Evolutionary and Philosophical Insights Into Global Education

I know that I know nothing – ipse se nihil scire id unum sciat

He himself thinks he knows one thing, that he knows nothing (Socrates)

Education is learning what you didn’t even know that you didn’t know

The word education is derived from the Latin term ‘Educatum’, which means the act of teaching or training or to lead out. In a wider context, however, it penetrates and influences almost every aspect of our lives, from birth onwards. Education affects what kind of people we and our families will become.

Education is everywhere and it is supposed to be available for everybody. We can read, hear and see education and its diverse multi-cultural and multi-media implications and implementations in books, theatres, films and advertisements, as well as in kindergarten, schools, and universities, at work, all over the Internet and in all aspects of daily life. Across the world media are saturated with a variety of educational information, research reports and teaching methods.

Our need for education is increasing rapidly. The basic need is significantly enhanced by the advancement of science and technology. In other words, advances in science and technology mean that the workforce needs to be better educated.
Educational systems worldwide are changing in an attempt to meet this demand, supported by governments and private providers.

Meeting the increasing demand for education requires novel methods and sometimes unorthodox approaches to transferring knowledge to the next generation.

The most significant changes in educational systems occurred during the last century although change has been continuous from the very earliest times.

Education, religion and morality are the most significant components of human society. In this work the terms religion refers to all religions, as we will not discuss the differences between Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any other religions; neither will we discuss the influence of specific religions and their associations with particular ethnic groups.

The discussion here focuses on the impact of religion and morality on education and on the relationships among them.

Throughout human history religion has had considerable impact on our way of life and societies throughout the world have benefited from education and knowledge.

Religious leaders are concerned about the increase in secular scientific education as they believe it may have a negative impact on religious faith. This concern is corroborated by social scientists who argue that educational and scientific advancement can lead to reduction or even loss of religious faith.

My observations indicate that there is a clear asymmetry between biblical literalism and secular education. A biblically literate qualified person will not be as open to carrying out or accepting the findings of secular scientific research as his or her counterpart. In other words, a scientifically literate individual will be more open to, and accepting of biblical studies than a biblically literate person would be with respect to scientific knowledge and research.

This asymmetry is obvious in many mixed societies, such as Israel. This observation also suggests that a person who has had a secular education is more inclined to absorb biblical influences than the biblically literate person to absorb secular influences.

We face several problems when we investigate religion and morality, especially when dealing with the claim that there is a conflict between the two. It is sometimes claimed that morality is embedded in religion, or that religion is moral, but a moral education does not have to be a religious one.

There are, of course, obvious differences between religion and morality, especially with respect to their objectives and aims. The purpose of moral education in schools is to nurture virtue and to start a cultural conversation about certain moral issues, which are part of our traditions.

In modern times education has become dependent on economic and technological developments.

However the essence and the meaning of life come from morality and religion rather than materialism.

Religious leaders argue that without a religious component to education we might lose our ability to discuss virtue, love, self-sacrifice, community duties and justice. The absence of religion from educational curricula is generating hostility amongst religious groups and may come to divide communities and start unnecessary cultural wars.

Atheism asserts that there is no link between morality and religious behaviour and that we should therefore teach about morality without reference to religion. Religious groups demonstrate by their practices the falseness of the claim that morality is independent of religion and therefore there is no need to distinguish between them. By practicing the religious beliefs, there are many psychological influences in the morality arena. In other words, endorsement of religious beliefs entails a specific perspective on morality.

After my family immigrated to Israel from Hungary I attended the religious school at the Orthodox Chasidic quarter of Bnei-Brak called Wischnitz. It was a small village named after Wischnitza, a town in the Ukraine. The teacher, who was also the Rabbi complained to my father that I was disturbing the peace by constantly asking questions. I couldn’t accept the Rabbi quoting from the Bible, “Naaseh V’Nishma”, which means “first we’ll do and then we’ll hear and understand” or, in plain English,
“Just do what I tell you to do, explanation will follow”… I wanted the explanation first…

History clearly demonstrates that there is a compulsion to bring religion and morality or the lack of it into politics and that this makes for a dangerous combination. One of the reasons for involving God in fights, conflicts and wars is to unite as many active and non-active believers behind one’s cause, whatever that may be.

Let us illustrate this with a small-scale example. Assume that in a small village somewhere people have blond, black, red or white hair. The four hair colours are distributed evenly among the people of the village. The blonds don’t like the blacks. The blacks don’t like the whites and nobody likes the reds, so there is complete harmony…

The only thing that unites the blacks, reds and whites is their religion; they believe in EGO God Almighty, whereas the blonds consider AGO as God. The villagers built two houses to worship these two gods.

All the villagers have small farms on the same tract of land drawing from the same source of water. The blond men are more creative and invest their knowledge, money and energy in their farms, working day and night with their spouses in the fields. The rest of the village men are lazy, smoking pipes and playing cards; only black, red and white women work in the fields.

One day two neighbours, a blond and a black have a dispute over garden pests.
It is nothing serious and it should be resolved quickly and amicably, but it escalates into a big fight involving some of the protagonists’ neighbours.

The reds and the whites just smile, as they are not involved in the conflict and don’t like either the blacks or the blonds.

The case is eventually brought to court and a jury composed of equal numbers of blonds, blacks, whites and reds is selected. During trial the blond farmer claims that snakes, scorpions and other pests from his black neighbour’s farm are destroying his garden, getting into his house and endangering his children. He says that he has several times asked his black neighbour to deal with the problem but that his neighbour just ignored him. To prevent the problem getting worse the blond farmer built a fence. Now his black neighbour is suing and asking that he be ordered to take the fence down as it disturbs the neighbour’s view and stops the neighbour walking through his yard as he was won’t to do.

It becomes obvious that the judge and the jury are going to support the blond farmer’s case and so the black farmer plays his last card. He claims that he has been unable to worship EGO because of the fence. He also claims that the blond farmer not only doesn’t believe in EGO, but has also been cursing almighty God and that if all the blonds were to build fences this would make it difficult for anyone to worship EGO. Religion unites the majority of the jury against the blond and he loses the case.
As long as the case was a local dispute between neighbours about responsible farming, it could be resolved by the parties directly involved. However when it became a religious issue, it involved and united villagers behind their respective faiths. They were prepared to do a lot to achieve their goals, especially if their actions were supported by their religious leaders.

I had a religious and conservative education, and later a scientific and secular education and this has led me to believe that moral education must be separated from religious education if it is to be rational, independent and free.

Religion and morality should be taught in an agreed and appropriate manner if societies are to be healthy, strong and harmonious.

The signing of the Magna Carta (Great Charter) on June 15th 1215 was an important education-related event. The charter was agreed between King John of England and a group of rebel barons as part of peace negotiations. It guaranteed that the rebel barons would not face imprisonment, promised them justice and exemption from certain taxes and payments levied by the crown.

The parties did not honour their respective commitments and later the charter was annulled by Pope Innocent III, leading to the First Barons’ War.
It is interesting to note that the mistrust between the parties was such that the barons insisted that the agreement should be written. They realised that oral promises would not hold.

These events took place at a time when the vast majority of the population was illiterate. The production of such a detailed written chart was therefore a significant achievement.

Magna Carta, which was a political agreement, has become an international symbol of freedom. Its consequences can be seen in later English history, the history of the United States, and the modern world. It has been researched, quoted and used by lawyers and historians ever since it was written. Magna Carta was an influence on the American colonists and the American Constitution which was written in 1787 and became the supreme law of the United States.

Analysis of the foundations of American colonial education in the seventeenth century makes it clear that the education system was significantly influenced by European teachers and intellectuals. This is not surprising as the early colonisation of America was mainly by Europeans. They believed that the primary goal of education was to save souls and so most education was based on the scriptures. The first schools to be established followed the Puritan tradition. Some groups of European immigrants tried to maintain their religious beliefs, morals and even their original language.

Teaching was informal and performed within the family circle, usually from books and publications with basic references from the Bible.
The change from theoretical to practical and more up-to-date education began during industrialisation in the nineteenth century.

It was illegal to educate slaves, but although this law was applied more strictly in the South it was not universally adhered to.

Most schools were for boys only and girls were educated at home or in all-girls schools where they learned domestic skills such as sewing and cooking.
If one could read one could be a teacher. Teachers were using the Old and the New Testaments and students were required to memorise as much as possible. Bible knowledge was the measure of success.

Teachers were responsible for inflicting harsh corporal punishments on all those who couldn’t follow their instructions.

At about the middle of the nineteenth century education was enhanced by use of dictionaries and limited maps of world geography. The curriculum was extended to include certain patriotic and moral subjects in order to unite students behind American nationalism and instill in them a shared set of virtues.

Two hundred years later there were significant evolutions and revolutions in the education systems of the USA.

A lot has been done to improve the USA education but a lot remains to be done. The graduation rate should be higher, particularly among Black and Hispanic students. The number of dropouts is too high and at present too many students fail to graduate on time. Teachers should be more highly qualified and should be paid more to attract and retain better quality teachers into the profession.

This is very important as the quality of teaching is one of the main determinants of educational success.

In general, high schools should be responsible for educating and preparing students for after graduation studies. This phase of education is critical to students’ futures and to the future of the nation.

Civic education is essential if future generations are to understand, be familiar with and cherish democratic values.

The last decade has seen the advent of the Internet, social networks and other technological innovations and a decaying of our morality. Materialism is the new religion and the aim of education has become the generation of financial wealth. This has resulted in certain professions being neglected in favour of others. Subjects such as law and certain technologies are now favoured over social and moral studies.

We cannot distinguish between money and education. Most of us seek to acquire an education in order to earn more money, which will enable us to have a better life. This is the logic which governs basic and intermediate levels of education; however a lot of money is required to access higher education at famous, affluent universities and institutes.

This is one of the reasons for the polarisation of societies, the process by which the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.

The rich and famous are heroes and role models, to be followed and envied; at least that used to be the case, today things are changing.

Television, reality shows and advertisements are shaping the minds of our young children. The distance between parents and children and parental supervision has changed as well. The increasing availability of previously censored material such as pornography has a negative effect on our children’s development and their understanding of right and wrong.

Certain forms of education or lack of education have a devastating effect on our society. Analysis of the origins and causes of violence, terror, robbery, murder and other crimes indicates that bad education, lack of education and ignorance are major factors.

The porn industry requires ever-changing faces and employs or rather exploits many young girls, mainly aged 18-21 years or younger. These girls come from middle or lower class families living in small towns and villages; some of them have been abused by family members or neighbours, some are runaways and never finished school. Most of them spend only a very short period of time in the porn industry, but that short period changes the rest of their life for the worse.

The economic law that where there is a demand there will be a supply suggests that there will be an endless supply of young girls coming to work in the industry.
Legislation will not eliminate this industry, but with the help of parents and schools it can reduce its size and power.

Most social studies put the blame and the responsibility for those girls’ exploitation mainly on their parents. Involved parents, especially a strong father, are very important to prevent those girls to leave home. Parents should enforce appropriate rules and create an environment where certain behaviours are not tolerated. In educating the next generation we, as parents, must set the rules in order to preserve our beliefs and morality.

It is acceptable and even predictable that we will have questions about everything we encounter in our earthly life. The love of wisdom or philosophy leads us to philosophise about our way of life, the many problems we encounter, our values, our existence and our possible future.

The future is unpredictable; however, it is possible to guess at likely developments in the educational area. The application of technology to educational processes and models has the potential to revolutionise current educational methods.

Implanted and wearable devices are another exciting application of technology. In the future, at a higher level of the scientific applications in education we may see nano-robots acting as teachers in higher education.

Developments in genetic engineering may enable certain educational capabilities and maybe even knowledge to be embedded or engineered at gene level so that the individual is guaranteed to be smart or intelligent.

At present we can only imagine what such technological developments would do to global educational systems and teaching methods.

Unfortunately, when evil and ignorance meet we have what I call a social bomb. The nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that evil had a negative effect on human behaviour. Evil is promoting those humans that are weak in spirit and it will suppress the strong ones. He claimed that evil arose out of the negative emotions of hate, jealousy and envy. Ignorance is often used as an excuse for evil deeds or behaviour which causes harm without justification. This excuse depends on the assumption that we are not responsible for our ignorance. Some would argue that evil is actually ignorance that is generated as a result of self-deception.

I would argue that the only way to reduce threat posed by this ‘social bomb’ is to educate people in order to reduce ignorance and self-deception.

I am worried about the next generation. Society must tackle the extreme inequalities between the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated and the increase in racism.

Children of affluent or upper-middle class families do not have the necessary and expected motivation to learn. Sometimes they display a reckless disregard for education whilst also neglecting their physical appearance and health. Increasing consumption of junk food and lack of physical exercise will lead to significant health problems in the future. We are already seeing rises in obesity, use of alcohol and drugs and other health problems in young people. These and related consumption behaviours will have an impact on global warming and the extent to which the earth is subject to a greenhouse effect. We must educate the next generation so that they have the multidisciplinary understanding needed to save our planet, earth, which is essential to our future survival.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Sehwag said, “We always talk about how (Rahul) Tewatia does justice to his INR 10 crore tag because he won matches for his side (Gujarat Titans). Harshal’s price tag is still quite low, the way he has bowled for Bangalore. Cricketers Info Sehwag explained the Haryana pacer’s importance for Bangalore across the season, despite missing a few games. England will face New Zealand in the second of the three-match Test series at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. England won the first Test and have taken a comfortable 1-0 lead in the series( Cricket Betting Prediction)
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Educational Leaders Must Strive To Increase Resources Available For Their Schools

Contemporary educational leaders function in complex local contexts. They must cope not only with daily challenges within schools but also with problems originating beyond schools, like staffing shortages, problematic school boards, and budgetary constraints. There are some emerging patterns and features of these complex contexts that educational leaders should recognize. Educational leaders face a political terrain marked by contests at all levels over resources and over the direction of public education.

The vitality of the national economy has been linked to the educational system, shifting political focus on public education from issues of equity to issues of student achievement. States have increasingly centralized educational policymaking in order to augment governmental influence on curriculum, instruction, and assessment. With the rise of global economic and educational comparisons, most states have emphasized standards, accountability, and improvement on standardized assessments. Paradoxically, some educational reforms have decentralized public education by increasing site-based fiscal management.

School leaders in this new environment must both respond to state demands and also assume more budget-management authority within their buildings. Meanwhile, other decentralizing measures have given more educational authority to parents by promoting nontraditional publicly funded methods of educational delivery, such as charter schools and vouchers. Political pressures such as these have significantly changed the daily activities of local educational leaders, particularly by involving them intensively in implementing standards and assessments. Leaders at all levels must be aware of current trends in national and state educational policy and must decide when and how they should respond to reforms.

The many connections between education and economics have posed new challenges for educational leaders. As both an economic user and provider, education takes financial resources from the local community at the same time as it provides human resources in the form of students prepared for productive careers. Just as the quality of a school district depends on the district’s wealth, that wealth depends on the quality of the public schools. There is a direct relationship between educational investment and individual earnings. Specifically, it has been found that education at the elementary level provides the greatest rate of return in terms of the ratio of individual earnings to cost of education. This finding argues for greater investment in early education. Understanding these connections, educational leaders must determine which educational services will ensure a positive return on investment for both taxpayers and graduates. Where local economies do not support knowledge-based work, educational investment may indeed generate a negative return. Leaders must endeavor to support education for knowledge-based jobs while encouraging communities to be attractive to industries offering such work. Educational leaders must be aware of the nature of their local economies and of changes in local, national, and global markets. To link schools effectively to local economies, leaders should develop strong relationships with community resource providers, establish partnerships with businesses and universities, and actively participate in policymaking that affects education, remembering the complex interdependence between education and public wealth.

Two important shifts in the nation’s financial terrain in the past 19 years have worked to move the accountability of school leaders from school boards to state governments. First, the growth in state and federal funding for public education constrains leaders to meet governmental conditions for both spending and accountability. Second, state aid has been increasingly linked to equalizing the “adequacy” of spending across districts, which has influenced leaders to use funds for producing better outcomes and for educating students with greater needs, including low-income and disabled children. Complicating these shifts are the widely varying financial situations among jurisdictions. These financial differences have made significant disparities in spending between districts in urban areas and districts in rural areas common. In this dynamic financial context, educational leaders must strive to increase resources available for their schools, accommodate state accountability systems, and seek community support, even as they strive to increase effective use of resources by reducing class size, prepare low-achieving children in preschool programs, and invest in teachers’ professional growth.

Recently, two important accountability issues have received considerable attention. The first has to do with market accountability. Since markets hold service providers accountable, if the market for education choices like charter schools and vouchers grows, leaders may be pressured to spend more time marketing their schools. The second issue has to do with political accountability. State accountability measures force leaders to meet state standards or face public scrutiny and possible penalties. The type of pressure varies among states according to the content, cognitive challenges, and rewards and punishments included in accountability measures. School leaders can respond to accountability pressures originating in state policies by emphasizing test scores, or, preferably, by focusing on generally improving effectiveness teaching and learning. The external measures resulting from political accountability trends can focus a school staff’s efforts, but leaders must mobilize resources to improve instruction for all students while meeting state requirements. And they must meet those demands even as the measures, incentives, and definitions of appropriate learning undergo substantial change.

Public education is expanding in terms of both student numbers and diversity. An increasingly contentious political environment has accompanied the growth in diversity. Immigration is also shaping the demographic picture. For example, many immigrant children need English-language training, and providing that training can strain school systems. Economic changes are also affecting schools, as the number of children who are living in poverty has grown and poverty has become more concentrated in the nation’s cities.

The shift to a knowledge-based economy and demographic changes accompanying the shift challenge the schools that are attempting to serve area economies. Given such demographic challenges, school leaders must create or expand specialized programs and build capacity to serve students with diverse backgrounds and needs. Leaders must also increase supplemental programs for children in poverty and garner public support for such measures from an aging population. Educational leaders must cope with two chief issues in this area: First, they must overcome labor shortages; second, they must maintain a qualified and diverse professional staff. Shortages of qualified teachers and principals will probably grow in the next decade. Rising needs in specialty areas like special, bilingual, and science education exacerbate shortages. Causes of projected shortages include population growth, retirements, career changes,and local turnover. Turnover generally translates into a reduction of instructional quality resulting from loss of experienced staff, especially in cities, where qualified teachers seek better compensation and working conditions elsewhere. In order to address shortages, some jurisdictions have intensified recruiting and retention efforts, offering teachers emergency certification and incentives while recruiting administrators from within teacher ranks and eliminating licensure hurdles. In these efforts, leaders should bear in mind that new staff must be highly qualified. It is critical to avoid creating bifurcated staffs where some are highly qualified while others never acquire appropriate credentials. Leaders must also increase the racial and ethnic diversity of qualified teachers and administrators. An overwhelmingly White teacher and principal corps serves a student population that is about 31% minority (much greater in some areas). More staff diversity could lead to greater understanding of different ways of thinking and acting among both staff and students. This survey of the current context of educational leadership reveals three dominant features. First, the national shift toward work that requires students to have more education has generated demands for greater educational productivity. Second, this shift has caused states to play a much larger role in the funding and regulation of public education. Third, states’ regulatory role has expanded to include accountability measures to ensure instructional compliance and competence. Educational leaders must take heed of these features if they hope to successfully navigate the current educational terrain.

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A Brief History of Special Education

Perhaps the largest and most pervasive issue in special education, as well as my own journey in education, is special education’s relationship to general education. History has shown that this has never been an easy clear cut relationship between the two. There has been a lot of giving and taking or maybe I should say pulling and pushing when it comes to educational policy, and the educational practices and services of education and special education by the human educators who deliver those services on both sides of the isle, like me.

Over the last 20+ years I have been on both sides of education. I have seen and felt what it was like to be a regular main stream educator dealing with special education policy, special education students and their specialized teachers. I have also been on the special education side trying to get regular education teachers to work more effectively with my special education students through modifying their instruction and materials and having a little more patience and empathy.

Furthermore, I have been a mainstream regular education teacher who taught regular education inclusion classes trying to figure out how to best work with some new special education teacher in my class and his or her special education students as well. And, in contrast, I have been a special education inclusion teacher intruding on the territory of some regular education teachers with my special education students and the modifications I thought these teachers should implement. I can tell you first-hand that none of this give and take between special education and regular education has been easy. Nor do I see this pushing and pulling becoming easy anytime soon.

So, what is special education? And what makes it so special and yet so complex and controversial sometimes? Well, special education, as its name suggests, is a specialized branch of education. It claims its lineage to such people as Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard (1775-1838), the physician who “tamed” the “wild boy of Aveyron,” and Anne Sullivan Macy (1866-1936), the teacher who “worked miracles” with Helen Keller.

Special educators teach students who have physical, cognitive, language, learning, sensory, and/or emotional abilities that deviate from those of the general population. Special educators provide instruction specifically tailored to meet individualized needs. These teachers basically make education more available and accessible to students who otherwise would have limited access to education due to whatever disability they are struggling with.

It’s not just the teachers though who play a role in the history of special education in this country. Physicians and clergy, including Itard- mentioned above, Edouard O. Seguin (1812-1880), Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876), and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851), wanted to ameliorate the neglectful, often abusive treatment of individuals with disabilities. Sadly, education in this country was, more often than not, very neglectful and abusive when dealing with students that are different somehow.

There is even a rich literature in our nation that describes the treatment provided to individuals with disabilities in the 1800s and early 1900s. Sadly, in these stories, as well as in the real world, the segment of our population with disabilities were often confined in jails and almshouses without decent food, clothing, personal hygiene, and exercise.

For an example of this different treatment in our literature one needs to look no further than Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843). In addition, many times people with disabilities were often portrayed as villains, such as in the book Captain Hook in J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan” in 1911.

The prevailing view of the authors of this time period was that one should submit to misfortunes, both as a form of obedience to God’s will, and because these seeming misfortunes are ultimately intended for one’s own good. Progress for our people with disabilities was hard to come by at this time with this way of thinking permeating our society, literature and thinking.

So, what was society to do about these people of misfortune? Well, during much of the nineteenth century, and early in the twentieth, professionals believed individuals with disabilities were best treated in residential facilities in rural environments. An out of sight out of mind kind of thing, if you will…

However, by the end of the nineteenth century the size of these institutions had increased so dramatically that the goal of rehabilitation for people with disabilities just wasn’t working. Institutions became instruments for permanent segregation.

I have some experience with these segregation policies of education. Some of it is good and some of it is not so good. You see, I have been a self-contained teacher on and off throughout the years in multiple environments in self-contained classrooms in public high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. I have also taught in multiple special education behavioral self-contained schools that totally separated these troubled students with disabilities in managing their behavior from their mainstream peers by putting them in completely different buildings that were sometimes even in different towns from their homes, friends and peers.

Over the years many special education professionals became critics of these institutions mentioned above that separated and segregated our children with disabilities from their peers. Irvine Howe was one of the first to advocate taking our youth out of these huge institutions and to place out residents into families. Unfortunately this practice became a logistical and pragmatic problem and it took a long time before it could become a viable alternative to institutionalization for our students with disabilities.

Now on the positive side, you might be interested in knowing however that in 1817 the first special education school in the United States, the American Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (now called the American School for the Deaf), was established in Hartford, Connecticut, by Gallaudet. That school is still there today and is one of the top schools in the country for students with auditory disabilities. A true success story!

However, as you can already imagine, the lasting success of the American School for the Deaf was the exception and not the rule during this time period. And to add to this, in the late nineteenth century, social Darwinism replaced environmentalism as the primary causal explanation for those individuals with disabilities who deviated from those of the general population.

Sadly, Darwinism opened the door to the eugenics movement of the early twentieth century. This then led to even further segregation and even sterilization of individuals with disabilities such as mental retardation. Sounds like something Hitler was doing in Germany also being done right here in our own country, to our own people, by our own people. Kind of scary and inhumane, wouldn’t you agree?

Today, this kind of treatment is obviously unacceptable. And in the early part of the 20th Century it was also unacceptable to some of the adults, especially the parents of these disabled children. Thus, concerned and angry parents formed advocacy groups to help bring the educational needs of children with disabilities into the public eye. The public had to see firsthand how wrong this this eugenics and sterilization movement was for our students that were different if it was ever going to be stopped.

Slowly, grassroots organizations made progress that even led to some states creating laws to protect their citizens with disabilities. For example, in 1930, in Peoria, Illinois, the first white cane ordinance gave individuals with blindness the right-of-way when crossing the street. This was a start, and other states did eventually follow suit. In time, this local grassroots’ movement and states’ movement led to enough pressure on our elected officials for something to be done on the national level for our people with disabilities.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy created the President’s Panel on Mental Retardation. And in 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provided funding for primary education, and is seen by advocacy groups as expanding access to public education for children with disabilities.

When one thinks about Kennedy’s and Johnson’s record on civil rights, then it probably isn’t such a surprise finding out that these two presidents also spearheaded this national movement for our people with disabilities.

This federal movement led to section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. This guarantees civil rights for the disabled in the context of federally funded institutions or any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. All these years later as an educator, I personally deal with 504 cases every single day.

In 1975 Congress enacted Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA), which establishes a right to public education for all children regardless of disability. This was another good thing because prior to federal legislation, parents had to mostly educate their children at home or pay for expensive private education.

The movement kept growing. In the 1982 the case of the Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the level of services to be afforded students with special needs. The Court ruled that special education services need only provide some “educational benefit” to students. Public schools were not required to maximize the educational progress of students with disabilities.

Today, this ruling may not seem like a victory, and as a matter of fact, this same question is once again circulating through our courts today in 2017. However, given the time period it was made in, it was a victory because it said special education students could not pass through our school system without learning anything. They had to learn something. If one knows and understands how the laws work in this country, then one knows the laws always progress through tiny little increments that add up to progress over time. This ruling was a victory for special education students because it added one more rung onto the crusade.

In the 1980s the Regular Education Initiative (REI) came into being. This was an attempt to return responsibility for the education of students with disabilities to neighborhood schools and regular classroom teachers. I am very familiar with Regular Education Initiative because I spent four years as an REI teacher in the late 1990s and early 2000s. At this time I was certified as both a special education teacher and a regular education teacher and was working in both capacities in a duel role as an REI teacher; because that’s what was required of the position.

The 1990s saw a big boost for our special education students. 1990 birthed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This was, and is, the cornerstone of the concept of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for all of our students. To ensure FAPE, the law mandated that each student receiving special education services must also receive an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 reached beyond just the public schools. And Title 3 of IDEA prohibited disability-based discrimination in any place of public accommodation. Full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations in public places were expected. And of course public accommodations also included most places of education.

Also, in the 1990s the full inclusion movement gained a lot of momentum. This called for educating all students with disabilities in the regular classroom. I am also very familiar with this aspect of education as well, as I have also been an inclusion teacher from time to time over my career as an educator on both sides of the isle as a regular education teacher and a special education teacher.

Now on to President Bush and his educational reform with his No Child Left Behind law that replaced President Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The NCLB Act of 2001 stated that special education should continue to focus on producing results and along with this came a sharp increase in accountability for educators.

Now, this NCLB Act was good and bad. Of course we all want to see results for all of our students, and it’s just common sense that accountability helps this sort of thing happen. Where this kind of went crazy was that the NCLB demanded a host of new things, but did not provide the funds or support to achieve these new objectives.

Furthermore, teachers began feeling squeezed and threatened more and more by the new movement of big business and corporate education moving in and taking over education. People with no educational background now found themselves influencing education policy and gaining access to a lot of the educational funds.

This accountability craze stemmed by excessive standardized testing ran rapid and of course ran downstream from a host of well-connected elite Trump-like figures saying to their lower echelon educational counterparts, “You’re fired!” This environment of trying to stay off of the radar in order to keep one’s job, and beating our kids over the head with testing strategies, wasn’t good for our educators. It wasn’t good for our students. And it certainly wasn’t good for our more vulnerable special education students.

Some good did come from this era though. For example, the updated Individuals with Disabilities with Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) happened. This further required schools to provide individualized or special education for children with qualifying disabilities. Under the IDEA, states who accept public funds for education must provide special education to qualifying children with disabilities. Like I said earlier, the law is a long slow process of tiny little steps adding up to progress made over time.

Finally, in 2015 President Obama’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced President Bush’s NCLB, which had replaced President Johnson’s ESEA. Under Obama’s new ESSA schools were now allowed to back off on some of the testing. Hopefully, the standardized testing craze has been put in check. However, only time will tell. ESSA also returned to more local control. You know, the kind of control our forefathers intended.

You see the U.S. Constitution grants no authority over education to the federal government. Education is not mentioned in the Constitution of the United States, and for good reason. The Founders wanted most aspects of life managed by those who were closest to them, either by state or local government or by families, businesses, and other elements of civil society. Basically, they saw no role for the federal government in education.

You see, the Founders feared the concentration of power. They believed that the best way to protect individual freedom and civil society was to limit and divide power. However, this works both ways, because the states often find themselves asking the feds for more educational money. And the feds will only give the states additional money if the states do what the feds want… Hmm… Checks and balances, as well as compromise can be a really tricky thing, huh?

So on goes the battle in education and all the back and forth pushing and pulling between the federal government and the states and local government, as well as special education and regular education. And to add to this struggle, recently Judge Moukawsher, a state judge from Connecticut, in a lawsuit filed against the state by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, rocked the educational boat some more when in his ruling he included a message to lawmakers to reassess what level of services students with significant disabilities are entitled to.

His ruling and statements appear to say that he thinks we’re spending too much money on our special education students. And that for some of them, it just isn’t worth it because their disabilities are too severe. You can imagine how controversial this was and how much it angered some people.

The 2016 United States Presidential election resulted in something that few people saw coming. Real Estate mogul and reality star Donald Trump won the presidency and then appointed anti-public educator Betsy Devos to head up this country’s Department of Education. Her charge, given to her by Trump, is to drastically slash the Department of Education, and to push forward private charter schools over what they call a failing public educational system.

How this is going to affect our students, and especially our more vulnerable special education students, nobody knows for sure at this time. But, I can also tell you that there aren’t many people out there that feel comfortable with it right now. Only time will tell where this is all going to go and how it will affect our special education students…

So, as I said earlier, perhaps the largest, most pervasive issue in special education is its relationship to general education. Both my own travels and our nation’s journey through the vast realm of education over all of these years has been an interesting one and a tricky one plagued with controversy to say the least.

I can still remember when I first became a special education teacher back in the mid-1990s. A friend’s father, who was a school principal at the time, told me to get out of special education because it wasn’t going to last. Well, I’ve been in and out of special education for more than two decades now, and sometimes I don’t know if I’m a regular education teacher or a special education teacher, or both. And sometimes I think our country’s educational system might be feeling the same internal struggle that I am. But, regardless, all these years later, special education is still here.

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Tips to Choose the Best Crypto Signal Service

If you keep an eye on the market, crypto trading can be profitable for you. However, you may find it hard at times. Fortunately, if you need assistance, you can give a go to crypto signal services. The signals offered by them can be used to make the right decision, at the right time. You can choose from a lot of service providers. Given below are a few tips that can help you choose the right one. Read on to know more.

Service Quality

When opting for a service, quality is the number one factor to consider. Ideally, the trading platform should have an awesome success rate as far as predictions are concerned. Aside from this, it should provide relevant impulses so you can get a better idea of the market trends and trades.

Moreover, you should be able to receive the signal promptly so you can make the right moves. The service provider should be able to generate signals as fast as possible.

Reliability

Keep in mind that the service should be reliable as you are going to make your trade decisions based on their guidance. Hence, you might want to opt for a service that you can depend on. This is the only way to make the right choice and be on the safe side.

What you need to do is hire the services of a provider who is legitimate. You are going to consult expert traders, not an automated software program.

Free Trial

How can you find out if a provider is genuine? The best way is to give a go to their service. Many providers offer a free trial service. This is true even if you are going to hire any service, not just crypt trading.

The trial service will allow you to find out if the service is reliable. Once you have tested the service, you can go ahead and pay for it for a long-term.

Pricing

After the trial period expires, you will have to pay for the service. Here it’s important to keep in mind that providers who offer crypto signals for free of charge may not be reliable. In the same way, you might not want to pay a lot of money for the trial period either. As a matter of fact, the price of packages should be fair so you can enjoy the service without breaking the bank. So, you might want to do your homework to get the right service without spending a good deal of money.

Support

Although it’s great if their support is available round the clock, the important thing is to get the right information at the right time. They should be able to answer your questions until you are satisfied.

Without reliable customer support, you can’t benefit from the crypto signal service the way you should.

In short, if you are going to hire the service of a crypto signal service, we suggest that you follow the tips given in this article. This way you can make the right choice.

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Crypto Currency Vs Fiat Currency

Crypto currency vs. Fiat currency

Are you aware of the fiat currencies and the crypto currencies? They both are currencies in one form or the other and are open for public use across the world. But they are both different and distinct in their own ways. There is always one group that favors the use of cryptos, while the other has a soft corner for the fiat currencies.

In cashless society- crypto money play a huge role

If you have a look at the market of the 1970s and 1980s, you will find that the cash played the dominant role. But, with the change in the technology, electronic transactions have become the usual norm. Today, more and more people are influenced in becoming the cashless society. With the progress towards the cashless society, cryptocurrencies have a big role to play.

Crypto currency and fiat currency are always at loggerheads

Cryptocurrency and fiat currency are popular types of digital currency, especially when it is about an online transaction. They both are currencies currently in use in the market but have some differences in them. There is a hell lot of hypes that you will hear on a daily basis comparing the crypto money and the fiat money. This article will highlight the difference between the two in a more comprehensive and clear manner.

Differentiating in what the currencies stand for

Before going for the difference between the two, you must understand what do they stand for and how are they are defined.

The fiat currency is a legal tender that has the support of the central government, and it operates in the physical form. For instance, US dollars, British Pounds, Euro etc. On the other hand, the crypto currency is a non-legal tender, and doesn’t have any backup from the central government or bank.
Hence, the difference between crypto currency and fiat currency is noted as follows:

• Crypto-currencies are decentralized and global in nature. There are no one entity or government that controls the currency with their laws and regulations. The Fiat currency is centralized, under the control of the laws and regulations of the banks and government.

• Crypto-currencies have their existence only in the digital domain. On the other hand, you will find that the fiat currencies have a tangible and physical existence.

• There is a limited supply of crypto-currencies with a maximum set of them getting supplied in the market. Whereas, the fiat money has an unlimited supply as the government and bank are entitled to produce coins and paper money whenever the situation is required.

• The Bitcoin and other crypto type currencies are created by the computers, while the fiat currencies are issued by the local government and the banks.

• Cryptocurrencies are presented as the public and private code pieces. On the other hand, the fiat currencies are presented in the form of coins and paper money.

• The value of the crypto currencies is not recognized by the supply and demand of the market. Whereas, the fiat currency value is determined by the market regulations of supply and demand.

The different types of crypto and fiat currencies

In the last one decade, the popularity of crypto type currencies has emerged as a huge success. It was in 2009, when Bitcoin was first introduced, and years after several other types of crypto currencies have emerged. Starting from Litecoin. Dogecoin, Ripple to the Dcash and Zcash, there is a plethora of them. On the other hand, the fiat currency has a rich and ancient roots, with the Great British Pound, that dates back to 775 AD. It is considered as the oldest currency in the world that is still in use.

The differences in the anonymity between the two currencies

When you are using the fiat currencies, you need to undergo a user identification or verification process. You are asked to upload a recent picture of yourself and some of the required documents to be issued as per the public authorities. You don’t need to undergo any of the required processes with the crypto currencies. Though your personal information and confidential details don’t get public, but all your transactions are recorded and tracked in both the fiat and the crypto currencies.

Fiat currency vs crypto currency: transparency level

• The transparency level with the crypto type currencies are considered to be more. This is because the revenue streams are displayed in a public chain. Everyone can witness their own and others’ transactions.

• The fiat or govt. currencies are not transparent, as there are not public chains to see the revenue streams of the people.

A comparative historical roots

If you compare the crypto money with that of its counterpart, fiat or government currency, you will find that their existence and creation brings the difference. The Fiat or government currency, dates back its existence as early as 775 AD with the introduction of the Great British Pound. This is why fiat type currency is easily accepted by the people all over.

On the other hand, the crypto coin was perhaps first introduced only a decade ago, with the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009. The challenge that the Bitcoin and other crypto currencies face is catching up with the immense popularity and increasing fan base of the fiat currency. Crypto currency, is no doubt gaining importance and popularity in the economic market, but it has still not been accepted widely in the society as the fiat currency.

A comparative history of the two currencies:

• It was in the 11th century, when the Chinese Song dynasty was perhaps the first one to issue the paper money. It was not allowed to exchange with valuables like gold and silver or silk.

• There were Tally sticks that were introduced as a fiat or government currency. 1100 Tally sticks were introduced as a combat for the shortages in gold.

• 1971, was the year, when the fiat currency received a worldwide recognition. President Nixon introduced it in order to eliminate the dollar pegging system to gold.

• It was in 1998, when the idea of an anonymous electronic cash system emerged by Wei Dai. Bitgold-the very first crypto currency was created by Nick Szabo, but it didn’t receive as much attention as Bitcoin.

• In 2009, Bitcoin was introduced in the market, that became the first crypto currency that was accepted across the globe. In 2011 and after, a series of several other crypto currencies were introduced. Some of the popular ones include, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Zcash, Dash and so on.

The traits of both the currencies

The potential of the crypto type currencies and fiat currencies, accessing their traits is important. You will find that in some of the criteria, Bitcoin and other crypto currency is superior than the fiat or government currency, and in some cases, the latter surpasses. It is absolutely your call to choose the type of currency (crypto type currency or fiat type currency) based on your personal needs and requirements.

Let us compare their traits with respect to certain factors.

• Both the crypto coins and fiat type currencies are interchangeable in nature.

• As per the portability is concerned both the currencies secure more or less the same position.

• With respect to the non consumable criteria, crypto currency and fiat type currency have the equal status.

• Crypto type currencies have high durability as compared to the fiat-currencies that have moderate level of durability.

• Both the crypto or virtual currencies and the fiat or government currencies ensure secure and safeguarded transactions and exchange.

• Crypto or digital currencies are highly divisible in nature. On the other hand, the fiat type currencies are moderately divisible.

• In terms of the transaction process, the crypto currencies are easy and hassle free. Whereas, on the other hand, the traction process associated with the fiat currencies are easy, but not like the cryptos.

• The crypto based currencies are decentralized and global in nature, unlike the fiat currencies that are centralized and functions under the laws and regulations of the government.

• The crypto based currencies have high scarcity, where as, the fiat currencies are unlimited as the government can issue coins and paper money whenever there is a need.

• The crypto based currencies are based on mathematical algorithms, and are programmable. The fiat currencies are not at all programmable.

• The fiat currencies are sovereign in nature, while the crypto currencies are not.

The process of the functioning of the currencies

You can find the significant differences between the crypto or digital currencies and the fiat currencies with the way they both operate and the transaction process that take place. They are contrasting in nature. The transfer of money using the Bitcoin is very quick, and you absolutely don’t need any third party association.

On the other hand, if you are involved with the money exchange using Fiat type currency, a mobile wallet is in use. You can exchange an amount of e-money that gets transferred into the equal e-value amount. Both the fiat and the crypto currencies enable you to purchase everything that you desire. But the processes involved are absolutely distinct from each other.

Depending on the things you purchase, you will find that one currency form is better than the other. This is absolutely your choice.

Is Bitcoin, a crypto currency better than the fiat-currency?

The long term benefits and the capability of the Bitcoins is still not established. But it has been predicted by the crypto currency gurus and experts, that they will go a long way, especially revolutionizing the way the online transactions are done. In the current market, the Bitcoin is mainly included in the online casinos and the gambling, but it is not limited to it.

Furthermore, when you compare the fiat currencies, the Bitcoin allows you to seize the power and authority from the banks and the government since it is not controlled. The cryptography based currency has the capability to create or come up with the free market capitals. Fiat currencies are affected by the inflation and the changes in the market, unlike the crypto based currencies. Such aspects make individuals believe that cryptograph based currencies will soon take over the mainstream currencies and bring a transformation in the way the money is used.

Why is Bitcoins considered to be a better aspect than the fiat type currencies?

• Bitcoin gives you the opportunity to re-create a free market capitalism.

• The power of controlling the money is absolutely with the individuals, and not with the banks like the fiat type currencies.

• When there is an inflation, the Bitcoin is not affected. But the Fiat type currency will be easier to lose and get affected by it.

• The Bitcoin currency is easy easier to exchange and transfer as compared to the fiat or government currencies.

• The transaction fees involved with the Bitcoin are way cheaper and easily affordable.

Crypto currencies seem to be a favorable option among the people

The fiat type currencies are the centralized and legal way of exchanging money. But, the crypto currencies have acquired immense popularity in the past few years. There will never be anyone who would act as a middle man, like the case with the banks. Moreover, the cryptos are way cheaper and less expensive that the conventional fiat currencies.

Send money anywhere directly without waiting for the bank’s approval

You can send money to anyone in the world directly, and it is super fast. The money gets cleared within a few minutes time. You don’t have to wait for the traditional clearing and verification processes of the banking systems, which might take up to several days to get a clearance. Since it is decentralized and doesn’t come under the law and regulations of the government, nobody has any power to do anything with your account.

The blockchain technology has a very big role to play

Thanks to the crypto currencies, that gives us the power and the authority to become our very own bank, and take control over our finances. It is because of the blockchain technology that offers a higher level of sophistication while dealing with the finances. In fact, there are some mainstream financial industries that have started incorporating the idea of the technology.

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