A few years ago when I was investigating different methods of teaching children I encountered a teaching method that was gentle yet effective. A small widespread school district in Alaska had adopted a method of teaching where every child learned at their own pace. The method had some elements of the Glasser system which includes a heavy reliance upon choice. The method that was used in Alaska, which I called the Chugachmethod after the school district that originated it, was a definite paradigm shift. It changed the factory model of education where time is the constant and learning is the variable to a model where learning is the constant and time is the variable. I spoke with Bob Crumley the superintendent of the district and learned about the program. In the ensuing years I have spoken to many people about this method of teaching. I have to confess after this period of time I am still in enamored with the method. Bob Crumley joins me again and we discuss his districts use of this IEP for all and everyone at their own pace method of teaching.

In 2008, the San Francisco Unified School District's Special Education department decided to illegally censor the Community Advisory Committee for Special Education’s newsletter. This Committee is state-mandated to provide oversight of SFUSD’s special education department and reports directly to the  School Board. The School Board did not support the Committee and allowed the Committee to be censored.  As an aftermath of this cataclysmic event, the director of special education retired. Shortly after that, the head of the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) also left the school district. After one interim special education director, in the spring of 2010, the school district engaged the services of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative to audit SFUSD’s special education department.   David Riley, Executive Director of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative, joins me to elaborate on this far-reaching audit.

Stan tells us about swimming issues