Accountability

My Take on the Trump Administration’s Disregard for Students with Disabilities

My friends and colleagues at Education Post, Lane Wright and Ikhlas Saleem, asked me to join them on their Voices4ED podcast to talk about the Trump Administration’s stripping away of civil rights protections for students with special needs under the direction of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. To listen, click here. Episode Details: Why Laura’s recent article about Betsy DeVos resonated with so… Continue reading My Take on the Trump Administration’s Disregard for Students with Disabilities

Blog

A White Teacher Starts a Black Lives Matter Club in a Trump-Friendly Long Island District. What Happens Next?

Mark Jackett is a high school special education teacher on Long Island. He lives in Port Jefferson with his wife, two daughters, two cats, and eight chickens. It’s not easy being Black in one of Suffolk County’s big, predominantly white high schools. So when one of the handful of Black students at the high school… Continue reading A White Teacher Starts a Black Lives Matter Club in a Trump-Friendly Long Island District. What Happens Next?

Accountability

DeVos Is Stripping Away Civil Rights Protections for Students With Special Needs

I’m detecting a trend. Recently, The Atlantic ran a piece that catalogues the Trump administration’s disregard of civil rights protections for Americans (and aspiring Americans) during the tenure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Across every issue, from criminal-justice reform to voting rights to LGBTQ rights,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil… Continue reading DeVos Is Stripping Away Civil Rights Protections for Students With Special Needs

Accountability · Blog

Wesley’s Story, Part 3: “This Is A Bigger Issue Than Wesley,” or How the NYC DOE is Failing Students with Disabilities

Data for [School Year] 2016 –17 contained in this report shows promising movement toward ensuring that students are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate for their individual needs. This is a statement from the New York City Department of Education’s  most recent Annual Report on Special Education, which boasts of the “substantial improvement” and… Continue reading Wesley’s Story, Part 3: “This Is A Bigger Issue Than Wesley,” or How the NYC DOE is Failing Students with Disabilities

Blog

My Sister’s Battle With Mental Illness Taught Me Never to Stand for Pretense.

Today is the last day of Mental Health Awareness Month so I’m sharing this story of my younger sister Carla. A different version appeared on New Jersey Left Behind and this one was first published at Education Post. My parents, Jerry and Emily, had three daughters. I’m the oldest, followed by Carla two years later, and… Continue reading My Sister’s Battle With Mental Illness Taught Me Never to Stand for Pretense.

Blog · Finding the Right School · School Choice

Wesley’s Story, Part II: “You’re Telling Me That a Child in a Wheelchair Would Be Denied a Ramp?”

Back in February I interviewed Kim Williams Clark about her heroic efforts to create an inclusive education for her son Wesley, a lively, loving, and artistic nine-year-old with Down Syndrome. When the family lived in Montclair, New Jersey, Wesley was fully included with his typical peers. The family’s move to Brooklyn Heights was based on… Continue reading Wesley’s Story, Part II: “You’re Telling Me That a Child in a Wheelchair Would Be Denied a Ramp?”

Blog

Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

This is a guest blog from my husband, John Dukes. You’ve read his writing before in an ongoing series here at NYST entitled “Letters from John.” Throughout the series, John speaks poignantly, passionately, and truthfully about his journey along the school-to-prison pipeline. John is currently incarcerated and is enrolled in Mercy College. He had an assignment… Continue reading Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

School Choice

My Son Has Autism and This School Taught Him to Say ‘Mom’

(This is a guest post by Violet Stevens, a 44-year-old mom of four living in the Bronx, New York City. Her youngest child, Niko, is on the spectrum. She has two passions, autism awareness and God. It was originally published at Education Post.) At 5, my son, Niko, was still in diapers. He didn’t know… Continue reading My Son Has Autism and This School Taught Him to Say ‘Mom’

Accountability · Blog · Finding the Right School · School Choice

“As A Parent, You Want to Cry. As A Lawyer, You Want to Sue.” A Special Needs Mom Fights for Her Son’s Inclusion in his Brooklyn School.

Nine-year-old Wesley Clark is a fourth-grader at PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights. He and his family were recently profiled in the New York Post, which described PS 8 as a “supposedly progressive” public school “that talks a good game about inclusion but is purposely neglecting their child to try to get him to leave.”  Could this… Continue reading “As A Parent, You Want to Cry. As A Lawyer, You Want to Sue.” A Special Needs Mom Fights for Her Son’s Inclusion in his Brooklyn School.