Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Resolutions

  • Focus on the positive.
  • Tolerate Regents Prep
  • Plan a Summer Program that expands on what we have already accomplished.
  • Utilize DLR and SmartBoard technology into the classroom.
  • Fight the Filter.
  • Model effective teaching strategies for student-teachers.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Does Homework Work?

From Alfie Kohn's website :

This is an excerpt from Alfie Kohn's recently published book The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing. For one teacher's response to this excerpt, read In Defense of Homework.

It may surprise you, as it did me, to learn that no study has ever demonstrated any academic benefit to assigning homework before children are in high school. In fact, even in high school, the association between homework and achievement is weak -- and the data don't show that homework is responsible for higher achievement. (Correlation doesn't imply causation.)

Finally, there isn't a shred of evidence to support the folk wisdom that homework provides nonacademic benefits at any age -- for example, that it builds character, promotes self-discipline, or teaches good work habits. We're all familiar with the downside of homework: the frustration and exhaustion, the family conflict, time lost for other activities, and possible diminution of children's interest in learning. But the stubborn belief that all of this must be worth it, that the gain must outweigh the pain, relies on faith rather than evidence.

So why does homework continue to be assigned and accepted? Possible reasons include a lack of respect for research, a lack of respect for children (implicit in a determination to keep them busy after school), a lack of understanding about the nature of learning (implicit in the emphasis on practicing skills and the assertion that homework "reinforces" school lessons), or the top-down pressures to teach more stuff faster in order to pump up test scores so we can chant "We're number one!"

All of these explanations are plausible, but I think there's also something else responsible for our continuing to feed children this latter-day cod-liver oil. We don't ask challenging questions about homework because we don't ask challenging questions about most things. Too many of us sound like Robert Frost's neighbor, the man who "will not go behind his father's saying." Too many of us, when pressed about some habit or belief we've adopted, are apt to reply, "Well, that's just the way I was raised" -- as if it were impossible to critically examine the values one was taught. Too many of us, including some who work in the field of education, seem to have lost our capacity to be outraged by the outrageous; when handed foolish and destructive mandates, we respond by asking for guidance on how best to carry them out.

Passivity is a habit acquired early. From our first days in school we are carefully instructed in what has been called the "hidden curriculum": how to do what one is told and stay out of trouble. There are rewards, both tangible and symbolic, for those who behave properly and penalties for those who don't. As students, we're trained to sit still, listen to what the teacher says, run our highlighters across whatever words in the book we'll be required to commit to memory. Pretty soon, we become less likely to ask (or even wonder) whether what we're being taught really makes sense. We just want to know whether it's going to be on the test.

When we find ourselves unhappy with some practice or policy, we're encouraged to focus on incidental aspects of what's going on, to ask questions about the details of implementation -- how something will get done, or by whom, or on what schedule -- but not whether it should be done at all. The more that we attend to secondary concerns, the more the primary issues -- the overarching structures and underlying premises -- are strengthened. We're led to avoid the radical questions -- and I use that adjective in its original sense: Radical comes from the Latin word for "root." It's partly because we spend our time worrying about the tendrils that the weed continues to grow. Noam Chomsky put it this way: "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."

Parents have already been conditioned to accept most of what is done to their children at school, for example, and so their critical energies are confined to the periphery. Sometimes I entertain myself by speculating about how ingrained this pattern really is. If a school administrator were to announce that, starting next week, students will be made to stand outside in the rain and memorize the phone book, I suspect we parents would promptly speak up . . . to ask whether the Yellow Pages will be included. Or perhaps we'd want to know how much of their grade this activity will count for. One of the more outspoken moms might even demand to know whether her child will be permitted to wear a raincoat.

Our education system, meanwhile, is busily avoiding important topics in its own right. For every question that's asked in this field, there are other, more vital questions that are never raised. Educators weigh different techniques of "behavior management" but rarely examine the imperative to focus on behavior -- that is, observable actions -- rather than on reasons and needs and the children who have them. Teachers think about what classroom rules they ought to introduce but are unlikely to ask why they're doing so unilaterally, why students aren't participating in such decisions. It's probably not a coincidence that most schools of education require prospective teachers to take a course called Methods, but there is no course called Goals.

And so we return to the question of homework. Parents anxiously grill teachers about their policies on this topic, but they mostly ask about the details of the assignments their children will be made to do. If homework is a given, it's certainly understandable that one would want to make sure it's being done "correctly." But this begs the question of whether, and why, it should be a given. The willingness not to ask provides another explanation for how a practice can persist even if it hurts more than helps.

For their part, teachers regularly witness how many children are made miserable by homework and how many resist doing it. Some respond with sympathy and respect. Others reach for bribes and threats to compel students to turn in the assignments; indeed, they may insist these inducements are necessary: "If the kids weren't being graded, they'd never do it!" Even if true, this is less an argument for grades and other coercive tactics than an invitation to reconsider the value of those assignments. Or so one might think. However, teachers had to do homework when they were students, and they've likely been expected to give it at every school where they've worked. The idea that homework must be assigned is the premise, not the conclusion -- and it's a premise that's rarely examined by educators.

Unlike parents and teachers, scholars are a step removed from the classroom and therefore have the luxury of pursuing potentially uncomfortable areas of investigation. But few do. Instead, they are more likely to ask, "How much time should students spend on homework?" or "Which strategies will succeed in improving homework completion rates?" which is simply assumed to be desirable.

Policy groups, too, are more likely to act as cheerleaders than as thoughtful critics. The major document on the subject issued jointly by the National PTA and the National Education Association, for example, concedes that children often complain about homework, but never considers the possibility that their complaints may be justified. Parents are exhorted to "show your children that you think homework is important" -- regardless of whether it is, or even whether one really believes this is true -- and to praise them for compliance.

Health professionals, meanwhile, have begun raising concerns about the weight of children's backpacks and then recommending . . . exercises to strengthen their backs! This was also the tack taken by People magazine: An article about families struggling to cope with excessive homework was accompanied by a sidebar that offered some "ways to minimize the strain on young backs" -- for example, "pick a [back]pack with padded shoulder straps."

The People article reminds us that the popular press does occasionally -- cyclically -- take note of how much homework children have to do, and how varied and virulent are its effects. But such inquiries are rarely penetrating and their conclusions almost never rock the boat. Time magazine published a cover essay in 2003 entitled "The Homework Ate My Family." It opened with affecting and even alarming stories of homework's harms. Several pages later, however, it closed with a finger-wagging declaration that "both parents and students must be willing to embrace the 'work' component of homework -- to recognize the quiet satisfaction that comes from practice and drill." Likewise an essay on the Family Education Network's Web site: "Yes, homework is sometimes dull, or too easy, or too difficult. That doesn't mean that it shouldn't be taken seriously." (One wonders what would have to be true before we'd be justified in not taking something seriously.)

Nor, apparently, are these questions seen as appropriate by most medical and mental health professionals. When a child resists doing homework -- or complying with other demands -- their job is to get the child back on track. Very rarely is there any inquiry into the value of the homework or the reasonableness of the demands. One prominent example of this sensibility is pediatrician and author Mel Levine, whose advice for dealing with kids who don't do what they've been told reads like a heavy-handed parody of early-twentieth-century scientific management -- except that he wants us to chart the "work output" of six-year-olds. Parents "need to take on the sometimes adversarial and perverse authoritarian role of taskmaster," he tells us. They should "set up and enforce consistent work times" and limit the hours that children spend on purely relaxing activities, which are "likely to be detrimental to output." Levine offers helpful examples of logs, charts, and bar graphs that should be posted in our homes so we can keep track of kids' productive output.

Someone who looks at children and sees (insufficiently productive) workers is unlikely to raise questions about the structural imperatives of schooling -- what kids are made to do, and why, and whether it is of any value to the kids themselves. Levine offers case studies of children who don't do their homework, but never once examines the content of the assignments to determine whether they're likely to be beneficial, let alone what basis there is for believing that homework in general is necessary. Our goal, as parents and teachers, is merely to maximize kids' "output," to make them more efficient at carrying out any instructions they've been given.

Sometimes parents are invited to talk to teachers about homework -- providing that their concerns are "appropriate." The same is true of formal opportunities for offering feedback. A list of sample survey questions offered to principals by the central office in one Colorado school district is typical. Parents were asked to indicate whether they agree or disagree with the following statements: "My child understands how to do his/her homework"; "Teachers at this school give me useful suggestions about how to help my child with schoolwork"; "Homework assignments allow me to see what my student is being taught and how he/she is learning"; and "The amount of homework my child receives is (choose one): too much/just right/too little."

The most striking feature of such a list is what isn't on it. Such a questionnaire seems to have been designed to illustrate Chomsky's point about encouraging lively discussion within a narrow spectrum of acceptable opinion, the better to reinforce the key presuppositions of the system. Parents' feedback is earnestly sought -- on these questions only. So, too, for the popular articles that criticize homework, or the parents who speak out: The focus is generally limited to how much is being assigned. I'm sympathetic to this concern, but I'm more struck by how it misses much of what matters. We sometimes forget that not everything that's destructive when done to excess is innocuous when done in moderation. Sometimes the problem is with what's being done, or at least the way it's being done, rather than just with how much of it is being done.

The more we are invited to think in Goldilocks terms (too much, too little, or just right?), the less likely we become to step back and ask the questions that count: What reason is there to think that any quantity of the kind of homework our kids are getting is really worth doing? What evidence exists to show that daily homework, regardless of its nature, is necessary for children to become better thinkers? Why did the students have no chance to participate in deciding which of their assignments ought to be taken home?

And: What if there was no homework at all?

If anyone has a copy of this book I would love to read this. Being on a split schedule I don't even like doing homework.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Transparency and Building Democratic Community

The following was inspired by a recent comment on a another blog :

You know the expression “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”?

Well, why don’t we ask our students to help with some of the problems we’re having? They are part of the problem, right? Perhaps they could provide solutions. They are, after all, the consumers. Don’t we want their input? Isn’t it their school? We may have more at stake since some of us will be in the building longer than the kids, and we may have more to offer in the way of experience. But…I can’t help but think that if transparency and building community are part of our vision (distributive leadership), we need to invite all voices to be heard.

What we share on these blogs are, in a sense, our educational philosophies. If we don’t want students to see what we write, maybe we need to rethink what we write. Or, to take it one step further, maybe we need to rethink what we think. For a school that’s all about teaching and learning, we have a lot to learn. I remember being really impressed by Woolsey’s comment that everyday he is the teacher and the student. We need to keep those words in mind. The blog should be open to all members of the QHST community, all of its stakeholders.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Beyond the Classroom

The following appeared on a small schools list serve I belong to. The author has an intresting take on putting what we do in the classroom into perspective.

It reads:

Classroom without boundaries offers alternatives in NCLB era.

Former Greenville High football coach Charles Brady's summary on the need for a public outcry about public education made for some interesting reading on Sunday. Great job, by the way, coach on addressing the fundamental flaws with No Child Left Behind and the new teaching to the test atmosphere that we appear to be under.

However, I think there was a fundamental flaw in the structure of the education system when someone decided many years ago to put 30 children of the same age in a classroom with a teacher and expect each one of the students to get all the knowledge that was due to them regardless of discipline problems, different learning styles, teacher work load and the various student backgrounds.Coach Brady is absolutely right. There has been a change in education delivery since NCLB. But, I will play devil's advocate by saying that thinking public schools and institution of learning in general are solely responsible for the education of our children is flawed as well.

Public schools are required by law to present narrow objectives in order that they are measured by a standard called a state test. So, why not expand upon a child's education if we know what we're up against with the limitations of No Child Left Behind?It is unfair to put the blame entirely on school districts when the critical thinkers and leaders don't emerge from our ranks.When I get a chance to go into classrooms around local school districts, I often draw a huge circle on the blackboard to represent all of the knowledge in the world.In the middle of the huge circle, I then draw a small dot, illustrating to children the portion that teachers and school districts are responsible for.

Next, I ask a simple question: “Who is responsible for the rest of your education?”

This question is quite easy to answer. If we want to develop children's thinking and creativity, learning has to be encouraged at homes, in churches and in communities. Making your home a place rich with various literature and modeling the idea that reading is important by frequently doing it, registers with children in a powerful way.Simple word association games and cross-word puzzles wake up dormant areas of the brain.When mothers and fathers place their reluctant, timid children in front of a church congregation to say a simple Easter speech or make church announcements, public speaking, articulation and presentation skills are sharpened.
When a tutor or mentor takes an hour or two to really reinforce a skill or introduce a child to helpful information not necessarily learned under the auspices of a state benchmark, higher level thinking skills are developed.

We have to make our children fall in love with knowledge by encouraging learning outside the classroom. When children broaden their thinking, the teacher's job invariably becomes easier, they are more tolerant of others and they are more likely to pursue learning throughout their lives.The classroom has its purpose. That is to give students enough knowledge to satisfy objectives and quantify achievement with grades and assessments.

With the current atmosphere in education, sometimes the best qualified, most dedicated and well-intentioned teachers simply don't have enough time to give every student what they really deserve.But, the classroom will always be a much-needed, vital part of a child's education.To think that school districts are the end all of education and the sole holder of that responsibility is narrow-minded and a formula for perpetuating the blame game.

As a parent, it's my responsibility to work with teachers and administrators to ensure that my children get all they can from the traditional school setting. I also take the very personal responsibility of letting the world be their classroom as well.

Some legislation will come along one day and render NCLB obsolete. But, no legislation can supersede the desire to use all of life's moments as opportunities for education.

Patrick L. Ervin is a reporter for the Delta Democrat Times

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Getting the Future Ready

Below is an interesting excerept from an article in this months Time Magazine. Are we getting our students ready for the future?

Knowing more about the world. Kids are global citizens now, whether they know it or not, and they need to behave that way. Mike Eskew, CEO of UPS, talks about needing workers who are "global trade literate, sensitive to foreign cultures, conversant in different languages" -- not exactly strong points in the U.S., where fewer than half of high school students are enrolled in a foreign-language class and where the social-studies curriculum tends to fixate on U.S. history.

Thinking outside the box. Jobs in the new economy -- the ones that won't get outsourced or automated -- "put an enormous premium on creative and innovative skills, seeing patterns where other people see only chaos," says Marc Tucker, a lead author of the skills-commission report and president of the National Center on Education and the Economy. That's a problem for U.S. schools, which have become less daring in the back-to-basics climate of No Child Left Behind. Kids also must learn to think across disciplines, since that's where most new breakthroughs are made. It's interdisciplinary combinations -- design and technology, mathematics and art -- "that produce YouTube and Google," says Thomas Friedman, the best-selling author of The World Is Flat.

Becoming smarter about new sources of information. In an age of overflowing information and proliferating media, kids need to rapidly process what's coming at them and distinguish between what's reliable and what isn't. "It's important that students know how to manage it, interpret it, validate it, and how to act on it," says Dell executive Karen Bruett, who serves on the board of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a group of corporate and education leaders focused on upgrading American education.

Developing good people skills. EQ, or emotional intelligence, is as important as IQ for success in today's workplace. "Most innovations today involve large teams of people," says former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine. "We have to emphasize communication skills, the ability to work in teams and with people from different cultures."

Can our public schools, originally designed to educate workers for agrarian life and industrial-age factories, make the necessary shifts?

Global Superpower

As most of you know I am not a big fan of standardized exams, however after reading an inspiring article in Edutopia, about the IB program offered to all students in the Rockville Center school District on Long Island, my interest has been peaked.

On the same topic I also came across the following article.

The Washington Post reported today:

Ranking High Schools, 2006

By Jay MathewsWashington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 12, 2006; 4:18 PM

“The Challenge Index rates each school by taking the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests the school gave in 2006 and dividing by the number of seniors who graduated from the school this year. High school educators who have learned, as the teachers at Garfield did, that even average students benefit from AP and IB are more likely to have more students taking those exams and do better on The Post's list. High school educators who stick with what is still the majority view about AP and IB in America -- that the programs are suitable only for top students -- do not do so well.

In many cases, the list defies the conventional wisdom that schools with lots of low-income students are bad and schools with few such students are good. That is not to say that most low-income schools do well on the list. Most do not. Many of their teachers and administrators accept the widespread assumption that their students can't do AP or IB. But the few schools in poor neighborhoods that break out of this mindset are worth studying.”

Can QHST follow this lead? Should we?

Monday, December 11, 2006


Previously concerns with our "Block-Scheduling" have been hinted at as a potential problem. We are not alone with this concern however I think we still need to do more research and share our personal benefits and drawbacks to our current "blocks" of time. I am not referring to our "split scheduling" (that post will follow).

Excerpted form an EducationWorld article to school administrators:

"Even though more and more schools are switching to block scheduling, the approach has drawn fire from some educators and parents. Critics of block scheduling assert that the new scheduling format creates or exacerbates certain educational problems.

What will students do for 90-minute periods? critics ask. Proponents of block scheduling cite active learning as the key to keeping students engaged and learning during longer periods. But, even with a block-scheduling format, critics say, many teachers continue simply to lecture students rather than engaging them in active learning. Block scheduling in itself is no guarantee of active learning. And if active learning doesn't take place during, for example, a 90-minute class period, students may have trouble paying attention for the entire class.

Opponents of block scheduling, like the group Parents for Academic Excellence based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, point out that student absences create problems under block scheduling. Making up missed work is always difficult. But when a student misses one day of classes under block scheduling, the student misses the equivalent of two days of instruction under the traditional system. A weeklong absence means the student misses two weeks of material. Such an absence may cause a student to fall behind to the extent that making up the work is difficult.

Teacher absences may lead to other problems, according to doubters. Under block scheduling, will a substitute teacher be qualified to teach 90-minute periods of, for example, physics?

Courses like languages or mathematics are sequential. Some critics of block scheduling point out that a student may take French I in the fall, not take French at all in the spring, go through the summer, and then take French II the following fall. At issue is how much French the student will recall after a break of several months. Advocates of block scheduling say most forgetting happens in the first few weeks after a course is taken. Yet critics point to studies that indicate greater memory loss over longer periods of time.

A practical hurdle also stands in the way of block scheduling in some school districts. A state arbitration panel in Connecticut recently ruled that Region 13, covering the towns of Durham and Middlefield, would have to pay teachers more under a proposed block schedule plan because teachers would be required to teach six different courses a year instead of five courses. The panel ruled that teachers should be compensated for added preparation time involved in an extra course, even if the teachers would teach for the same length of time. The school district still adopted block schedule after the ruling, but it reconfigured its scheduling to ensure that each teacher is responsible for only five courses. "

I found the "substitute" issue quite relevant. I t must be tough to be a substitute teacher in our school. However, we have diminished some of the problems listed in this excerpt because we have an annualized program. Personally in a project based Global Studies classroom, block scheduling works. I am not familiar with the other content areas enough to see how it poses a challenge. Are the challenges for the teacher or the student? Are there any benefits to block scheduling?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Holes. Common Areas, and Attendance

Mike I am concerned about the students who are being allowed to hang out in the commons area during their free periods without any adult supervision. The bathrooms have been locked as a result of vandalism that I am sure are being committed during these unsupervised periods. I know it is illegal for me to leave my students unsupervised in a classroom how is it these students are left unsupervised in a commons area?


Dear Freire Family,
Part of the problem is that many of the student in the common area are not Freire and our students are not allowed to be in the other common areas creating an excess of students in the area. I will be patrolling the area during class changes and making sure the light stays on. We also discussed in the 10th grade team meeting ideas for changes to project learn that will minimize the problem. We will discuss at our next faculty meeting.


Hello All:

Whether or not the students in the hall or commons belong to any given community is essentially irrelevant (although Fox and I both saw several Freire students: in the Emerson common area at about 9:45am on 12/5. Freire students were also asked to report to class on numerous occasions on Friday, 12/1). The issue is that students are not being held accountable to report for "filler classes" ie project learn or auditorium/library duty. They are not being held accountable because attendance is not being taken and they are not recieving credit for such courses. In addition, adults in the building turn a blind eye to their meandering the hallways. It is essential that we are all on the same page with this issue.

It is our obligation and responsibility to do our best to usher students out of the hallway regardless of what community they belong to. We are members of the QHST family and must behave as such even though we identify with different branches of the family tree. The issue is school wide, it is not endemic to one community alone. Our students are NOT COMMUNITY CODED!!!! A student is a student, and we all know that we can't identify what community a student belongs to unless we ask them, which, frankly, is the topic for another conversation.

I am curious to hear the thoughts of other members of our QHST community. I am also more than willing to work with anyone that really would like to solve this problem regardless of their branch of QHST!


I agree with Cathy. Here are my questions:

HMMMMMMM.......Let's think about our situation: Kids are expected to report to a place where attendance is not being taken and credit is not being given, when they do not report, there are no repercussions for not showing up. What do we think will happen? I know I am only an art teacher but I expect bad situations to arise when students are unsupervised. What do you think?

This is a fascinating topic. Like Eric, I am wondering why attendance is not being taken, why a grade is not being given and what people really expect if there are no consequences to student non-attendance. I was unaware that attendance was not being taken or that a grade was not being given – these were certainly not presented as part of the design plan. In fact attendance must always be taken – it is a legal obligation. In the original design, each class was to be pass/ fail.

Within a few days, all students will have their scheduled attached to the back of their ID and this will make it much easier for security, deans, teachers and anyone else to check that a student is in the right place. Of course, each day I see and hear many of you - who know perfectly well without looking at any documentation who is supposed to be where – moving students along. As Cathy says, this is good practice and we should all be doing it. Most of us are already. This will allow security to address the more serious resisters.


For the most part, I agree with the issues that have been raised. I also want to point out that, as a project learn instructor, I ALWAYS take attendance and DO issue grades (even though it is only a P/F grade). Aside from two students who have never attended the class, my students enter class and work on their projects and/or homework assignments. They are NEVER unsupervised and are never given the liberty to do what they please.


I must weigh in. Students in Project Learn classes are expected to report to class with either work to do or a book to read. Attendance is taken and students should be held accountable for their time and behavior as they would be in any other class.
The only students in the common areas should be students identified as those with a free and not programmed for library. When I see students in the third floor common area I ask to see a program. Those without programs are sent to their guidance counselor to get a program to verify they are free. We are reluctant to allow students other than Montessori in the third floor common area because they are not known by the teachers that may be looking out from 318 (which is often left with the door ajar so we can monitor the area), or myself, or Ms. O'Neill. There has been vandalism in the common area during times when students other than Montessori are left in there, perhaps because they do not have a sense of ownership for the space. We try to be vigilant in supervising all students on the third floor, and in the rest of the building as we travel through it.


Is everyone defining the word "free" as a whole in student's programs or does it mean free periods anywhere in their programs?

Why is Nancy's information different than the one we recieved at the Emerson meeting yesterday. According to our meeting, no students should have a free in an unsupervised area such as the community common areas. We need to be on the same page. We need to obviously communicate better with each other.

What kids are supposed to be where and when? How do we know this?


Hi All:

I appreciate the responses, but the question of "Project Learn" in the Library and the Auditorium remains unanswered. It stands to reason that "teachers" with actual "project learn" classes take attendance and give a grade, albeit P/F, however, issue of the library and auditorium remains. I saw two Emerson students in the hall yesterday and asked them for their programs. Guess what? There was NOTHING scheduled for that period (6). These students are good students, but good students can go "bad" when left to their own devices. I am still confused and honestly, I am getting a bit frustrated with the situation.


Administrators and colleagues, take note. I have been in communication with UFT point personnel for the NYC school libraries. Students should not be assigned to (programmed for) the library. Since the library is not an assignment, school librarians do not--I repeat, do not--take attendance. "Different by design" should not mean "Ignore the UFT contract."


Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The Montessori seniors in my government class are amazing. Every time I walk away from the class I am re-energized as a teacher. The students always impress me. Everyone has experiences one of these types of classes at one point in their career. I am so lucky to have two of them in the last three years here at QHST.

Having co-taught a current events class with Frank Sweeten my first year at QHST that was so engaged I honestly thought my teaching career had reached a peak. I now realize that it was only a plateau.

I know so might say it's the "Honeymoon Stage" but its been three years now...

PLEASE read the blog our seniors have worked hard on creating please read the linked articles, read the comments and please feel free to respond. My students have strong opinions but I have found they listen so much better to online discussions.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Who benefits from inclusion?

In one of our last discussions I was told that “…how can you 'deal with' each issue when you aren't the one who thinks they are a problem? This discussion will go nowhere unless people who think there's some big problem speak up…”

Here is yet another opportunity!!!!!!!!

I have linked a website that shows the general benefits of an inclusion program in a school. I would love to hear what the concerns of my colleagues on this topic.

I am not going to start with the “pillars” of the concept paper we all were aware of, I want to make the argument that the idea of inclusion benefits all students of all levels. Let us be both open and honest in the discussion.

Impassioned responses are always louder than angry banter.