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

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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.

Finding the Right School · School Choice

A “Polite Cousin” of Hypocrisy

(This is a guest post by Pete Cook which originally appeared on his blog, “Retort: Correcting the Record on Education Reform.” Pete became involved in education reform in New Orleans Public Schools as a 2002 Teach For America corps member and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP and the Recovery School District.)… Continue reading A “Polite Cousin” of Hypocrisy

Accountability · Blog

New York State — Once Again — Tries to Lower Expectations for Students with Disabilities

Both the New York Times and Chalkbeat report today on the New York State Board of Regents’ decision late yesterday to further lower the bar for students with disabilities. This past September the New York State Board of Regents requested a waiver from the requirements of  the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA). According to our… Continue reading New York State — Once Again — Tries to Lower Expectations for Students with Disabilities

Accountability

A Personal Story: Why NYS’s Special Education Waiver Is Bad for Kids

When my son Jonah was a few months shy of three years old, our Central New Jersey school district, which had no appropriate programs for a toddler with multiple disabilities, sent him to a county preschool handicapped program. My husband and I were new to the world of special education (our three older children are… Continue reading A Personal Story: Why NYS’s Special Education Waiver Is Bad for Kids