A Relevant Retrospective on Critical Issues in Urban Special Education

In 2006 I was among the delegation of administrative and curricular leaders from Chicago Public Schools selected to attend the Critical Issues in Urban Special Education: Improving Outcomes for Students With Disabilities Institute at Harvard University collaborative workshop. Following the multi-day institute I wrote a summary report of the Institute from my literacy point of view and shared with the Chicago Public Schools’ participants and the Institute presenters and facilitators.

It is now 2014, nine years since the Critical Issues Institute, and four years into the shift to Common Core thinking and practice. I am like-minded with those who think that improved learning outcomes and high levels of literacy teaching and learning for our students are not present in enough urban classrooms.

Too many students in urban classrooms continue to experience deeply rooted instructional practices that inhibit rather than promote strategic, constructive, and effective thinking.

As a partner advocate for improved teaching and learning, I have an important question for you:

Does your school structure and classroom support system “minimize the impact of disability and maximize opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in general education in their natural community?” Not sure?

The big ideas and recommendations from the following panel of expert presenters from Critical Issues in Urban Special Education: Improving Outcomes for Students With Disabilities Institute 2006 (Harvard Graduate School of Education: Programs in Professional Education) should be of interest to you as you think about your response:

 The comments on this blog are gleaned from my written notes, companion support literature and power-point hand-outs from Critical Issues in Urban Special Education: Improving Outcomes for Students With Disabilities Institute 2006 (Harvard Graduate School of Education: Programs in Professional Education).