Inegrated Education

I have been working with some very bright people in our community on thinking about developing an integrated educational system for all children ages 1-20 (the Gov of Oregon has developed several initiatives to this end…we are trying to stay in step with the Gov and legislative decisions regarding these issues). A couple of key issues: what information do we need to have in order to provide access to available resources (remember, in the US public education model all students (i.e. even those with any type of physical and/or mental and/or emotional disabilities must achieve the same educational measurements as other children). Children who live in disintegrating families; children who live in serious and significant poverty; children who are homeless; children whose biological parents were struggling with addictions when the child was conceived all need an education, Various social service agencies (some state funded, some federal funded, some privately funded through non-profit organizations) have been developed to assist in meeting these challenges.
The problem is simply this: is it possible to pull all the providers to the same table and have a meaningful discussion about providing the right resources to the children and families currently being served in our educational system.
THis is a huge challenge, and an undertaking for which none of my education prepared me for…but we are plunging ahead with the assistance of some very very capable and bright people currently working in a variety of social service agencies.
It is an interesting challenge to say the least…and one which is forcing me to think differently about the assumptions that have directed my thinking.
Appreciate your prayers and any knowledge or insight you might have!

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