston Chronicle has assembled and published fairly persuasive evidence that the great state of Texas has placed a de facto cap of 8.5 percent on the number of kids who can be placed in special education. Assuming it’s true—state officials seemed to waffle,…

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Cheese, Charter Schools & Promising Developments in Special Ed – by Allison Hertog

Charter schools often have an awkward, if not contentious, relationship with their local districts. That makes sense, as the public charter school movement is essentially a reaction to what can be a cookie cutter way of educating kids in neighborhood schools. Yet charter schools are part of the very same district (or state) that funds…

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The Wrong and Right Ways to Ensure Equity in IDEA – by Paul L. Morgan

Are U.S. schools widely over-identifying children as disabled based on their race or ethnicity? Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and many scholars think so. They are well-intentioned but wrong. The best-available empirical studies repeatedly find that the opposite is occurring. White children are much more likely than otherwise similar racial and ethnic minority…

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Autism and the Inclusion Mandate 

Daniel walks into his kindergarten classroom and drops his outerwear, backpack, and bus harness in a tangled heap in the middle of the floor. Daniel has a singular focus this morning: building a bridge and a house out of Lincoln Logs. He does not notice as classmates step around or over him as he plays…

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The Case for Special Education Vouchers – by Jay P. Greene

An interview with Jay Greene about vouchers for disabled kids is available here. The big battles over school vouchers in American education have focused on programs serving low-income children who live in urban areas. Milwaukee’s program, begun in 1990, is the biggest and oldest in the country, and the District of Columbia effort, funded by…

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Is the Learning Disabilities Epidemic Waning? – by Michael J. Petrilli

Is the Learning Disabilities Epidemic Waning? – by Michael J. Petrilli. Almost a decade ago, Fordham and the Progressive Policy Institute published a phone book-sized treatise, Rethinking Special Education for a New Century. One of its most important chapters was “Rethinking Learning Disabilities,” written by a who’s who of cognitive psychologists and reading experts, including Reid…

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Higher Spending Associated with Higher Rates of Special-Education Identification – by Michael J. Petrilli

Higher Spending Associated with Higher Rates of Special-Education Identification – by Michael J. Petrilli. A few weeks ago, we at Fordham released a short analysis, Shifting Trends in Special Education. We noticed that some states, like Massachusetts and New York, identified almost twice as many students as needing special education as those in other states,…

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