North Dakota receives federal feedback

The U.S. Department of Education has given remarks on North Dakota’s plan to conform with a brand new federal education regulation called the Every Student Succeeds Act. State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said she spoke Monday with Education Department officials through a smartphone convention name. She referred to as “superb, substantial and cordial.” an example of feedback statements. Education Department officials have asked for extra data in several parts of the nation’s plan. The department’s evaluation of the project and notes from the expert peer reviewers who tested it will be made public this week, in line with Baesler’s sample feedback to your manager.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction will meet with a statewide ESSA making plans committee on Monday to provide an overview of the remarks and gather contributors’ responses to the modifications, Baesler stated. DPI is needed to post a reply to the Education Department by  giving and receiving feedback

North Dakota is certainly one of 19 states and the District of Columbia that have submitted their ESSA Kingdom plans, with greater states making plans to do so the subsequent month. ESSA changed No Child Left Behind in 2015. The new law diminishes the federal authorities’ function in education and bolsters the state’s involvement.

“We look forward to continuing our appropriate operating courting with the Department of Education as this process goes ahead,” Baesler stated. “All of us are preserving in thoughts that the cause of this process is to improve the schooling of our students and to make our training machine extra accountable to the students, mother and father, and taxpayers it serves.”

Perhaps the largest and most pervasive issue in special education and my journey in education is special education’s relationship to general education. History has shown that this has never been an easy, clear-cut relationship between the two. There has been a lot of giving and taking, or maybe I should say pulling and pushing for educational policy and the educational practices and services of education and special education by the human educators who deliver those services on both sides of the aisle like me.

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Over the last 20+ years, I have been on both sides of education. I have seen and felt what it was like to be a regular mainstream educator dealing with special education policy, special education students, and specialized teachers. I have also been on the special education side, trying to get regular education teachers to work more effectively with my special education students by modifying their instruction and materials and having more patience and empathy.
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Furthermore, I have received a mainstream  Dakota regular education teacher feedback who taught regular education inclusion classes, trying to figure out how to best work with some new special education teacher in my class and their special education students. In contrast, I have been a special education inclusion teacher intruding on the territory of some regular education teachers with my special education students and the modifications I thought these teachers should implement. I can tell you that none of this give-and-take between special education and regular education has been easy. Nor do I see this pushing and pulling becoming easy anytime soon.

So, what is special education? And what makes it so special and yet so complex and controversial sometimes? Well, special education, as its name suggests, is a specialized branch of education. It claims its lineage to such people as Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard (1775-1838), the physician who “tamed” the “wild boy of Aveyron,” and Anne Sullivan Macy (1866-1936), the teacher who “worked miracles” with Helen Keller.

Special educators teach students with physical, cognitive, language, learning, sensory, and emotional abilities that deviate from the general population. Special educators provide instruction specifically tailored to meet individualized needs. These teachers make education more accessible to students who otherwise would have limited access to education due to whatever disability they are struggling with.

It’s not just the teachers, though, who play a role in this country’s special education history. Physicians and clergy, including Itard- mentioned above, Edouard O. Seguin (1812-1880), Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876), and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851), wanted to ease the neglectful, often abusive treatment of individuals with disabilities. Sadly, education in this country was, more often than not, very neglectful and abusive when dealing with different students.

Even rich literature in our nation describes the treatment provided to individuals with disabilities in the 1800s and early 1900s. Sadly, in these stories and the real world, the segment of our population with disabilities was often confined in jails and almshouses without decent food, clothing, personal hygiene, and exercise.

For an example of this different treatment in our literature, one must look no further than Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843). In addition, people with disabilities were often portrayed as villains, such as in the book Captain Hook in J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan” in 1911.

The prevailing view of the authors of this period was that one should submit to misfortunes, both as a form of obedience to God’s will and because these seeming misfortunes are ultimately intended for one’s good. Progress for our people with disabilities was hard to come by at this time, with this way of thinking permeating our society, literature, and thinking.

So, what was the society to do about these people of misfortune? During much of the nineteenth century and early in the twentieth, professionals believed individuals with disabilities were best treated in residential facilities in rural environments. An out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of thing, if you will. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, the size of these institutions had increased so dramatically that the goal of rehabilitation for people with disabilities wasn’t working. Institutions became instruments for permanent segregation.

I have some experience with these segregation policies of education. Some of it is good, and some of it is not so good. You see, I have been a self-contained teacher on and off throughout the years in multiple environments in self-contained classrooms in public high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. I have also taught in various special education behavioral self-contained schools that separated these troubled students with disabilities in managing their behavior from their mainstream peers by putting them in completely different buildings, sometimes even in other towns from their homes, friends, and peers.