Posts tagged "corinne rello-anselmi"
March 14, 2013
Three years after launching an effort to integrate more students with special needs in mainstream classrooms, the Department of Education has some news about the initiative’s effects.
The department today released data showing that students with special needs in schools that participated in the first phase of the initiative saw their test scores improve more than students with disabilities at similar schools that were not in the program. Their attendance rates rose and suspension rates fell more than the students with disabilities at similar schools, too.
And as the initiative expanded citywide this year, students frequently moved to less restrictive classroom settings in sixth and ninth grade, the years where the department required schools to serve all eligible students, regardless of their disability.
The information partially satisfied special education advocates, who are on board with the goals of the city’s reforms but have been clamoring for more data about the reforms’ impact for more than a year.
“From what I am seeing here it looks like there are positive trends — but I’m not seeing everything here that I want to,” said Maggie Moroff, who heads the ARISE Coalition of advocates. (more…)
September 21, 2012
Two weeks into the school year, fears about the rollout of special education reforms are turning into reality at some schools, according to parents and teachers from Upper Manhattan who met with the Department of Education’s top special education official Thursday evening.
But the official, Corinne Rello-Anselmi, said she has “been holding feet to the fire” to make sure that students are getting what they need despite the changes, which are bringing more students with disabilities to neighborhood schools that have served few students with special needs in the past.
The sweeping reforms have been underway for two years now, but most schools are only seeing the changes take effect this year. They were designed help schools integrate more students with learning disabilities into general education classrooms, and in the process bring the city up to speed with research that shows that special education students are more successful when they learn alongside students without disabilities.
Parents, educators, and advocates have warned that the department might be moving too fast and giving schools too little help to make the seismic changes. And at a meeting on Thursday of the Citywide Council on Special Education, a parent group that the city is required to support, some parents and educators said their experiences so far suggested that the warnings were well founded.
Yadira Cruz, a public school teacher and the mother of a sixth grader who has Asperger syndrome, said she sent her daughter to middle school at P.S. 187 in Washington Heights this year expecting the school to meet her daughter’s needs. Her daughter’s Individualized Education Plan calls for her to be in a small class composed exclusively of students with special needs.
But Cruz said her daughter was placed instead into a larger class that contains both students with disabilities and students without special needs. And a week into the school year, P.S. 187 started asking her to find another school, Cruz told Rello-Anselmi, even though she said the options for transferring at this stage in the year are limited. (more…)
July 20, 2012
The new head of special education at the Department of Education thinks long-planned reforms to the way city schools educate students with special needs are likely to be “very rocky” when they roll out this fall.
But Corinne Rello-Anselmi believes that not making radical changes would be far more damaging.
That’s what she told a group of parents who sit on a special education advisory board Thursday evening. It was Rello-Anselmi’s formal introduction to the board, the Citywide Council on Special Education, since taking over this month as deputy chancellor of special education and English language learning.
She replaces Laura Rodriguez, the first person to hold that position. Under Rodriguez’s leadership, the city launched sweeping reforms designed to integrate students with disabilities into classroom settings alongside their peers.
Those reforms have been underway in some schools for two years. But for most schools, the changes are taking effect only this year, bringing a new level of scrutiny to the special education deputy position. (more…)
June 12, 2012
After months of waiting to hear the results of a pilot program for the city’s special education reforms, many advocates hoped they would finally get some answers today at a City Council hearing. But when Department of Education officials sat down to testify, there were few revelations.
It’s not that the DOE was witholding any new information. It was just that no such data yet existed, said Laura Rodriguez, the outgoing Deputy Chancellor of Special Education.
Rodriquez said they had so far collected data for only a couple of measures – such as attendance and the rate of movement of students with special needs into general education settings – and that they hadn’t focused on other key metrics. Advocates say that other important measures of success include suspension rates and parent surveys. (more…)
April 16, 2012
The Department of Education’s first-ever deputy chancellor for special education and English language learners is stepping down.
Laura Rodriguez will leave the department at the end of June after 34 years working in the school system, Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced today. He has appointed Corinne Rello-Anselmi, a 33-year veteran who currently heads a branch of the department’s school support structure, to replace Rodriguez. Rello-Anselmi began her career as a special education teacher and was briefly a deputy chancellor for special education after serving as principal of P.S. 108 in the Bronx.
Then-Chancellor Joel Klein created the position, which supervises the instruction of about a quarter of a million children, in 2009 after department officials concluded a months-long review of the city’s special education practices. Rodriguez, whose background was in supporting ELLs, was charged with integrating students with special needs into city schools. Under her leadership, the department selected about 200 schools that would accommodate all students.
This fall, after a one-year delay, that pilot program is supposed to grow to include all city schools in a shift that some advocates and parents fear could be problematic for schools. The city has also proposed changing the way that schools are funded so that they have an incentive to spread students with special needs across all classrooms.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done between now and September to make that successful, so anyone coming in will have to jump right in,” said Maggie Moroff, coordinator of the ARISE Coalition of special education advocacy groups. Moroff said she was surprised by the news of Rodriguez’s retirement and had not met Rello-Anselmi during her monthly meetings with Rodriguez and other department officials. (more…)