Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tweed Ineptitude Extended to Special Ed

Jeez. Can they get anything right? From parent Patricia Connelly to NYC Education Listserve to Patrick Sullivan, Manhattan rep on the Panel for Education Policy. Meeting this Monday, Jan.26 6pm at Tweed. (Sign up for speaking time at 5:30.)

Regents Vice Chancellor Meryl Tisch showed up unexpectedly at our CCSE (Citywide Council on Special Education) monthly public meeting this evening which was held at PS 77 in Brooklyn this evening.

She actively questioned D75 Superintendent Bonnie Brown and CCSE members regarding our feelings/impressions/views about Klein's latest reorganization announcements -- especially Garth Harries' new charge to conduct a system-wide "efficiency and efficacy" review of special education and related services.

Bonnie was more diplomatic than CCSE members, aka John, Ellen & I, were about what all this might bode. I repeated the CCSE call to appoint a "cabinet-level" deputy chancellor (an actual educator with the necessary expertise) to be accountable for special education throughout the system regardless of setting, classification or mandate.

Vice Chancellor Tisch reiterated her claim that she asked Bloom-Klein for this 7 years ago! She also said that she would call on Tweed to convene a special meeting with the CCSE, D75, and other special ed parent advocates with Harries and Eric Nadelstern to discuss the review and the latest reorganization before matters went much further.

We also made it a matter of public record that we did not feel that Klein was serious about "improving" education and services for our special needs students because he had asked Garth Harries to undertake this latest review -- someone who is not an educator by training, has absolutely no experience with special education issues and, in fact, allowed many new "small schools" to open on his watch with no special education infrastructure or plans in place to meet the needs of the students who would inevitably would need such support and services.

John and I plan to attend Monday's PEP meeting on Monday to address our latest concerns with Tweed's ineptitude (to put the matter politely) when it comes to our most vulnerable and needy students.

As always, thanks for all your efforts!

Patricia Connelly

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