Special Education Reform?

I remember 20 plus years ago when I was getting my graduate degree in Special Education and a buddy of mine getting his degree in elementary education told me that his father, a school principal, said that I probably shouldn’t waste my time getting a masters in Special Education. He said that Special Education would be eventually fading out of public education. I was almost done with my masters at this point so I figured I would have to take my chances with it, besides what other choice did I have anyways at that point?

I got a Special Education job and taught for about 10 year. There were a lot of ups and downs over those 10 years, and eventually I decided that I wanted a change so I got certified and switched over to high school history. At this point in my career I remembered what my friend had said a decade ago and wondered if I was ahead of the curve on schools no longer needing special education teachers, even though it was 10 years later. I wondered if my job was now safe in my new-found home in the history department.

Well, I loved teaching history, but life has its own funny ways that aren’t aligned to us and what we want, so after a decade of teaching history I personally got a first class education on budget cuts and my job was eliminated. Thankfully, I landed on my feet back in Special Education, believe it or not.

It had been more than two decades since my old graduate school buddy told me that the need for special education teachers was disappearing. During the previous two decades my friend had gone from graduate school to elementary school teacher to assistant principal to principal, just like his father had done. I had gone from graduate school to special education teacher to history teacher to back to special education teacher, like nobody else that I know had done. And believe it or not there was still a bunch of special education jobs available when I landed there for a second time. As a matter of fact, there was actually plenty of jobs there because there is a shortage of special education teachers in 49 out of our 50 states. Imagine that… Two decades after I was told that Special Education was going away, and I find that they still can’t seem to get enough special education teachers.

Fast-forward a few more years to today and there is a new and interesting twist affecting Special Education called full inclusion. Now inclusion isn’t a new thing to our schools. As a matter of fact inclusion has a long interesting history in our schools.

Six decades ago there was the Supreme Court Case of Brown v. Board of Education. In 1954 the new law of the land became integrated schools for all races. Four decades ago the ground-breaking law of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) began to take effect and …

Seven International Educational Qualifications That Matter

The Internationalization of Education has meant that even in the more remote regions of the World, Students can take an internationally recognized Test. A Test that allows them to qualify and compete on an equal level, with other students, Internally.As the World gets smaller with online educational tools and testing, this trend should continue, standardizing an International Education for anyone, no matter were they live.


CIPAT is a Primary Education program launched by Cambridge from the UK. This program Internationalizes basic primary qualifications in the Sciences, English and Mathematics. Cambridge in recent years are continuing expanding their testing centers to many countries outside the UK.


CHECKPOINT is a secondary Educational program launched by Cambridge for Secondary students. CHECKPOINT primarily offers an International qualification in the Sciences, English, Mathematics and other subjects.


IELTS is one of the more popular English programs for Students who want to study in an English speaking Country at College level. IELTS covers standard, ongoing subjects that Students in a College may have to cover in their studies. IELTS does not offer a passing grade, only a score based on a Test delivered in your home Country. This score is often a compulsory requirement to enter certain Colleges, and Universities around the world.


TOEFL iBT is an International Test that American based Educational Institutes recognize, which is score based. TOEFL iBT Test Centers are located throughout the World, and the Test itself is online. In recent years students prefer IELTS, citing more Countries recognize it as an International qualification.

5 IFB Courses

In many cases students outside English speaking Countries who are accepted into an English speaking College or University, still have to take a compulsory foundation course before they start their first year at University. Many internationally recognized IFB courses are available in their home countries, as many colleges and universities expand internationally.


Australia is one of the more popular Countries for qualified Immigrants. TAFE is an Australian based Trade rather than academic qualification. TAFE courses have expanded outside Australia, and qualify skilled people for non-academic jobs.


In order to qualify to take an MBA in some Countries, Students need to take a GMAT course to 'qualify' for admission to a traditional University or College. GMAT is score based, and the score determines what College could accept you.Many of these International qualifications have expanded through the years to become net based, and even based in emerging Countries around the World. Education has globalized, and with these qualifications creates an International standard in Education.

A standard that allows students in emerging Countries to qualify on the same footing as students in more developed countries, creating an emerging Internationalization of traditional Education once only based on local Education, rather than internationally. …

Diamond Education and Guide: Princess Shape Diamond

The Princess cut is called a square or rectangular modified brilliant in GIA grading reports. It is the most popular fancy shaped diamond. Its beautiful brilliance and unique cut makes it a favorite for engagement rings. It may have either 50 facets, 21 crown, 4 girdle, 25 pavilion, or 58 facets, 21 crown, 4 girdle, 33 pavilion, depending on how the pavilion is cut.

This cut is most frequently a square shape where the length to width ratio is 1.0 to 1.1. The princess cut tend to be the smallest of the shapes for the same carat weight since the cut is basically an upside down pyramid with most of the carat weight in the pavilion or bottom of the stone.

Princess Shape diamonds are for people who love the sparkle and brilliance associated with round shape diamonds, but prefer the shape of a square. With Princess Shape diamonds, one does have to sacrifice the fire that the Asscher and Emerald Shape diamonds often forget. In Fact, the Princess Shape diamond can be just as dazzling as an idealally proportional Round Shape diamond, with lots of light and sparkle.

A Round Brilliant Solitaire ring seems to be the most popular shape right now for engagement rings, but many people are deviating from this trend and choosing a Princess Shape diamond. This will look spectacular by itself as a solitaire or can be paired with other shape diamonds to create a really inspiring beautiful jewelry ring. …

Six Degrees of Separation – Help Your College Age Student Help Themselves

College is a period of transition for your student and your family. Parents can help by being supportive, trusting, AND encourage independence. Here are six ways to help your student help themselves.

1) First Weeks: Filled with activities your student needs to take advantage of those opportunities in order to become connected – a member of their new community. “The phone call” may come when work is piling up, grades aren’t as expected, or they are struggling with some other issue feeling overwhelmed, unable to cope. Don’t panic; this is normal. As much as you’d like to alleviate the stress, you can not (and should not) “fix this” for them. Be calm, reassuring about their ability to work through the challenges or to seek help from the campus resources.

2) Change: Accept that you won’t know every detail of your student’s life. Your student may never have lived away from you before and going to college is an exciting, important step in their growth. The values you have instilled, along with their new campus values, will help your student make good choices.

3) Problems: Managing issues within a complex organization is a vital part of becoming a competent adult. Empower your student to solve problems by offering guidance, encouraging independence, and trusting their decisions. Handling difficult situations for them only impedes their development. They are learning important skills and your student is empowered to undertake other challenges with confidence. “That’s interesting, how do you think it could be handled?” Since students can and do resolve most of their own concerns, parental involvement is usually not necessary and in some cases complicates resolution.

4) Personalities: Learning to live with other people teaches essential skills like communication and boundary setting. Your student is living in an environment where the staff understands the developmental process and transitional issues experienced by college students. Challenge your student to actively work through issues, instead of avoiding them or looking for easy answers. Changing roommates (or dropping a class) is often not the only or best solution. Helping your student seek alternative solutions will enhance their learning.

5) Responsibilities: Many come to college with preconceived ideas of campus conduct, regulations, and the law based on media accounts, someone’s memories or assumptions. Every university has rules. Students will be informed and helped to understand that they are responsible for their conduct. Rules are designed to protect their rights as well as providing for the health, safety, and security needs of all residents and the opportunity to sleep, study, and pursue their academic endeavors.

6) Academic Life: Your students are now masters of their own time. Ask how they plan on balancing this new freedom. You want them to have fun and you want them to succeed socially and academically. A temporary drop in grades is typical. Don’t let your student get discouraged; instead encourage them to get help or refocus. Tutoring, study workshops, and other academic support is readily available for students. Open communication with professors about expectations …

Professors – Launch Your College Course Effectively – Clarify Learning Objectives and Expectations

Students should leave their first class meeting with you with a clear understanding of the following:

  • the course goals,
  • your expectations for their performance, and
  • your philosophy of teaching and learning.

Today's students, their families (and / or employers) PLUS today's taxpayers all hold high expectations of what students will learn in college. Because it is possible that any of the previous mentioned individuals or groups will have heard horror stories of some poorly prepared graduates, you should also clarify these two areas:

  • how you perceive your role as the teacher and
  • how you consider their own role as learners.

It is essential that you manage the expectations of students who view themselves as consumers by clearly explaining both the strengths and limitations of your course – that is, what you will and will not be able to accomplish because of time, space, finances, and other limits. Do everything you know how (including bringing in previous students, sharing 'letters' from previous students, etc.) to assist your current students in their understanding of the dual roles in the college classroom – teacher / professor and learner / student. If either one falls down on the job, then the learning will not occur.

Your syllabus should present critical course information and you should clarify that information as needed during the first class meeting. Review and or point out the various sections of the syllabus. For inexperienced students, you may want to create PowerPoint slides that enable you to isolate each section of the syllabus. For academically mature students, you can simply distribute the paper copy (and or display the web-based copy), and the admonish students to stay with you as it is reviewed.

In either scenario, be sure to solicit questions from the students regarding the items on the syllabus, and draw specific attention to such critical items as attendance policy, provisions for makeup work, due dates of assignments, and grading procedures. If students do not raise questions, insure them that you will entertain questions about the syllabus via e-mail or at the next class meeting. Frequently, students do not process all the information from all their classes at the first meeting. Do not assume that a lack of questions means that everyone clearly understands everything (if only, that were true!) Review or revisit, as needed, the syllabus at the second class meeting and after the first exam or assignment. In today's higher education environment, the syllabus is viewed as a contract between you and your students. Thus, it is imperative that both you and your students have a common understanding of its content in order to ensure a successful class experience for everyone. …

Benefits of Part Time Online Jobs For Students

I was lucky enough during school to work for the University I went to during the day manning their help desk, but traveling to my real job in the evenings every night was a pain. I've seriously gone for an online job had they been so ample back then.

These days there are many legitimate job opportunities online for students, and many can be done on a part-time basis too.

If you have not considered supplementing your loans with employment, here are some of the benefits of looking for part-time jobs online as a student:

Flexible Hours – Unlike traditional office jobs, many online jobs are assignment and deadline based – meaning your employers send you a list of things to get done, and tells you when they need to be done by. It's up to you to schedule enough hours in between in order to get the assignment completed on time.

Variety of Work – The types of jobs online available to students is extensive, including data entry, article writing, blog commentary, writing reviews, promoting products as an affiliate, submitting classifieds, taking surveys, proof-reading.

Your office jobs may pigeon hole you into filing papers or sitting answering the phone to the same questions all day, but the assignment nature of many jobs allow you to be flexible in the type of work you choose.

Experience : No previous employment? No worries. No qualifications yet? No worries. There are plenty of options to work online with little or no experience, typically the only requirements you are going to run into is being old enough to legally do the job, and having some form of bank account or Paypal account to get paid in.

No Travel Time – Got a couple of hours between classes and nothing planned? Perhaps you find yourself eating dinner watching TV and surfing the web at the same time?

Working right out of your dorm room, bedroom at home, or even the library (on your own computer) – you can fit an hour in here, another hour in there. Without the hassle of needing to travel to your place of employment, making time to get your work done on schedule becomes a breeze.

There are not many drawbacks to working online, so long as you are educated about how to find legitimate jobs, and know what to expect, and to avoid, during the whole process. Remember to avoid sites asking for money upfront, and never give out your personal information such as credit cards and social security numbers. …