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Why do we really need special education?

William E. "Brit" Kirwan, chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, explains the Kirwan Commissions recommendations for Maryland's public schools. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)

Reading Kalman Hettleman’s piece in The Sun (“Keep the focus on reform of city schools,” Mar. 27) was a much needed jolt about how public schools fail.

As teachers, we want to do the best for kids. But I can attest to feeling hopeless when told that students — receiving special education services or not — need to be meeting grade level expectations when they are years behind.

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As Mr. Hettleman said, we need to “provide sufficient resources to allow teachers to teach our children to read, especially poor children of color.” Authentic early intervention is an absolute necessity because special education services often seem too little, too late. Which leaves me, frequently, to wonder: Are special education services meant to catch a kid up or get a kid through?

Adam Sutton, Towson

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