Special Attention to Special Education
Once again special education is in the news. After spending approximately
$350,000 on a study researched and written by Thomas Hehir
of Harvard University, is it still plausible that all this
so-called educational team at Tweed could justifiably say
is that, two years into their reorganization of special education
services, they are “headed in the right direction”?
four pages of the report were devoted to the stated goals
of Tweed and more than 90 pages were filled with the things
they have done incorrectly. Sad that they do not have enough
respect for the children who are not getting adequate and
appropriate services to get off their unacceptable excuse
in the right direction” makes it okay. While they are
fiddling around with Schools Attuned, special education is
burning to the ground.
and Assistant Principals have been given the responsibility
of determining the appropriateness of the instructional and
behavioral strategies used in their classrooms.
They are accountable
for education issues about which, in most instances, they have
little or no knowledge. With the elimination of school-based
Supervisors of Special Education and Supervisors of Social
Work how is a Principal to make strong instructional determinations?
Individualized Education Program teachers have, by their own
admission, taken up some of the duties of the missing personnel,
but they are unable to observe, evaluate and implement necessary
for inclusion classes, my understanding of the term is that
inclusion is a model recommended for individual students
who could benefit from instruction in general education classes
with the appropriate support services. I didn’t know that one needed to have
a designated “inclusion class” in which a group
of special education students would be assigned to a general
education class with a reduced register and there would be
team-teaching by a general and special education teacher. Oops!
Pardon me if I got it all wrong!
Even the report
found the practices in some
of these so-called “inclusion classes” to be less
have saved the $38 million they will need to spend to rectify
the 90-plus pages of bad stuff and the $350,000 for the study
if they had bothered talking to any one of us in the field.
If they had any respect for the experts whom they employ, they
would have consulted with them as they reorganized city services
for special education students. They might have avoided some
of the problems which have arisen that have further deprived
children of an appropriate education!
CSA has reached
out to the experts in the field, our members. We will be releasing
a report of our own on Special Education in the near future.
Keep checking the CSA website at www.csa-nyc.org for details.#
is the President of the Council of School Supervisors and