Posted from the Indy Star, a different view of a possibilities for charter schools. Of course the underlying premise is that traditional, public schools can't (or won't) provide services for these children. Perhaps naively, I am still not ready to give up that ghost. These children and their parents have all of the rights of a "sound, basic education" of any citizen and one might wonder about the implications of deciding that these needs are only met in separate places. There are a lot of issue that I might be missing so....your turn.
Special Schools for Special Children
I was pleased to read the Sept. 16 article about the proposed, much-needed charter schools. One of the schools would serve autistic children. Although I was erroneously identified as a founder of the school, I agree there is a need for schools that serve children on the autism spectrum who need learning strategies that traditional educational settings are not able to provide.
Children with Asperger syndrome are at particular risk. These students are on the high end of the autism spectrum intellectually and yet have cognitive and social needs that are poorly dealt with in most schools. I have the good fortune to be the head of a small, private school that is very successful with these students. Small classes, compassionate, skilled teachers, and a structure that is clear and predictable yet flexible for students' needs help them succeed. Parents need to know that there are positive alternatives for their children with Asperger syndrome.
Interesting article in NY Times on the election and education policy….FYI http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/09/the-early-word-obama-on-education/. It seems that education policy will be part of the ways the Obama Campaign wants to distinguish itself from both McCain and more traditional Democratic platforms. Also included are some details of McCain's ed policy. This was all over the news and is worthy of some on-line discussion. Any thoughts, folks?
"The Obama campaign is framing a day of contrasts with the Republican ticket on the issue of public education as Senator Barack Obama prepares to deliver a speech about how to “modernize and strengthen our education system.”
According to the campaign, Senator Obama will propose doubling funding for “responsible” charter schools and address the hiring and firing of teachers. “We can’t settle for schools filled with poor teachers,” "