Posts tagged "special education reform"
September 5, 2012
Most classrooms were set up and schedules finalized at M.S. 223 in the Bronx this morning, 24 hours before students would arrive for the first day of school.
But teachers still needed to meet to review the lesson plans they are aligning to the state’s new curriculum standards, the Common Core. As they finished their breakfast and got to work, they were joined by Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and his top deputy, Shael Polakow-Suransky, on the first of their two school visits today.
Walcott gave the teachers a quick pep talk before sitting in on their training sessions. But he cautioned that the school’s past successes — which include a strong arts program, summer classes, and a New York Times Magazine profile — were not enough.
“I think this is a tremendous school. You’ve had major accomplishments,” Walcott said. “We need to make sure we model what you’re doing and also improve on that performance as well.”
Like all city schools, M.S. 223 is contending with the new standards, looming changes to state tests, and citywide special education reforms aimed at better integrating students with disabilities.
Today, the teachers focused on a small piece of the sweeping changes: developing performance tasks, or assessments that reflect the Common Core’s emphasis on real-world applications of classroom learning. (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…)