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
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
Students with special needs are among some of the most vulnerable in our school communities. Providing them with instruction that fails to prepare them for the real world that they are about to enter is despicable. If you are a special education teacher or a general education teacher, it is imperative that you hold yourself… Continue reading Accommodate Work for Special Ed Students — Don’t Dumb It Down!
My daughter struggled through much of 4th grade. She was put in Special Learning with a wonderful teacher who helped her catch up. We didn’t want all that progress to disappear over the summer. While some parents may have gone with a tutor, that wasn’t in our budget. Instead, we asked the school for workbooks… Continue reading Why Do I Make My Daughter Do Homework Over the Summer?
One of my four children has multiple disabilities because of a genetic mutation called Fragile X Syndrome and, while we’ve had disputes with our local school district, Jonah’s assorted services—speech and occupational therapy, modified course content and instruction, vocational training—always take place during the school day. Not so in one of the poorest sections of… Continue reading A Dead Canary in Hunts Point: “Vouchers” Instead of Special Education Services
A few days ago I was walking by a school and I heard what sounded like door alarms going off. Usually alarms indicate an alert to impending danger that creates a sense of urgency to protect oneself and others. In this case, however, everything (from the outside looking in) appeared to be business as usual.… Continue reading Remembering Avonte Oquendo
This is a guest post by Felecia Brown Butler. Felecia was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is a dedicated mother of three beautiful sons and a fierce advocate for her community and great schools for all children. When my son was in Kindergarten, he didn’t seem to be learning like the other children.… Continue reading Dear NAACP: This Charter School Embraced My Son After a Traditional School Tried To Push Him Out
In my eleven years as an educator, both in the States and abroad, I have always viewed my relationships with students as an indicator of student achievement. I truly enjoy growing and fostering relationships with each child, and think of it as an integral part of my teaching practice. Additionally, I have noticed that when… Continue reading “Home Is Where I Feel Safe and This Classroom is Home to Me”
“Museums are boring!” And, “at least we get to go to the park for lunch.” These are the refrains I have heard over the years from students before going on a field trip to a museum. While the middle school where I teach is in Manhattan and most of the students reside there, many have… Continue reading Day At The Museum? This Teacher Turns Boredom To Excitement
Two days before Christmas, seven-year-old Ka’veon Wilson came to class at P.S. 194 in Harlem with a tray of cupcakes for his classmates. His teacher, Osman Couey, shoved him out the door and locked it. Ka’veon, a special education student, started banging on the door to get back in. School psychologist Steven Castiglia heard the… Continue reading A Teacher Tosses a Seven-Year-Old Out the Door and Keeps His Job?