44436110[1] - 3col.qxp 9/29/2009 7:22 PM Page 27 education...

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27 S ICKLY , half-lame little Josep Jughashvili grew up to be the terrible and terrifying Joseph Stalin—gangster, egomaniac, mass murderer, diabolical titan. His stat- ues once dotted town squares throughout the Communist world, but these days his memory is burnished mostly in his home- town of Gori, Georgia. That’s where the Stalin Museum is lovingly tended—at least it was a few years ago, when I visited it—by an elder- ly lady who is not current with revisionist history. When she gives you a tour of the Stalin Museum, she pronounces the word “Stalin”—I don’t speak Georgian, but the word “Stalin” sounds the same in every language—with a breathy, passionate voice and uplifted eyes. It’s clear that her Stalin and your Stalin are not the same Stalin. But when she shows you around the perfectly preserved private rail car that Stalin used throughout his reign, and points out his favorite leather club chair— hair-oil stains still visible, small cigarette burn holes in the arms—you both instinc- tively shudder. He sat here and planned that , you think to yourself. Stalin, half a century later, is still a very scary guy. During the absurd pageant that is U.N. Week in New York, as rotund, pie-faced Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez wad- dled around the General Assembly room and creepy Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad strutted through the hall- ways, it was hard not to think back on that leather club chair and wonder, How scary are these new guys? Modern dictators come in three basic flavors. The first, the Temporary Emergen- cy type—your Pinochets, your Stroess- ners—are mostly colorless functionaries. They aren’t statue-building egomaniacs, but grim-faced military law-and-order guys who emerge to fill a power vacuum. High on secret police and discreet acts education is a drain on their resources. Yet while special-education services do impose costs on schools, most states pro- vide substantial additional revenue for each diagnosed student; in many cases, this more than covers the cost. Further, not everything spent on disabled students is an expense. For instance, schools might already offer group instruction focused on reading skills to students who are behind. If they’re regular-enrollment students, it comes out of the school’s bud- get. But if those students are diagnosed with an SLD, the services are subsidized by the state and federal governments. So while the school’s costs might not change significantly because of SLD diagnoses, its revenue would.
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2010 for the course ENC ENC1101 taught by Professor Maxwell during the Spring '08 term at Miami Dade College, Miami.

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44436110[1] - 3col.qxp 9/29/2009 7:22 PM Page 27 education...

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