Friday, April 22, 2016


The amendment would not mandate that federal funding go towards extra training, but would allow states and local school districts, if they so choose, to use federal funds on training toward identifying dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities. Its critics argued that all disabilities, not just specific learning disabilities, should get the support the amendment called for. For example, autism and attention-deficit disorder do not fall under the category of specific learning disabilities.
"It is about getting children with a specific diagnosis the right services as early as possible," Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said in response to criticism the amendment would create special privileges for dyslexic students. Cassidy was the amendment's sponsor. "Does anyone really think that a child with dyslexia, who struggles to read, write, and spell through no fault of their own, feels privileged? The irony is palpable."

 " Once again Patty Murray shows off her ignorance or special interest obligations and stiff arms dyslexic students."

The committee's ranking member, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., spoke in opposition to the amendment. She listed national groups that opposed the amendment, including the National PTA, National Down Syndrome Society and others. The National Education Association, the largest individual union in the country, also opposed the amendment.
"This amendment actually sends the message that this committee cares more about the education of one group of students with disabilities more than others," Murray said in opposition. "It sets a new precedent of singling out one of the thirteen categories of students with disabilities in providing professional development to our teachers."
Dyslexics are 80 percent of students with learning disabilities, 17.5 percent of the population, and up to half of students reading below grade level, Cassidy said in response. He then listed off several groups in support of the amendment: the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity and Decoding Dyslexia.
"We may decide, 'Heck, I don't care about those families. Somehow we're going to be guided by special interest groups.' I think we should be more motivated about the needs of that child," Cassidy said.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Statistics On Dyslexia

  • 70-80% of people with poor reading skills, are likely dyslexic.
  • One in five students, or 15-20% of the population, has a language based learning disability. Dyslexia is the most common of the language based learning disabilities.
  • Nearly the same percentage of males and females have dyslexia.
  • Nearly the same percentage of people from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds have dyslexia.
  • Percentages of children at risk for reading failure are much higher in high poverty, language-minority populations who attend ineffective schools.
  • In minority and high poverty schools, 70-80% of children have inadequate reading skills.
  • According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 38% of all fourth grade students are “below basic” reading skills. They are at or below the 40th percentile for their age group.
  • Nationwide 20% of the elementary school population is struggling with reading.
  • National Center for Education statistics, 5% of all adults are “non-literate”.
  • 20-25% of all adults can only read at the lowest level.
  • 62% of non readers dropped out of high school.
  • 80% of children with an IEP have reading difficulty and 85% of those are Dyslexic.
  • 30% of children with Dyslexia also have at least a mild form of AD/HD.


Epistemic Democracy, Self-Interest and The Common Good

par Girard (1er/03/2012)

A just society has to identify and promote the common good. One of the most powerful justifications of democracy that has been provided in the recent decades claims that democracy is legitimate and fair because it more likely than other institutional systems pursues the common good. According to this epistemic justification of democracy however, to achieve this aim citizens do not have to aggregate their preferences by voting or negotiate over their interested proposals, but they have to deliberate. Deliberation should, ideally, be open to all those affected by the decision. The participants should have equal opportunity to influence the process, they should listen to one another and give reasons to one another that they think the others can comprehend and accept. These requirements rule out the exercise of power, propaganda, expression of mere self-interest, and threats (of the sort that characterise bargaining). In this paper I will challenge the traditional contraposition between common good and self-interest and I will argue that an epistemic account of deliberative democracy cannot exclude self-interest and some forms of negotiation from the deliberative sphere. To sustain this claim I will analyse what the common good of a polity means. Firstly, I will distinguish the debate on constitutional essentials from the public policies’ debate and I will argue that though the exclusion of self-interest from the former is acceptable, it does not hold in the latter case. Within the public policy debate, in fact, people cannot identify the common good if they do not take into account their self-interest and demand that the whole polity acknowledges the legitimacy of their interested proposals. To pursue the common good, a democracy has to legitimise some forms of negotiation (democratic bargaining) that could deal with interested claims without undermining fairness. Since an account of democratic bargaining will more likely identify and promote the common good than the traditional account of deliberative democracy, I will conclude that it is not only a legitimate and fair alternative to deliberation but, at least from an epistemic point of view, a better democratic procedure.

Charles Girard : « The Common Good as Equal Promotion of all Individual Interests »
The classical understanding of modern democracy as self-government among equals implies two constitutive democratic principles : the pursuit of political autonomy and the pursuit of the common good. The latter has long been denounced by “minimalist” critics, but also, more recently, by some deliberative democrats. According to the false common good criticism, the common good does not exist : because there are only divergent self-interests that cannot be reconciled, to invoke the common good is to invoke an illusion. According to the moral conversion, while something like the common good might exist, it cannot be reached, because individuals are primarily motivated by their self-interest and cannot agree to put them aside in order to promote the common good. An epistemic conception of deliberative democracy needs to respond to both challenges. This paper argues that i) the common good is best understood as the equal promotion of all individual self-interests ; and that ii) given this definition, both criticisms can be refuted. To do so, it elaborates a conceptual distinction between one’s individual self-interest and one’s specific interests, drawing on Barry’s analysis of interest. It criticizes Barry’s (and Pettit’s) definition of the common good as the set of interests that are shared by all citizens qua citizens. Such a definition implies excluding from the common good particular interests of which the satisfaction is deemed legitimate (for instance certain interests shared only by women, the elderly, etc.). Even if the interests that are shared by all are defined ex ante or ex ignorantia, the Barry/Pettit strategy cannot secure all legitimate particular interests. However, such interests can be included in the perimeter of the common good if it is defined as the equal promotion of all individual (vs. specific) interests. This concept helps to take up the false common good and the moral conversion challenges. On the one hand, to assert that a common good does not exist is to misunderstand the concept, which does not refer to a transcending good, nor to the overlapping of fixed context-independent sets of actions and policies. On the other hand, to assume that public deliberation should realize a moral conversion is to overestimate the separation between the common good and self-interests, and to misinterpret the epistemic task that should be imposed on public deliberation.

José Luis Martí : « Who (and how) knows what’s the right thing to do politically : on the epistemic dimension of deliberative democratic decision-making »
It is common to justify democracy as the system of government most respectful with substantive moral values, such as human dignity, political equality and autonomy. This is not all what we care about, though. The idea of democracy is connected with certain procedures of collective decision-making. If these procedures are intrinsically good because they respect those substantive values, that’s good. But we all have a legitimate interest in having the best decisions possible from the substantive point of view. We want our collective decisions to be democratic, but we also want them to be correct, whatever it means. Deliberative democracy comes to bridge these two central concerns : the intrinsic value of democracy as expression of equal autonomy and basic dignity and its instrumental value as being capable of driving us to make correct political decisions. This paper examines the roots for the epistemic value of deliberative democracy. It clarifies the relevant epistemic questions connected to it : what it is to be known to make correct political decisions ; who is the appropriate knower ; how this knower may come to know what is to be known. The paper intends to show why deliberative democracy may reasonably satisfy our demand for correction in democratic decisions, while resisting the elitist trend. And it ends by clarifying one crucial point that has generated some misguided criticism in the most recent literature : the ideal nature of the epistemic deliberative democracy, which relates to the kind of practical reasons that democratic decisions may generate according to the epistemic argument.

Christian Rostbøll : « Against Incorporating Self-Interest in the Deliberative Ideal »
In the development and refinement of the theory of deliberative democracy over the last two decades, it has become evident that self-interests cannot and should not be excluded from the political process. It is an important aspect of the political process, also as understood by deliberative democrats, that citizens have the opportunity to clarify and express their interests in order that political decisions do not favor the interests of some groups over the interest of other groups. Indeed, one aim of deliberation is to learn what is “in the equal interest of all” (Habermas). But does this mean that self-interest should be included in the deliberative ideal ? In order to answer this question we need to understand that deliberative democracy is a complex theory of democracy that involves four dimensions : A social theoretical dimension, a justificatory dimension, an epistemic dimension, and a procedural dimension. This papers argues that these dimensions of deliberative democracy cannot be as easily maintained as part of deliberative democracy, as is assumed by those theorists – such as Jane Mansbridge – who suggest awarding self-interest intrinsic value and making it part of the regulative ideal of deliberative democracy. The argument for including self-interest in deliberative democracy needs to more fully consider the consequences for the dimensions that make up the complex theory of deliberative democracy. If it cannot be shown that self-interest is compatible with a proper understanding of these dimensions of deliberative democracy, then there are good reasons against incorporating self-interest in the deliberative ideal. The conclusion of the paper is that what we need is not integration of self-interest and deliberative democracy into one unified ideal. Rather, we should maintain an ideal of deliberative democracy that stands apart from the politics of self-interest.

Education Is a System of Indoctrination of the Young - Noam Chomsky

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

National Center for Educational Statistics: The Condition of Education (COE)

"The number of children and youth ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.4 million, or about 13 percent of all public school students, in 2012–13. Some 35 percent of students receiving special education services had specific learning disabilities."

"In school year 2012–13, a higher percentage of children and youth ages 3–21 received special education services under IDEA for specific learning disabilities than for any other type of disability. A specific learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. In 2012–13, some 35 percent of all children and youth receiving special education services had specific learning disabilities, 21 percent had speech or language impairments, and 12 percent had other health impairments (including having limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes). Children and youth with autism, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, or emotional disturbances each accounted for between 6 and 8 percent of students served under IDEA. Children and youth with multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries, or deaf-blindness each accounted for 2 percent or less of those served under IDEA." 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Education In The Constitution

"The 4th Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” And remember, people call us our 4th Amendment right. Is there a 4th Amendment right? No. It’s our God-given right to privacy. We have the right to be private. Our government is not our master. They don’t need to know anything about me and as I choose [01:10:00] to let them know, that in my behalf is my agent.

This says we need to be secure in our papers, houses, and in effects, and persons unless — does the government have any right to search and seize? They do as outlined in the 4th Amendment. It says very clearly when those conditions are met. The conditions are “No warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath and affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The government can search and seize and invade on your privacy within your home and your papers, your effects, etc, if they have a probable cause and they swear before a judge and put my honor my oath on the line to say “I believe this person is infringing on these rights in this way, and here’s that I’m going to look for.” And the judge can say, “That’s reasonable.” More probably than not, you’re right. They’re going to give you a warrant to go and do that. That’s when they can do it.

Now, you tell me, are your kids infringing on anyone’s right by being involved in the public school system? No. So, does government have any right to track data, [01:11:00] to search and seize information about them, and to pass it on to other people? That’s a violation of the 4th Amendment in the first degree. It’s huge. It’s a big deal to be taking private information, collecting it, passing on all the government agencies because what happens? That’s going to command the economy." 

EdITC Scene 1 - The Power of Education "First of all, the quote by Aristotle, “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” That makes sense because empires are perpetual. They’re generational. And in order to go from one generation to the next, it is passing on those values and ideas, and teachings that will keep the empire [00:01:00] going."