Bob Barboza

CEO and Founder Kids Talk Radio, Kids Talk Radio

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What will it take to make special education in America even better?

Students, parents, teachers, administrators, support staff and friends of children with special needs have to get ready for the future now. Special education in America is ready for a makeover.

Kids Talk Radio is doing a mini series on special education in America. We need your help. Your comments will be posted on TED, Kids Talk Radio, Super School Teen TV, Super School Press, Youth World News, and PNN, the Personal News Network. We are looking for answers to the following questions. Do you know someone we should be talking to?

1. What will it take to fund special education?
2. How can we do a better job training teachers?
3. How can we help parents of children with special needs?
4. How can we best use technology in the field of special education?
5. Who has some fresh new ideas that will help the field of special education?
6. Who are some of the leaders in special education?
7. Who has a special education success story?
8. Who should we interview about special education?
9. What is working in special education?
10. What is the next big thing in special education?

We want you to get involved in this important conversation. If you have any fresh ideas that could help special education involving iPads, iPhones, Mac's, PC's, Internet and cloud technology, we want to hear from you.

Are you a student or adult with a specific learning disability? Would you be willing to share your story with us. Our main goal is to start a conversation that will lead towards making special education better for students with special needs.

The special education community will benefit from your feedback.

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    May 28 2011: Hi!
    I have a few things that we have done with teacher training with technology that has helped shift thinking. We made one of the goals of technology use to be: Learning looks differently for each person. Technology can be used to meet individual learning needs. It provides the opportunity for each one to design their learning and express it in different ways.The ultimate goal is: Learning is unique and meaningful to each learner. Having a vision and goals helped teachers understand that their instructional design includes looking at all children uniquely; therefore, special education students are not separate, but included along with all students. Good luck with your series!
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    May 28 2011: Town Hall Meetings Reveal Need for Education Finance Reform

    The U.S. Department of Education’s high-level Equity and Excellence Commission—formed in late February to examine education disparities and identify ways financial systems can be improved to increase equity and student achievement—met this week to discuss findings from its three town hall meetings and begin formulating its recommendations for how federal policies can improve school finance systems.

    Commission members who attended the town hall meetings heard firsthand how the ongoing fiscal crisis is seriously eroding the gains made by states to adequately and equitably fund public education. The commission agreed that if our nation’s haphazard approach to education funding isn’t improved, our economic vitality and competitiveness will be threatened.

    As they discussed the direction that their recommendations could take, committee members expressed that student needs must drive education improvement and funding, instead of the other way around. They wrestled with how much to emphasize adequate funding versus equitable funding, suggesting that a focus on adequacy is a politically easier sell. And in what was a generally amiable conversation, some tension cropped up about whether the commission should submit new ideas for how federal policy can encourage state innovation and improvement of their education funding systems or package tried-and-true ideas in a fresh way that resonates with the public.

    Transcripts from the initial town hall meetings are available online, and the commission will continue to solicit feedback from the public throughout June in Dallas, Tex.; Boston, Mass.; the Mississippi Delta; and Milwaukee, Wis. Ultimately, the commission has about a year to present Secretary Duncan with a report summarizing its findings and recommendations.

    Sidebar Comments:

    I am working hard to get special education into this conversation about finance reform. Help me with this conversation
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    May 28 2011: Greetings Therese,

    Using technology in special education is solving some important problems. Thank you for sharing the success that you are having working with teachers. I am sure your comments will help others. Please continue to share.