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September 12, 2018
Eighty percent of NYC schools aren’t fully accessible to students with physical disabilities. Activists say $850 million could make a dent.
Roughly 80 percent of New York City’s school buildings are not completely accessible to students with physical disabilities — and a coalition of…
February 13, 2018
How well does your school serve students with disabilities? A proposed law in New York City would make that clear.
Citywide, more than a quarter of students with disabilities only receive some of the services they’re entitled to — or none at all.
November 15, 2017
Mental health crises are major cause of police interventions in New York City schools, new data show
Last school year, nearly 29 percent of the 9,385 incidents where police or safety agents were called involved a "child in crisis."
students with disabilities
November 9, 2017
New York City says testing waiver sought by state could lower standards for students with disabilities
The state asked federal approval to give certain students with disabilities tests matched to their instructional level, rather than their age.
October 11, 2017
Three things to know about the record number of homeless students in New York City schools
One in ten New York City students experienced homelessness last school year.
August 1, 2016
Longtime advocate Anna Jo Haynes: Parents need to become advocates for their children
Chalkbeat sat down with Anna Jo Haynes to talk about an esteemed roundtable and her thoughts on how early education has changed over the years.
March 21, 2016
Regents approve new path to graduation using a skills certificate
Students will now be able to substitute a skills certificate for a fifth Regents exam, in the latest shift meant to ease the path to high school graduation.
SESIS UNDER FIRE
February 1, 2016
James sues city for not properly tracking services for students with disabilities
Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the city alleging its special-education data system prevented students from receiving services and lost the city millions.
students with disabilities
December 21, 2015
Investigation slams city over accommodations for students with disabilities
The office of Preet Bharara details inadequate school entrances and alarm systems that keep physically disabled students from attending their local elementary schools.
July 13, 2015
Evaluation delays leave some students with disabilities waiting for help
The city is hiring more staffers to screen students for disabilities, and upgrading a data system to track its compliance with the state's 60-day screening timeline.
October 15, 2014
Special-ed students in some neighborhoods face longer odds when looking for help
Ten percent of services are going unprovided for students who live in four Bronx ZIP codes with an average median household income of $22,000. That figure drops to 1.5 percent in the city’s five wealthiest enclaves, which have an average median income of $162,000.
stuck in the middle
September 10, 2014
One-fourth of city's middle school students are older than their classmates, report says
Nearly a quarter of the city’s middle-school students — or more than 50,000 pupils — are at least one year older than their classmates, in most cases because they have been held back before, according to a new report by an advocacy group.
June 24, 2014
City agrees to ease process for special needs students seeking private school tuition
Officials announced policy changes Tuesday meant to make it easier for parents of children with special needs to secure city funds for private school tuition.
October 1, 2013
Report: District-charter special ed gap not from "counseling out"
Stories of charter school officials telling — or hinting to — high-needs students that they should look elsewhere for their educational needs have long fueled criticism of the charter sector. But a new report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education argues that "counseling out" is not the cause of the special education gap between the city's district and charter elementary schools. In New York City, 13.1 percent of charter school students receive special education services, compared to 16.5 percent of district school students. Using lottery data from 25 charter elementary schools and information from the city, researcher Marcus Winters found two main reasons for the gap: that fewer students with disabilities apply for kindergarten spots at charter schools, and charters classify fewer students as needing special education services once they start school. The report was not mean to "fully explain away what is a well-documented disparity," New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman said at a discussion at the center on Monday. "What it does do, importantly, is demonstrate conclusively that a significant number of charter schools in New York City are having success in keeping children from inappropriately being classified in the first place as needing special education services and at the same time, hopefully giving them a far better chance at success in their school careers," Merriman said.
August 28, 2013
Advocates say city is agreeing to pay special ed costs less often
Advocates and lawyers representing students with disabilities say the city has only intensified its recent battle against parents who want their children's private school tuition reimbursed. The adversarial showdown, which stems in large part from the city's efforts to cut special education costs, means that children with special needs are taking longer to receive services that their parents believe they need. "They're basically just fighting everything a lot more," said Kim Madden, director of legal services at Advocates for Children of New York, about the city's lawyers. AFC represents low-income families in many cases against the Department of Education. As the new school year is set to begin, Madden said she expects the help line that her organization runs to start ringing off the hook. The complaints often come from parents who want schools to provide the services mandated by their child’s special education plan, such as occupational and speech therapy. Other requests are for transportation for medically fragile students and extra tutoring for learning disabilities. But it’s the expensive reimbursement requests to cover private school tuition, which account for many of the cases, that have the city on the defensive. The city is projected to spend $256 million in 2014, or about 9 percent more than this year, on private school tuition for students whose parents successfully petition for reimbursements. All together, the city's bill for nonpublic school payments, excluding charter school spending, is on pace to increase 35 percent since 2010.
February 21, 2013
Return of yellow school buses brings relief and new challenges
Assistant teacher Miguelina Valeria takes attendance as students exit the bus at Manhattan's P721 Wednesday. Five weeks ago, what happened at P721 in Manhattan on Wednesday would not have seemed extraordinary: Yellow buses pulled up by the main entrance and assistant teacher Miguelina Valerio took attendance and greeted students as they headed into school. But after a bus drivers' strike that lasted over a month, the yellow buses marked the end of nightmarish commutes for many parents and, for many students with special needs, a long-awaited return to class. P721 is a District 75 school that provides occupational training to high school students. During the strike, Valerio said, only 70 or 80 students came to school each day out of a student body of 200. “More than half the students were missing,” she said. “Little by little they’re coming back.”
June 20, 2012
Lawsuit demands DOE increase language services for parents
Parents attended a rally at Tweed Hall, where they demanded the DOE provide more translation and interpretation services to those whose children require special education. Advocates filed a federal complaint today against the city Department of Education that they said represents years of troubling reports from parents who don't speak English. Hundreds of those parents have come to the advocacy groups with concerns that the department doesn't provide sufficient language services for navigating special education. And with extensive special education reforms in progress, the need for language services is more pressing than ever, said Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children. AFC, which represents low-income students and students with disabilities, joined with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest to file the complaint with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights on behalf of 19 city families. The complaint charges the city with violating federal, state, and city laws by failing to provide translation services for the parents of children with special needs. The complaint profiles one of the parents in detail. Nyuk Siem Looi, who speaks only Cantonese, has two sons who are autistic and cannot speak. According to the complaint, Looi has been told to bring her own interpreter to meetings and pressured to sign documents about her sons' educational programs that she could not understand. Parents named in the complaint were joined by dozens of others at a rally on the steps of City Hall today after the complaint was filed, many holding umbrellas to relieve themselves from more than 90-degree heat.
June 19, 2012
Diploma rules for students with disabilities raise hope and fear
For months, advocates for students with special needs have been pushing the state to reconsider a safety net meant to help those students graduate. But when the state’s top education policy-makers sat down in Albany Monday to discuss the issue, they instead floated the idea of making graduation requirements even easier for students who have disabilities. This year, for the first time, all students in New York State will have to pass five Regents exams with a 65 or higher in order to graduate. In the past, students have had the option of getting a less rigorous “local diploma” with some scores of 55 or higher, with the number of 65's required inching upward each year. But the elimination of the local diploma doesn’t extend to students who require special education services: They will still be able to graduate with 55's on their transcripts, even on all five required Regents exams. Advocates say that leniency runs the risk of creating a second-class diploma for students with disabilities, similar to the IEP diploma that is being eliminated. Students had to pass exams known as Regents Competency Tests to get the diploma, but earning one did not qualify graduates for college, work, or the military.
June 18, 2012
Court rules NY human rights law doesn't cover public schools
New York public school students have fewer options for recourse against discrimination today than they did a week ago. The state's highest court ruled last week that public school students cannot use New York's human rights law to seek recognition of discrimination — or get financial compensation when discrimination has taken place. Never before have courts ruled that such a large group of constituents is not protected by the law, said Rebecca Shore, the director of litigation for Advocates for Children, which aims to protect low-income students from discrimination. New York's human rights law, the first of its kind when it was passed in 1945, prohibits discrimination based on "age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex or marital status" in a variety of settings, including "non-sectarian educational institutions," according to the State Division of Human Rights. Individuals can file complaints with the state's Division of Human Rights and seek restitution, all without paying for a lawyer. But after two school districts contested the human rights division's jurisdiction to investigate and fine them, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled in a 4-3 decision that the division cannot probe discrimination claims in public schools.
May 23, 2012
Advocates seek last-minute extension of less rigorous diploma
Tougher graduation requirements almost two decades in coming are putting thousands of city students at risk of not earning a diploma this year. Advocates are asking the state to give more students more time before fully implementing more stringent graduation requirements, but city officials say educators and students have had plenty of time to prepare. For the first time, students in New York State will only be able to graduate with a Regents diploma, requiring they receive a 65 or above on at least five Regents exams. In the past, students could graduate with a local diploma, allowing them to receive a 55 on at least five exams. In the 1990s, state officials initiated a change to make requirements for the local diploma increasingly stringent, until it could be phased out. Last year, students were able to receive a local diploma by passing four Regents exams with a 65, and one with a 55. It's impossible to know how many students will be affected, but the Department of Education estimates that 10 percent of the city’s class of 2011— almost 8,000 students — received a local diploma.
May 8, 2012
Group honors student who went from 'horror film' to high school
Eric Degiaimo at his desk at the Smith School. For 18 months, Eric Degiaimo could barely leave his apartment, paralyzed by fear of the outside world. Today, he’s a junior in high school who just celebrated his 19th birthday with friends in Times Square and harbors goals of becoming a musical engineer. He’s also the recipient of a city advocacy groups’s annual award for students who have overcome great obstacles to attend schools that are right for them. Eric’s path to isolation and back took him through rough terrain. By the time he was 15, he had incurred a lifetime of trauma while being raised by drug addicts, sexual predators, and a sister’s abusive boyfriends. Eric was kicked, spit on, and his apartment raided by drug dealers. He was forced to panhandle and fake Tourette's Syndrome so people he lived with could collect disability to pay for their next high. Time and again he was hurt and exploited by the same people who were supposed to keep him safe. His early life, as he puts it, “belongs in a horror film.” The experiences made him emotionally fragile, unable to complete even the most mundane social interactions. Riding the subway or going to the store frightened him. A psychiatrist diagnosed him with posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety problems. Then named Eric Velazquez, he had been removed from his sister’s custody and placed in a group home when he met a social worker, Angela Degiaimo. The pair felt an immediate bond and within months, Eric had moved into Angela’s Flatbush apartment. Last year, she officially adopted him. “He just has this loveable thing about him that people are charmed by,” Angela Degiaimo said. “I tell him that we were meant to be a family.”
November 7, 2011
Struggling with special education, charter schools join together
Chancellor Dennis Walcott discusses special education in charter schools at the kick-off conference for a new collaborative. As the director of special education at the DREAM Charter School, Jacqueline Frey knows firsthand the difficulties charter schools face when serving students with disabilities. One issue, she said, is convincing the city that her school's plan to serve each disabled student is sound. And when she wants to bring her teachers up to date on the best ways to serve students with disabilities, she has to figure out how to compensate for the training that pricey consultants might be able to offer. "If I'm a mom and pop charter school, I can't afford to do that for myself," Frey said. "It helps to find other schools in the same situation." Connecting charter schools with similar special education needs is the chief goal of the New York City Charter School Center’s Special Education Collaborative, which builds off of local efforts to boost special education at charter schools that have been going in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn since 2007. The $1,500-per-school entry fee pays for monthly training sessions, access to counselors and consultants, and an annual conference. The citywide collaborative, which about 90 of the city’s 136 charter schools have already joined, comes at an opportune time. Both of the state's charter school authorizers, the State University of New York and the Board of Regents, are pushing new charter schools to build capacity for more higher-needs students, including more special education students, this year, into their school designs. And at the collaborative’s first conference last month, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the DOE would be pressing charter schools to "up the ante" in how they serve special education students. The pushes are in part a response to criticism that charter schools do not enroll a fair share of special needs students. In recent years, the proportion of students with disabilities at charter schools has actually risen to nearly the city average. The challenge now, advocates say, is to serve disabled students well.
November 3, 2011
Advocates say they haven't heard from the DOE's "chief parent"
This story originally appeared in Spanish in El Diario, which supplied the translation. The city's school system has a new person in charge of helping the parents of the 1.1 million children in public schools. The problem is that many have not heard of him since he was appointed last July. After three months in his role as “chief parent” of the New York City Department of Education, organizations that defend parents' interests said they have not yet heard from Jesse Mojica and do not have knowledge of his plans to improve the troublesome relationship between the department and families throughout the city. Mojica was recruited in July by new Chancellor Dennis Walcott to occupy the $138,000 a year position as executive director of the office of Family and Community Engagement. Placida Rodriguez, from the parent action group Make the Road New York, an organization based in Queens and Brooklyn, expressed her dissatisfaction at the little attention Mojica has paid so far. “Basically I have had no contact with Jesse Mojica,” said Rodriguez.
August 1, 2011
Housing projects in affluent areas face daycare funding cuts
The Mabel Barrett Fitzgerald Day Care Center sits within the Amsterdam Houses public housing complex, recently the site of a sweeping drug bust. A few blocks away, however, glitzy Lincoln Center is flanked by some of the most expensive apartments in Manhattan. The location provides rich field trip opportunities for the Fitzgerald program, which this year received city funding to serve 58 low-income children. But now the center's zip code could take a toll on its budget. The threat comes from the funding structure underlying EarlyLearn, the Administration for Children Services’ ambitious reform of the city’s public daycare system. This summer, ACS is requiring that all public centers, including Fitzgerald, submit applications showing why they deserve continued funding, and next spring, some programs will learn that they have not made the cut. The evaluation process will focus on quality. But it will also take into account something outside centers' control: their address. Under EarlyLearn, the number of city-funded daycare seats across the city will drop, and ACS plans to allot a larger portion of the remaining seats to neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of needy families. To assess need, ACS is looking primarily at the poverty level in the zip code where each center is located. That means that centers in high-poverty zip codes stand a greater chance of receiving continued funding, while the number of slots in more affluent neighborhoods could decrease sharply. Childcare experts and center directors say this approach could shut out poor New Yorkers who live in relatively affluent areas. In particular, they say, residents of some housing projects are at risk of being left without the childcare on which they’ve come to rely.
July 20, 2011
Special ed teachers need 'tweaked' evaluations, advocates say
Advocates are worried that the city's new evaluation system could penalize teachers of students with special needs. The nonprofit organization Advocates for Children of New York recently released a fact sheet calling on parents to ask how the new system, which will be piloted in more schools next year, will affect those teachers. Sixty percent of the new evaluations is based on subjective measures like principal observations, and the other 40 percent is based on student test scores. AFC's concern is that teachers who work with high-needs students will be at a disadvantage because they likely won't see the gains in test scores that other teachers will. That will make it more difficult to earn a high evaluation score, lowering the incentive for teachers to take on students with disabilities and English Language Learners. "Teachers are basically going to be looking at lower test scores, and lower evaluations because they're so heavily reliant on test scores," said Maggie Moroff, special education policy coordinator for AFC. "We're worried that they will be teaching more to the test in those classes."
August 3, 2010
State overturns one charter space-sharing plan, upholds another
The city must start over its controversial plan to let a Lower East Side charter school expand in city space but may proceed with another, the state education department ruled yesterday. State Education Commissioner David Steiner threw out the city's plan to allow Girls Prep Charter School to expand its middle school grades in the building it shares with two district schools, ruling that the city did not properly report the plan's impact on disabled students who attend school in the building. But in a separate ruling, Steiner argued that the city did provide enough information about its plan to let Brooklyn's PAVE Academy Charter School expand in the building it currently shares with P.S. 15. Both plans have prompted bitter space battles this year between the charter schools and teachers and parents at the district schools who share the buildings. Both charters want to expand the number of grades they serve; opponents of the expansion argue that the plans would squeeze the students at the district schools in the building.
June 25, 2010
School-eye views of the city's new draft discipline standards
When the city proposed changes to its discipline rules, its new policy towards "cyber-bullying" and "sexting" caught the public eye. But the central changes have nothing to do with text messages. They represent a win by civil rights groups who have been calling on the city to make sure that schools use more counseling and less punishment and suspension to resolve problems. At a hearing on the proposed changes Wednesday, one middle school principal described a program that she piloted and is now part of the new code. In some schools the program, which is known as PBIS and is designed to encourage good behavior in all students at a school, can include a reward system in which students collect points toward a prize for demonstrating things like good study skills. Denise Jamison, principal of Williamsburg's M.S. 50, said that the program has helped improve the behavior of even some of her most struggling students. The "hottest ticket" for rewards, she said, is a "No Uniform Today" pass, or "NUT card." One day, she recalled, she pulled over a student well-known by school staff for his temper and asked why he wasn't in uniform. "He pulls out [his NUT card], and we all started congratulating him," she said. "Because we knew how much he would have had to improved in order to earn that."
June 18, 2009
Audit: City failed to give timely services to needy children
The Department of Education failed to follow more than 200 orders to give disabled students extra services in a timely fashion, an independent audit released today concludes. The audit was the first-ever comprehensive look at how the city follows through with special education orders. Parents of children with special needs can argue that their children are not receiving enough services at independent hearings where both the parent and the Department of Education testify. Hearing officers either determine that the current services are adequate — or order the city to do more. The audit is a result of a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit group Advocates for Children, which often represents parents in these hearings, in 2003. The lawsuit accused the city of not following through with hearing officers' orders, which range from demanding that children receive extra tutoring to mandating a special program for helping children with autism. An agreement that settled the suit out of court required regular audits of the Department of Education's efforts to improve responses. The audit released today, the first in a series required by the settlement, found that school officials failed to meet a pre-determined goal. If the failure is repeated in follow-up audits, it could send Advocates for Children and the city to court.
June 16, 2009
Report: High school closures hurt students learning English
The rise of small high schools has decimated programs for students whose native language is not English, making the students more likely to drop out. That's the conclusion of a report released today by two watchdog groups that look out for immigrant students, Advocates for Children of New York and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The groups studied two large, low-performing high schools that the city decided to replace with small, themed schools and found that students who are classified as English language learners enrolled in smaller numbers in the new schools. Students who did enroll often did not receive the services they needed, the groups found. What's more, according to the report, most of the new schools are too small to offer a range of language services: State law mandates that schools create bilingual programs if they enroll more than 20 students in the same grade who speak the same native language. The DOE has interpreted this mandate to mean that parents of 20 students in the same grade who speak the same language must "opt-in" to select a bilingual program - and that merely meeting the numerical enrollment threshold is insufficient.
March 18, 2009
Report: Immigrant parents feel shut out of schools
Hot on the heels of a DOE report saying that immigrant students are doing better than ever before, groups serving immigrant families issued a report of their own today, calling on the city Department of Education to "change the culture in schools" so that immigrant parents feel welcome participating in their children's education. Many immigrant parents would like to be involved in their children's schools but do not feel able because of language barriers and cultural differences, according to the report, which was written by Advocates for Children of New York, where I used to work, in conjunction with a number of community groups that represent immigrants. The report calls for the DOE to develop an aggressive plan to involve immigrant families in their schools, citing research that has documented a link between parent engagement and student performance. The premise behind the report — that parents should be involved in schools — is one that DOE officials say they support. Asked at Friday's mayoral control hearing about parent participation among immigrant families, Maria Santos, who heads the department's Office of ELLs, said there is "not enough." The report suggests a number of reasons why immigrant parents might not feel encouraged to get involved.
March 16, 2009
For high school students, school choice is hard to come by
Is there school choice in New York City? It depends whom you ask. Ask in Harlem, and members of Harlem Parents United, a group organized by charter school operator Eva Moskowitz, might tell you that there is: They have all chosen charter schools for their children and are aggressively pushing the neighborhood's families to have even more options. They have allies in Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who count increasing school choice as a cornerstone of their reforms. But ask a high school student who wants to change schools, and you might get another answer entirely. According to an article in the New York Post, ninth grader Kimselle Castanos said she asked the Department of Education for a transfer dozens of times but didn't get one until she was assaulted by students from another school in the building. The DOE thinks the Post got some major facts wrong, such as how many times Kimselle e-mailed the chancellor, officials told me today. But even if it did, the real story remains that in a system that boasts about the choices open to students, Kimselle and her family felt stuck in a school that wasn't right for her. I heard from countless parents, students, and advocates desperately seeking school transfers when I worked at Insideschools, through the hotline run by parent organization Advocates for Children. Callers reported that their transfer requests, particularly at the high school level, had been denied even though they had compelling reasons for seeking them. Those calls continue to pour in, my former colleague Pamela Wheaton, Insideschools' executive director, told me today. "For whatever reason, it has become increasingly difficult, almost impossible, to get a transfer to another regular high school," Wheaton said.
January 20, 2009
Federal civil rights office OKs DOE's high school admissions rules
When I reported last week about the total review of special education that is set to start soon at the Department of Education, I…
January 16, 2009
Special ed advocate: Wrong person leading DOE's review
Kim Sweet Special education advocates are planning to criticize the Department of Education's choice of official to spearhead a comprehensive review of special education in the city schools. Kim Sweet, the executive director of Advocates for Children of New York (where I used to work when I wrote for Insideschools), told me this morning that she's worried about what the review could mean for special education services, especially in light of the current economic conditions. One major concern is that Garth Harries, who has been appointed to conduct the review, doesn't have experience in special education. "The special education system is a complex system that to address a diverse and complicated set of student needs," Sweet told me. "Garth Harries unfortunately does not have the experience to make decisions about it in an intelligent and sensitive way." She said the ARISE Coalition, which advocates for children with special needs, will speak out against Harries' appointment. Another issue, Sweet said, is that given the current budget shortfall, the department might be taking a hard look at special education simply to save money.
January 14, 2009
DOE will spend $78.6m in next 5 years on new database
The Department of Education is signing a $54.9 million contract with a firm called MAXIMUS to streamline the way it tracks services for students with disabilities. Right now, a paper system tracks the process of diagnosing and giving services to special education students, with results that both special education advocates and the department say are poor. The new system will allow administrators and teachers to track these documents in a single place online. It will also be costly: The five-year contract is for $54.9, and the DOE expects extra attached costs like internal training programs so that principals can use the database will cost an additional $23.7 million over five years. The DOE press release that went out on this earlier today includes unusually glowing remarks from the special education advocate Kim Sweet, who as the executive director of Advocates for Children has often criticized the DOE for failing to serve special education students adequately Sweet's statement: "The Department of Education desperately needs a new system for tracking special education data. Under the current system they are unable to track their performance in providing essential services ot students with disabilities with any kind of accuracy. A new data system is essential to helping the Departmetn of Education improve its delivery of special education services and, we hope, will be a key step to holding the Department of Education accountable for the education of this vulnerable population." The contract was not a no-bid but was competitively bid. A law firm helped the department negotiate it pro bono. Here's the full press release, below the jump:
November 25, 2008
Harlem Children's Zone will cut 10% of its staff: WSJ
Another Wall Street Journal report on how the financial crisis is hitting foundations highlights the Harlem Children's Zone. HCZ, run by the mayoral control proponent Geoffrey Canada, was promised $25 million grant by the Starr Foundation, which is run by Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, the former chief executive officer of AIG. Now, the Journal reports: Anyone with a foundation whose endowment is heavily invested in AIG stock "is taking a bath," says Mr. Greenberg, adding that he intends to fulfill current commitments but that gifts would inevitably be fewer and smaller in the months ahead. "You can't give what you haven't got." ... Among the beneficiaries feeling the pinch are Harlem Children's Zone Inc., to which Mr. Greenberg recently pledged $25 million. "I'm spending a lot of time now thinking about how we could replace the kind of support we've received from Wall Street," says Geoffrey Canada, president of the organization, which provides parenting classes and charter schools for poor families. Mr. Canada says he is cutting 10% of his staff of 1,400. Other New York City education projects could be affected.
November 7, 2008
State, special ed advocates tussle over proposed changes to IEPs
Special ed advocates objected to the limited choices in this drop-down menu on the proposed IEP form. A new push by the state to standardize the way school districts plan which services special needs students should receive is rattling parents across New York. At the heart of the process is a document called the Individualized Education Plan, which a team of experts crafts to describe the student's educational needs and how the school should address them. For years, every school district has used its own IEP form. Now, state officials have created standardized forms to be used by all districts. The officials say this is an important move because it will create consistency across the state, but special education advocates are worried that the new form could put children's needs in jeopardy. Everyone agrees that IEP forms are crucial documents because they are the strongest form of insurance a parent can have that his child will get specific services. Advocates worry that the forms the state is pushing would weaken that insurance.
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