Posts tagged "SESIS"
April 30, 2013
The city doled out $38.5 million in back pay to schools staff who were wrongly required to work overtime on a buggy special education data system, according to payment details released today by the education department.
Nearly 30,000 therapists, special education teachers, paraprofessionals, guidance counselors, social workers and psychologists received the overtime payments this month after an independent arbitrator ruled in January that the Department of Education violated the United Federation of Teachers’ contract. The first round of payments, on April 12, totaled $2.6 million for 1,700 occupational and physical therapists and the second and final payment — $35.9 million — went out to the rest of employees today.
The total number of educators who qualified for overtime far exceeded UFT’s estimates, which hovered at around 10,000. The UFT filed the labor complaint in mid-2011, charging that staff should not have been required to work outside of their contractual school day. (more…)
January 3, 2013
Teachers who worked outside of their regular school day to enter information in the Department of Education’s special education data system last year will get paid for their time, according to a labor decision announced today.
After teachers told the United Federation of Teachers that using the new system to record information about their everyday activities was burdensome, the union filed an official complaint in mid-2011. An arbitrator heard the union’s case and the Department of Education’s defense on 19 dates between December 2011 and October 2012 before concluding that the department’s implementation violated the union’s contract.
“After the longest arbitration in UFT history, the independent arbitrator, Jay Siegel, today concluded that the workday provisions in our contract had been violated,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew wrote in a letter to other union officials late today.
The city was permitted to introduce the system, called the Special Education Student Information System, without the union’s consent, Siegel decided. But he ruled that it was wrong to require educators to record their encounters with students when doing so required them to work outside of their contractual school day. (more…)
November 29, 2011
The special education data system that has teachers and parents frustrated carries a $79 million price tag — and wasn’t even tailor-made for the city schools.
That’s according to a report by Ruth Ford and Adrienne Day about the Department of Education’s contracting practices in the current issue of City Limits, the magazine of the nonprofit Community Service Society of New York.
The year-old Special Education Student Information System, or SESIS, was meant to make information about students with disabilities more accessible. But its rollout has been bumpy, with school staff and union officials complaining that using the system is burdensome.
Tracing SESIS’s origins, the City Limits report characterizes the system as “neither an unbridled success nor a total failure” but rather a symptom of the DOE’s reliance on private contractors to solve local problems — a practice that DOE officials said could soon see greater quality control.
From the article:
The DOE put out a request for proposals for a new system and got several bids. The Virginia-based consulting company Maximus won the contract. (more…)
October 19, 2011
A new special education data system isn’t as bad as its critics say, Chancellor Dennis Walcott told Bronx parents Tuesday night.
The chancellor acknowledged that the Special Education Student Information System was earning “mixed reactions” from educators, but he downplayed concerns that it was a “systemic” problem.
The web‐based system was created to track information about students with disabilities and is being rolled out this year, to massive complaints. Over the summer, SESIS was blamed for leaving some special needs students without school seats. Now, teachers are saying the system is extremely burdensome to use. As a compliance deadline approached last week, the union blasted the DOE for its “total incompetence” in managing the system rollout. In a separate email, UFT Secretary Michael Mendel called SESIS a “systemic problem that is affecting almost everyone who uses it in almost every school.”
Walcott voluntarily addressed those concerns and others last night at a meeting with District 7 parents in the Bronx. It was the first of many town hall‐style meetings that Walcott will host this year in accordance with a law that requires the chancellor to visit each of the city’s 33 districts in a two‐year period.
At this meeting, held at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, Walcott answered questions about budget cuts, school closures, absent teacher reserve deployments, and class sizes. He brought SESIS up on his own. (more…)
October 14, 2011
The teachers union is telling its members that the Department of Education’s expectations around a new special education data system are “unconscionable.”
By tomorrow, teachers of students with special needs are supposed to enter information about them in a new data system, Special Education Student Information System (SESIS). But the system has been buggy since it went online this summer, and teachers are complaining that they have too little training and time to enter the information by the deadline.
A letter to UFT members today urged teachers to push back against unreasonable expectations.
“The problems related to SESIS are not your fault, but are a result of the DOE’s total incompetence in managing the school system as a whole and this initiative in particular,” said UFT Secretary Michael Mendel in a letter sent to teachers today. “We recognize your hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, the people in charge of the school system, your employer, do not. They do not value your dedication and commitment to your students.”
The union is encouraging teachers to let their supervisors know that the requirements are too burdensome and to track the time they spend grappling with SESIS. Teachers are also being encouraged to file grievances if they are told to enter data into SESIS outside of their work day or if they are punished for not meeting the data entry deadline. (more…)
May 20, 2011
Bumps in rolling out new special education rules are holding up crucial assessments of the city’s youngest students, advocates say.
Consequences could be severe if the assessments aren’t completed by the June 15 deadline. Students who don’t receive placements by that date but do need special education services are entitled to full reimbursement of private school tuition dollars, according to state law.
That’s not likely to happen: Even in a typical year there aren’t enough private school placements for all the students who are entitled to them. But the crunch does suggest the city faces difficulties in cutting its growing expenditures on private school special education placements, which Mayor Bloomberg complained last year costs the city $100 million annually.
Months into the rollout of a set of special education reforms meant in part to integrate disabled children into their neighborhood schools, advocates report that the city is scrambling to evaluate children with special needs who will be entering kindergarten this fall.
“It’s going to be really difficult to get things into place for a large number of families of students who are going to come into kindergarten next year,” said Maggie Moroff, the coordinator of the ARISE Coalition, which supports special education advocates. (more…)