Sunday, January 29, 2012
Well, Well, Even Chancellor Walcott, Has Finally Admitted That The Small & Screened Schools Did Not Take Their Share Of Students With Disabilities.
After years of Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellors Klein/Black/Walcott ignoring the very obvious statistics that showed that the small and screened schools excluded many students with disabilities and English Language Learners, the Chancellor is now facing the inconvenient truth that the Mayor's favored schools have failed to represent the communities they reside in. The Chancellor has issued an email that all schools, except the specialized schools, will have a student body that reflects the neighborhood they are located in. According to a New York Daily News article, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, has emailed the principals and told the small and screened schools that if their student body does not reflect the neighborhood the DOE will do it for them.
It is about time that the Chancellor addresses the inequalities associated with the school selection process. Why should the DOE be allowed to dump the many students with disabilities and English Language Learners in a school and then claim that the school is "failing"? If the Chancellor is serious (I suspect it will be all talk and no action, just like the cheating scandal) maybe this will level the playing field and stop the DOE from targeting the few remaining large comprehensive schools. If the Chancellor forces the principals to take their fair share of students with disabilities, will he also require that the amount of self-contained students are also proportional to the neighborhood schools? Knowing Tweed, I highly doubt that will be the case.
I suspect that the principals of the small and screened schools will take only those students who need "resource room" and are reasonably well behaved (still screened). The DOE will than look the other way when parents of self-contained students with disabilities find that their children were excluded from the schools and complain. All the while the Chancellor will falsely claim that his edict was followed and the schools represent the communities they reside in.
Success for the Chancellor as he made sure students with disabilities are accepted in the small and screened schools. Success for the small and screened schools as they take no self-contained students and limited amount of English Language Learners. Success for the DOE as they fool the mass media time and again with their phony student placement policy. However, a failure as the self-contained students with disabilities and English Language Learners who have serious educational needs are still excluded from these schools and are dumped in large numbers to schools targeted for closing in the near future.
To me it will end up as just another example of Tweed's "children last" policy. Especially, when it concerns the most needy of the students in the public school system.