Posts tagged "transparency report"
June 8, 2012
Advocates for students with disabilities who have been defending the Department of Education’s special education reforms in the face of mounting criticism are coming to the end of their rope.
They have been calling on the city for years to integrate more students with special needs in mainstream classrooms and were cautiously optimistic in 2010 when the department launched a pilot aimed at doing just that.
But two years into the pilot, with the ambitious initiative set to scale citywide this fall, no one outside of the Department of Education has any solid idea how the initiative has worked so far. Even after extending the pilot for a year, the department has released scant information about what has happened to the schools and students involved in it.
“We’ve been asking for more information forever, essentially,” said Maggie Moroff, who heads the ARISE Coalition of special education advocates, which this week sent a letter of concern to top department officials.
Details have come out in dribs and drabs. One slideshow that department officials have presented shows that attendance and test scores for students with special needs in the pilot schools did not improve. The data points the department touts most often is that students in the pilot schools were referred to special education less frequently and moved into less restrictive environments more often than in comparable schools not participating in the pilot.
But those data points say only that schools did what they were asked to do: aim for placing fewer students in special education classes, for less time. When it comes to more complex and, according to advocates and special education experts, more meaningful data points, the department has been mum. (more…)
March 7, 2012
A bill that the City Council passed to make government more accountable will be a useful weapon for those who advocate releasing teachers’ ratings to the public.
That’s what Mayor Bloomberg said today as he signed the bill into law at City Hall. The law, sponsored by 21 council members and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, requires the city to make incrementally more data available each year until 2018, when all city data will have to be posted to a single online warehouse and made available to researchers and members of the public. (more…)