If you are the parent of a child with special education needs, you face unique challenges every day. One of them is ensuring that your child gets a good education. The law ostensibly is on your side in this regard. The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act states clearly that special needs children are entitled to "free appropriate public education."
There will not be easier testing for New York children in grades 4-8. Several weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Education rejected a request by the New York Education Department that would have allowed some students with disabilities to advance if they passed tests showing mastery of curriculum that was up to two levels below their actual grades.
Every industry has its jargon. Education is no exception. Many is the kindergarten parent, we're sure, who heard at their first parent-teacher meeting that their child was "very social." What does that mean? Is my child gregarious and outgoing (something I might consider a good thing)? Or does it mean the child never shuts up (something less than ideal)?
Just because some students have identifiable disabilities doesn't mean they are incapable of learning. Indeed, experts estimate nearly 90 percent of students with disabilities can obtain a high school diploma and be set to go onto college or a career. Many do not, data suggests, because they lack needed support throughout the school and work continuum.
The Education Department announced that it has scrapped 72 documents that provide policy guidelines for working with special needs students and students with disabilities. The documents included guidelines for the rights of special-needs students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
Charter schools are public schools. They may have somewhat different programs or a specific focus that traditional schools do not, but they still have to comply with the same legal rules. That means they have to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504, the Americans With Disabilities Act and other state and federal civil rights laws.
In an annual review this summer, the U.S. Department of Education found that only 22 states could be awarded the "meets requirements" designation for providing all services required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA.
New York City’s department of education is under scrutiny for alleged information mismanagement issues, particularly regarding specialized educational services.