Friday, June 8, 2012

The DOE Special Education Passover Plot

Thou shalt not put SPED or ELLs in charters
The LORD BLOOMBERG said to his knave Dennis Walcott, "Yet one plague more I will bring upon the public schools. I deem neighborhood public schools shall accept all children with special needs whilst I deny them adequate resources to service such needs.” 

June 8, 2012 -- Norm in The Wave --

The DOE Special Education Passover Plot
By Norm Scott

The LORD BLOOMBERG said to his knave Dennis Walcott, "Yet one plague more I will bring upon the public schools. I deem neighborhood public schools shall accept all children with special needs whilst I deny them adequate resources to service such needs.” And Walcott said, "Thus says the LORD BLOOMBERG. I will go forth in the midst of the public schools and all of them shall die (eventually), especially those with the most senior and highest paid teachers. But against any of the people of charter schools, either man or beast, not a dog shall growl; that you may know that the LORD BLOOMBERG makes a distinction between the evil unionized public schools and the good non-unionized charter schools.”

And the LORD BLOOMBERG thus saith to his servant Walcott: “Tell every charter school to take the leg of a lamb and smear the blood of doth lamb on the doorpost, so the angel of death of the public schools shall know to pass IEPs over the charter school and not deposit even one child with an IEP (or English Language Learner either) in saith charter school.

"And parents of children in classes with high class sizes shall be mixed with such children that require more intense help than they shall receiveth and thus overburdened teachers shall not be able to give such attention to all children and parents of such children shall get perturbed and blame and degrade and defame such public schools and seek out charter schools while I send my knave Walcott to smite such public schools into closure and turn such buildings built with public funding into the hands of doth privatizer charter school management organizations which shall taketh a 15% commission for services and make sure to pay extremely high salaries to all who run such charter schools. Thus I have spoken.”

And Walcott doth did as he was told, as he always doth does when LORD BLOOMBERG doth speak to him.

OK, so let’s get serious. The Bloomberg education destruction machine has ordained major changes in special education that will put special needs children in regular classrooms in neighborhood schools, but with little of the support they truly need, thus burdening classroom teachers and school administrators even further with even more responsibilities. Parents may even be pressured to support modifications of their children’s IEPs (Individual Education Plans mandated by law for children with special needs) that will lesson the services they really need.

I received this email from Mona Davids, who ironically heads an independent charter school parent advocacy group, NY Charter Parents Association (NYCPA).
We need your help and our teachers' help. DOE is implementing destructive, unproven special education "reforms" this September with no support for parents and teachers.

To summarize:
• The DOE is implementing special education reforms beginning this September that will deny children with IEP’s their mandated classes, services and support.
• The DOE is implementing these reforms forcing students with IEP’s to attend their neighborhood school even though the schools do not have enough trained, professional general & special education teachers and cannot provide the mandated classes, services and support required by law in the IEP’s.
• The DOE’s reforms will not improve student achievement because they do
not support research based effective practices.
• The DOE is decreasing the funding for full-time integrated co-teaching services and full-time special classes forcing principals to coerce parents to change their child’s IEP because they don’t have money to provide all mandated services and supports.
• The DOE is implementing these reforms without notifying all parents about these reforms affecting general education and special education students in September.
• The DOE is violating Special Education law and our most vulnerable children’s civil rights by sending students with disabilities into schools that are not prepared to meet their needs.

We need to get word out about these destructive reforms. It's not fair to our children and it's not fair to our teachers.

Supplement: since I wrote the column June 6, Mona has sent out more materials plus a comment from Loretta Prisco. First Loretta:

There are some significant points missing in the discussion of special ed. "reforms".
When Walcott visited D.31, I asked the following question:
The money follows the child. If a child's IEP mandates a 12:1:1 but there are only 7 children in the neighborhood school who need these services, how will the school pay for it?
The response: the situation "escalates" to the network leader. If the network leader cannot help, it "escalates" to the DOE.  To me, though not stated in the response,  that means that the network leader and DOE will tell them what to cut and how to change IEPs.  They never never said that funding would be given to meet the mandates.
If they continue to rate/punish/close schools as they do now, the idea is not a bad one.  For the most part, Special ed kids do not score as well as general ed. That is why they need services and are in special ed.!   When one school gets too many special ed. kids as some do now, their scores go way down. In addition, by necessity, because of labeling schools, the school often focuses on the learning and behaviors of special ed., and general ed is slighted. That was the case in almost every SURR school -their spec. ed. population was over 25%.  Superintendents did that to prevent the number of "failing" schools.  Limit the number of schools that have special ed in your district and you limit the number of "failing"schools. 
In addition, they will be able to cut teachers with "creative"programming. Program all of the kids in one class for mainstreaming in the same period and the teacher will be free.   Program all of a class for  SETSS in the same period and the teacher now has another "free"period. Send them to  related services during the same period and there is another "free" period.  Send them to chorus, art, lunch, gym without the self contained teacher.  This will loosen up the self contained teachers program and he/she can cover 3-5 self contained classes in a 12:1 or 8:1 setting in one day.  This can be done in larger elementary school, but more of a challenge.
And Mona:
Yet, the DOE is still moving forward. Unacceptable. Join us at our press conference demanding the DOE stop violating the rights of students with special needs. These "reforms" must be delayed until they've sorted the issues out. Parents should not be forced to change their child's IEP to suit the school budget!  Press conference June 12, 12 noon at City Hall.

 Daily News

ARISE Coalition says schools not prepared adequately for reforms involving students with special needs

System-wide effort in 2013 to move students with disabilities into mainstream classes


Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 10:26 PM

JEANNE NOONAN FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS A letter to Education officials from the ARISE Coalition says schools are not adequately prepared for reforms involving students with disabilities.

The city's overhaul of services for students with special needs is drawing criticism from advocates who fear crucial programs will be gutted, the Daily News has learned.
A letter to Education officials from the ARISE Coalition — which includes the teachers union and the Citywide Council on Special Education — says “schools . . . have not been prepared adequately” for the reforms.
Starting next school year, Education officials will mount a system-wide effort to move students with disabilities into mainstream classes.
Officials believe the push will result in better student outcomes. Just 30% of students with special needs graduated from city high schools on time last year — compared with 65% of students overall.
In the letter, ARISE Coordinator Maggie Moroff noted more than a dozen parents said their zoned schools may lack essential services for disabled kids next year. She said parents fear small, intensive classes exclusively for their kids could be cut.
The Education Department’s own analysis found that the reforms yielded “no statistically significant” improvement on state exams at 260 schools last year.
Still, spokeswoman Deidrea Miller said officials are confident the reforms will succeed.

No comments: