top of page

Welcome to the School Matters Foundation

Click on our pages to find articles and guest posts about public education in America. 

The Sunday Journal for June 4:
Special Education Run Amok

OUR BOOK PICK
FOR JUNE:

Wish - April 2023.png

Wish is more than the story of a girl and her dog. It wags the heart strings of anyone who wants to understand how being 'broken' affects children in ways we cannot imagine.

Sunday journal

There is a disturbing trend in education that I began to notice around 2013, and that is the inclination among teachers and administrators to funnel anyone who is not learning at a typical rate toward special education.


There are several reasons that students do not learn.  Having a cognitive disability is one of them.  But so are lack of interest and lack of effort, social-emotional issues, as well as poor attendance.  Special Education seems to have become an umbrella placement for any of these cases, when it should be reserved for those who are truly encumbered by an inability to learn.  Teachers are required to document the interventions they have attempted with their lagging learners, including those who just don’t seem to want to learn.  


After a certain amount of documentation has been collected (this usually takes much of the school year), a student can be referred for cognitive, speech, and/or social-emotional testing to determine whether he should be placed in special ed.  The paperwork for this process is massive.  Once a child has been classified as such, he is given an IEP, Individual Education Program, that dictates everything about his education from that point forward: learning goals for math and/or reading;  social-emotional goals, if appropriate;  accommodations and/or modifications for classroom instruction and testing; number of minutes per week the students will receive instruction from the SpEd teacher.

 

 The IEP is a legal document enforced at the federal level.  Keeping up with it is such a huge undertaking that some school districts (including my former Colorado district) give their SpEd teachers one full workday every two weeks just for paperwork.  On that day, no services are rendered to students.

 

Read More
 

Our flagship book:

Chaos in Our Schools

The provocative expose of how mismanaged our education system is. Available now on Amazon.

Cover Final on Amazon.png

We can fix the problem, but we need an overhaul in how we view and manage public education.

Reading this book is a good start.

The paradigm of education has shifted over the last decade. Documentation and data collection have eclipsed teaching as the mainstay in a teacher's career.

Anchor 1

Photo of the Month

Photo of the month

from Beautiful Loveland Pass, Colorado.

Moonlight Shred  2015.

Photo credit: Rachel Pariseau

Loveland Pass.png

Intro to
CHAOS IN OUR SCHOOLS

The Bottom Line

From the 2022 book Chaos in Our Schools:

The Bottom Line
    There’s an insidious element in education that is unnoticed by most people. Schools are not set up for the children; they are set up for the convenience of the adults who run them. If children were the top priority in a school, they would not be assigned to static class groupings without the opportunity to advance to a different group when they are ready.
   If children were the top priority, the people who work with them would be seen as more important than the bureaucrats who direct those people. Class groups would not be divided into “fair” sets of upper, middle, and low aptitudes. The behavior problems would not be dispersed throughout the school so that every other child has his education seriously diminished by the outlandishness of a few.
   If children were truly the reason schools exist, the ratio of adult to child would be a reasonable and realistic one.


   Our schools, particularly at the elementary level, are operated with the guiding principles that
    1) Procedures and standards, copiously outlined, meet the

        education needs of students,
        and
    2) Children should be arranged in groupings that are

        acceptable to the adults in charge.


   This is nonsense, but at present, there is little that can be done to thwart these ideals because the teachers’ unions won’t allow for a sensible approach to education.

Opinions on Education

Visit our Quora Space

Quora image re NCLB.png
selling_on_quora-1-768x278.jpg

  Our Latest Post:
     When do you think 
th
e school system will             be fixed?  

Image of the Week

Poignant
Moments

John F. Kennedy,

35th President of the United States.
Credit: Shared via Mark Cohen

on LinkedIn

kennedy quote and photo.jpg

"Regardless of whether it's indigenous issues, economic failures, shortages of fuel, food, or freedom of rights. It is time to learn from the past, let the negative emotions go, and make better decisions for the future."
-Michael Zeidenberg

Visit our FACEBOOK page:

We're always on...

  • Facebook

Click

Woman Working

DONATE  NOW
through our PayPal
partner

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

Your generous donation supports our efforts to publicize the need for school reform.  Eventually, it will support schools modeled after our prototype.  See our book Chaos in Our Schools for more.

Mission Statement
To advance ideas and policies for the improvement of public education.
To expose misleading or deceptive education policy. 
To support underserved student populations.

Notable Viewpoints

TL for School Matters.jpg
Why Differentiation
Doesn't Work

"Differentiation is a failure, a farce, and the ultimate educational joke played on countless educators and students. By having dismantled many of the provisions we used to offer kids on the edges of learning, ... we have sacrificed the learning of virtually every student."
                -    Dr. James Delisle, in Education Week

Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.

                                   Albert Einstein

Doge Generals on Twitter.png
3rd grader quote.png
16 year old quote.png

The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.

                                                      B.B. King

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

                                  Nelson Mandela

bottom of page