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Sunday, August 18, 2019

How to Organize Your Child's IEP Binder

How to Organize Your Child's IEP Binder

How to Organize Your Child’s IEP Binder

Download all IEP binder resources (View / Download)
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Making an IEP binder is a great way to keep information organized and at the ready when you need it. An IEP binder can help you prepare for IEP meetings and stay up to date on your child’s progress. This powerful tool can also help you communicate and collaborate with teachers and your child’s IEP team. Here’s what you need to get started:
  • A three-ring binder
  • Six tabbed section dividers
  • A three-hole punch
Organizing an IEP binder with your child’s evaluation reports, IEP, report cards, and other paperwork may sound like a lot of work. But this guide walks you through what to gather and where to put it.

Start With the IEP Binder Checklist

Print this IEP binder checklist and put it in the very front of your binder. The checklist has details about what you can put in each of the tabbed sections in your IEP binder.
The checklist has another very important purpose: You can update it as you add new paperwork. As your binder grows, this checklist will help you see what you’ve updated and when you updated it.

Label the Tabbed Section Dividers

Label the tabbed dividers for each of the sections of the checklist: CommunicationEvaluationsIEPReport Cards/Progress NotesSample Work, and Behavior. Keep in mind that if you’re just starting the special education process, you may not have much to put in each of these sections yet. Over time, here’s what you’ll be putting in each section—and why:

Tab 1: Communication

Print and fill out a school contact sheet and put it in the front of this section. The contact sheet will help you quickly find and reach out to key people with questions or concerns.
Next is the school communication log. Print one out and use it to help you keep track of meetings, phone calls, emails, and other important interactions you have with your child’s teacher and school. As you fill out each entry, be sure to note what was discussed and what was decided.
The rest of this section is for letters and important emails. Put the newest ones on top, behind the communication log. Why keep printed copies of emails? Having a paper version in your binder means you’ll have it on hand for meetings, so you can easily find and reference what was said.
As you file letters and emails in this section, remember to include a brief summary of each one in the communication log.

Tab 2: Evaluations

Start this section with the request or referral for evaluation. After that, put in your consent to evaluate. Keeping these two documents together can help you see if the school completes the evaluation in a timely manner.
Next comes the school-based evaluation report. (It’s handy to have this in the same section as your request for evaluation, so you can match up each request with the CONTINUE READING: How to Organize Your Child's IEP Binder

T. Ultican: TFA is Bad for America | tultican

TFA is Bad for America | tultican

TFA is Bad for America

By T. Ultican 8/19/2019
Teach For America (TFA) has become the billionaire financed army for privatizing public education. It is the number one source of charter school teachers and its alumni are carrying a neoliberal ideology into education leadership at all levels. TFA undermines education professionalism and exacerbates teacher turnover. Its teachers are totally unqualified to run a classroom yet their political support caused the US Congress to label them as highly qualified teachers. Big money and its political power have elevated TFA to being the nation’s most effective force driving the privatization of public education.

Defining  TFA Neoliberalism

This April, Angela M. Kraemer-Holland of DePaul University submitted her doctoral thesis in which she observed:
“TFA’s primary conception of itself is not as a teacher training organization, nor a non-university-based early entry recruitment program, but rather as a “movement” against a pressing and untenable social problem. Conclusions illuminate TFA’s efforts to shape participants’ understanding of teaching and learning—framing teaching as a temporary career—in order to create and sustain a broader movement in education and beyond that is reflective of neoliberal ideas.”
Kraemer-Holland’s conclusions echoes those of two TFA alumni working on their doctorates at Boston College, Randall Lahann and Emilie Mitescu Reagan. They co-wrote “Teach for America and the Politics of Progressive Neoliberalism” for the Teacher Education Quarterly 2011. The classification of CONTINUE READING: TFA is Bad for America | tultican

Enrique Baloyra: Homestead to Reopen; The Struggle Continues - YouTube

Homestead to reopen; the struggle continues - YouTube

Homestead to Reopen; The Struggle Continues

In the struggle against greed and racism, there are no victories. We celebrate milestones. A first black president. Marriage equality. We move the national discourse forward.
Make no mistake. The struggle is real, where billionaires and corporations control vast a propaganda machine that uses fear and hatred to divide us. They claim parents feeling terrorism and extreme poverty should make better choices for their children. They use words like “invasion” and “infestation.”
And there’s a small group of people who will continue to believe this propaganda, regardless of what facts they may be presented. No doubt they see themselves as virtuous. But there is no virtue in caging children. Or in oppressing minorities.
So it was no surprise this week when the Department of Health and Human Services announced it would be reopening the children’s interment camp at Homestead. It was never closed to begin with. All along they were anticipating “an uptick in the number of referrals made to HHS this fall, based on historical trends.”
Under this summer’s intense scrutiny by lawmakers and the media, HHS was forced to place over 3000 kids in just a few weeks. Critics question whether Caliburn, the company that holds the contract at the facility, was stalling, denying these children their basic human rights to maximize profits for their shareholders. And still the equation remains, “Where are the children?”
“The company’s current contract was awarded without competition around the same time [the president’s] former chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, joined the company’s board of advisers, sparking requests for investigations by members of Congress, senators and House oversight committees.”
Caliburn’s contract is set to expire November 30. That’s the end of hurricane season. But by the looks of things around Homestead, they have no intention of going anywhere.
So, in the words of Dr. Melissa Harris Perry, the struggle continues, as it should. Whether that struggle is eternal remains to be seen, but one thing is clear.
That while we as a society continue to value money over people, there will always be another greedy bastard willing to separate children from their families if there’s a buck in it for them, regardless of the outcomes. Even if it means those children not recognizing their own mothers when they’re reunited.
And if history teaches us anything, this is only the beginning.

Homestead to reopen; the struggle continues - YouTube

Peter Greene: Six Unforgivable Sins Of Teacher Professional Development

Six Unforgivable Sins Of Teacher Professional Development

Six Unforgivable Sins Of Teacher Professional Development
The beginning of the school year is here in many districts, and that means teachers have entered the first big season of professional development.
Many districts are not really sure what to do with these days. In many districts, an ever growing stack of in-service days is an artifact of successive contract negotiations. "All right," said some school board member. "If we're going to give them more money, then I want to get something for it. Tack on another teacher in-service work day." Teachers, many of whom work several dozen unofficial extra days over the summer anyway, rarely fight back.
And so the district finds itself with in-service days to fill, and much of what the fill the hours with is bad. In the course of a career, teachers will sit through hours and hours and hours of bad presentations. If you are a presenter, let someone who spent thirty-nine years sitting through bad presentations offer you some advice. Avoid all of the following unforgiveable sins.
1) Reading from Power Point slides.
We could discuss the problems of bad Power Point (and you should remember that high school teachers have seen every template a gazillion times, so they know if you've been lazy), but under no circumstance should you read the slides to your audience. They are professional educators. They can read. Hearing it read with whatever special vocal intonations you're fond of will not help. As you read, every teacher in the room has a single thought: just e-mail me the slides and let me read this presentation to myself while I get work done in my own room.
2) Trying to flash credentials you don't really have.
Maybe it is a desire to make a connection with the audience, or CONTINUE READING: Six Unforgivable Sins Of Teacher Professional Development

Who’s Trading Public School Funding for a Tax Credit? | gadflyonthewallblog

Who’s Trading Public School Funding for a Tax Credit? | gadflyonthewallblog

Who’s Trading Public School Funding for a Tax Credit?
Ever wonder why our roads and public school buildings are crumbling?
Ever wonder why classroom teachers are forced to buy paper, pencils and supplies for their students out of pocket?

Because businesses like Giant Eagle, American Eagle Outfitters, and Eat’n Park aren’t paying their fair share.
It’s a simple concept – you belong to a society, you should help pay for the roads, bridges, schools, etc. that everyone needs to keep that society healthy.
After all, as a stockholder, CEO or business owner, you directly benefit from that society. If it didn’t exist, you wouldn’t have nearly as many customers – if any.
Many of us learned this kind of stuff in kindergarten or grade school.
But ironically programs that allow businesses to avoid paying their fair share are being used to short change many of those same kindergarten and grade schools.
In Pennsylvania, one such program is called the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC), and everyone from local banks to Duquesne Light to UPMC healthcare providers are using it to lower their taxes while stealing from the public school cookie jar.
Here’s how it works.
If you expect a tax bill of $X at the end of the year, you can donate that same amount to the state for the purpose of helping parents pay off enrollment at a private or CONTINUE READING: Who’s Trading Public School Funding for a Tax Credit? | gadflyonthewallblog

Freedom from fear - Randi Weingarten - Medium

Freedom from fear - Randi Weingarten - Medium

Freedom from fear

Presidents set a tone for our country. Franklin D. Roosevelt guided the United States through the Great Depression at home and a war against tyranny and genocide abroad, reassuring the country that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Subsequent presidents set the nation’s sights on the moon, strove to regain trust after Watergate, called for unity after the 9/11 attacks, and led with hope over fear.
What a stark contrast to the current president. Donald Trump traffics in fear: The contrived threat he calls an “invasion” of nonwhite immigrants. The panic that grips immigrants who worry their families will be ripped apart as they seek refuge and a better life. Hatred of the “other” — races, religions and ideologies — that has emerged from the periphery of society into the mainstream. Indeed, Trump has said that “real power” comes from instilling fear.
Such toxic fear is never far from my mind these days. Tragically, even the start of the school year, which should be a happy and exciting time, has been clouded by fear. In El Paso, Texas, Latinos doing back-to-school shopping were deliberately targeted by a white supremacist whose manifesto echoed Trump’s rhetoric. After the massive raids by U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement in Mississippi that same week, many immigrants are so scared that they are not sending their children to school. Eighty percent of teens say their greatest fear is gun violence. The specter of the worst of humanity invading what should be our safest spaces is no longer unthinkable.
America’s educators know we are more than imparters of skills and knowledge; we are first responders to all that affects children’s well-being. But we need help and resources. We need more school counselors, nurses and mental health professionals to deal with the anxiety, bullying and CONTINUE READING: Freedom from fear - Randi Weingarten - Medium

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Spousal Back To School Edition (8/18)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Spousal Back To School Edition (8/18)

ICYMI: Spousal Back To School Edition (8/18)

This  week my wife heads back to it, with a new grade assignment. I am excited for her and putting on my supportive pants. In the meantime, here's some reading from the week. Remember to share the good stuff-- that's how the word gets  around!

S.C. teacher files class action lawsuit demanding pay for after school work, classroom supplies 

A long overdue step in fighting back in South Carolina. 

Why is union membership bleeding in the red teacher revolt states?   

Fred Klonsky and what may be a troubling, or obvious, trend.

Children Don't Need Adults To Give Their Play a Purpose    

Teacher Tom reminds us that the littles can manage their own play, thank you very much.

In God We Trust   

Kentucky decided to force schools to post "In God We Trust" in some prominent place. So one school framed a dollar bill...The AP reports.

The 1619 Project   

The New York Times has launched a massive project looking at slavery in America.

Data Leviathan 

Not specifically about education, but once again, if you want to see the future of the surveillance state, look to China.

Keeping the Why of Writing Instruction in Mind   

It's been too long since I passed along a Paul Thomas piece. Here's a thoughtful post about writing instruction.

Zuckerberg's 200 Year Old Mistake  

As the last of the Zuckerbooker ed reform package is washed away in New Jersey, I Love You But You're Going To Hell looks at who could have warned the Facebook chief that it wouldn't work (spoiler: everybody) and a historical antecedent for the failure.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Spousal Back To School Edition (8/18)


Feed A Teacher For A Year
I get plenty of pitches--news releases from folks who want to help me come up with some content (and who frequently have never actually read what I write) and mostly I ignore them, but this one caught my attention because it involves free food for a teacher for a year. The company involved is Sun Basket , which touts itself as "the leading healthy eating service"-- another one of those outfits whe

AUG 15

The Problem With Comparisons In Education
Which is the best movie: Ghostbusters , Singin' In The Rain , Casablanca , or Avengers: Endgame ? It depends, of course, on how we choose to compare them. Based on level of romance? On the happiest ending? Best dancing? Most money made? Best use of Sigourney Weaver? Criteria make all the difference. But it's not just the criteria; it's the problems with criteria that naturally emerge from the man

AUG 14

FL: Educational Hypocrisy On Display
Oh, Florida. Maybe it was the principal who wasn't sure the Holocaust was a thing . Maybe it was the latest round of teaching mandates passed down, like the last minute mental health mandate. Or maybe he's just still cranky from his ongoing fight with Duval County Schools . But Florida's education czar Richard Corcoran has had enough . This guy. Florida school districts had better fall in line. Th

AUG 13

PA: Governor Puts Charters On Notice
It was not so long ago that Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf made charter supporters sad by rejecting the claim that charters are public schools . Today, he took another step and put charters in PA on notice. At a news conference at a school in Allentown, Wolf said he would take executive action to change state regulations for charters, including tightening ethics standards. He also said he would

AUG 12

MI: Rural Charters, Warm Bodies, and the Effects of the Teacher "Shortage"
St. Helen, Michigan , has its share of problems. Founded as a logging community, it's Up North in Michigan. It's at least near the interstate, but the population is under 3,000, with a median family income of $30,268. They do have an annual bluegill festival , and Charlton Heston spent part of his childhood there. On the other hand, they're Number Two on the Roadsnacks list of Worst Small Towns i

AUG 11

ICYMI: Just A Quiet Day Edition (8/11)
Buying office supplies. Fretting about getting up in the morning. School must be getting closer-- but not too close yet. Have a cup of whatever you have cups of to relax, and take in some of the education reading from the last week. Don't forget to share the good stuff. How much knowledge is necessary for comprehension? You need some background knowledge in order to get better at reading (regardle

AUG 10

Reed Hastings: Stars In Every Position
We’re like a pro sports team, not a kid’s recreational team. Netflix leaders hire, develop and cut smartly, so we have stars in every position . That's Reed Hastings in a 2009 interview about his then-juggernaut business, Netflix. I came across it recently and, because Hastings has approached education and charter schools with the same business attitude, hoping to turn charter schools into a Netf
What Does "Personalized Learning" Even Mean?
Personalized learning is all over the educational landscape these days, even though nobody can offer a clear and consistent explanation for what it might be. The field encompasses everyone from teachers designing more effective methods to businesses with a new edu-product to sell. Assuming for the moment that there is no solid, universal definition, let's consider the different aspects of instruc

AUG 09

Guest Post: Please Treat Teachers Like Dirt
Last week I posted a blog on about the Phi Delta Kappa annual report on education. This year it features a focus on teacher morale, and I pulled the quote " Tired of being treated like dirt. " A reader-- Stacey Miller Chester-- wrote a reply on Facebook I just love, because I'm a sucker for good analogies and metaphors, and so I'm reprinting it here, with her permission: May I be hones

AUG 08

Indian Hill, Free To Teach, And How To Bust A Union
If you are a teacher in Pennsylvania, you have probably heard from the folks at Free To Teach (I'm sure there are at least two of them) about how much better your life could be without a union. Their most recent letter includes an example of a district where teachers are happily existing without any connection to the state or national unions. Free To Teach has been around for a while . It's an ope
Ed Reform vs. Democracy
It was not that long ago that I wrote a piece about how school choice, by shifting the locus of control for the education purse strings, tends to undermine democractic processes . After all, if only parents of school age children, or only