Citizen’s Briefing Book at

I think this is fairly new — it was published on President-Elect’s Blog today at 12:47 pm EST — The incoming president and his administration are inviting ideas and submissions to the Citizen’s Briefing Book.

The site promises “The best rated ideas will rise to the top — and be gathered into a Citizen’s Briefing Book to be delivered to President Obama after he is sworn in.”

When I searched the ideas already posted, there wasn’t much on special or gifted education (or autism, or ADHD for that matter), so I added the following (see below). Feel free to vote on these, or add your own ideas.

Whether you like my ideas or not, it doesn’t matter, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but please forward the information about the Citizen’s Briefing Book to everyone you think might be interested.

* * *
Revamp the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program

Please revamp the federal Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program so that it benefits not only a small group of students whose schools were lucky enough to get the grant but all gifted students in the whole country. One of the ways to do that would be to create a FEDERAL mandate to identify and serve gifted students similar to the IDEA mandate to identify students that need special services and encourage districts to form cooperative magnet schools or classrooms.

Some people say that gifted children do not need help, they will do fine on their own, but some those children might have the brains to help solve the global warming or find a cure for cancer, IF they allowed and encouraged to progress through the curriculum at the speed they can handle. Making them slow down to the pace of everyone else is killing their enthusiasm for learning and wastes America’s potential.

* * *
Beging a discussion about fair public school funding

As long as the quality of education a child gets depends on the income of that child’s parents and their ability to buy a house in the best school district or send a child to a private school there will be NO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY for children in this country.

Please begin a discussion about fair and nondiscriminatory distribution of public school funding to decrease the inequality between schools in rich neighborhoods that have beautiful labs and well-stocked libraries, and those in poor neighborhoods where there isn’t even enough money to repaint the walls over the summer.

* * *
Fulfill the promise of the federal IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) funding

Please make sure the federal government lives up to its promise of funding 40% of the IDEA costs.

* * *
Ban artificial coloring and chemicals in foods

Please make the FDA ban artificial coloring, flavoring, and chemicals in foods and medications, especially in foods that children like (snacks, candy, etc.). Artificial coloring have been found to be harmful by researchers in Europe and companies such as Nestle and Kellog’s are removing these chemicals from the products they sell in Europe but not in the U.S. because here they are not required to do that. Our children deserve no worse than European children and should not have to eat that crap.

(see also the “Citizen’s Briefing Book update” from January 19, 2009)

Speak Your Mind