Amazingly what started as a lark 2 years ago has grown to the point where there have been close to 200,000 page views averaging about 250 per day and nearly 600 comments from so many wonderful readers of the blog. The numbers do not tell much but there are deeper lessons:
1. People need, crave and love humor; an especial thanks in this department goes out to my wife, Lori Miller Fox, who is far and away funnier than I can ever hope to be. Laughter is the balm for the profound pain that so many of us experience each day;
2. Too many school people (by no means all) can not laugh at themselves and are incredibly sensitive to rebuke even if expressly not directed at them. The amount of hrrmphing over the years has been remarkable.
3. Parents need and have a right to plain spoken guidance and in many cases will use that information to pierce the veil of misinformation and get a FAPE for their child;
4. There is an ongoing need to uncover the persistant myths of special education: cases are brought to due process at the hands of money hungry unscrupulous attorneys; special education is draining the education system; school people are above reproach and never hit, lie, cheat, perjure or steal; to provide a FAPE would bankrupt the system (when so often there are cheap readily available answers and remedies which only require an attitude adjustment;
5. The golden rules (among others) have been and remain: be creative, stay focused, look for the win-win answer at all costs, and document crucial facts
So what is the focus in the future:
- Bring out issues essential to the community of students with special needs in the upcoming elections;
- Fight for legislation to overturn unfortunate rulings in Arlington Central and Shaffer;
- Advocate for more job training, transition programming and constructive alternatives to break the cycle of special education class leading to drop out or convict status;
- Resist all efforts to carve out exemptions to NCLB which will insure our children are left behind;
- My personal dream-to organize a million wheelchair march/roll on the mall in Washington D.C. to demand our rights as citizens and human beings without any resort to cliches or demoralizing pity.
Keep reading; I will keep writing; keep the faith that effective advocacy is the only path to a meaningful future for so many wonderful students/loved ones; the only zero tolerance is for hateful narrow-minded bigoted people wherever they may be.