Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The Bloomberg Small Schools Are Doing A Disservice To Self Contained Special Education Students.
There have been pros and cons when breaking up large comprehensive high school and make three to six small schools on the campus. The pros would be closer relationship between students and staff, assuming staff stays at the school which is problematic. A higher graduation rate (but not college readiness) and a more focused student centered environment. The cons are limited course curricula, high teacher turnover and usually an inexperienced teaching staff in low income communities, and .lack of resources for the neediest of students. However, the biggest negative are those Special Education students who need a self-contained environment. Be it 12-1-1 or 8-1-1. Instead most of the Bloomberg small high schools have no self-contained classrooms and these Special Education students are dumped into a ICT classes with class sizes as high as 34 students.
The DOE will claim that they are mandated to put Special Education students in the "least restrictive environment" but many students need a self contained classroom, where he or she gets more intensive academic and behavioral support. This is just another example of the DOE's "education on the cheap" policy at the expense of the Special Education student.
Ask any teacher at the high school level how many potential self-contained Special Education students will pass the end of year Regents. How about close to zero! Yet, the Bloomberg small schools dumped these high needs students in ICT classes of up to 34 students.
The villain is the DOE and their "no excuses" philosophy when it comes to the teacher evaluation system and combined with their "education on the cheap" policy and you have a recipe for failure and that's what happens in school after schools in the small school universe in New York City.
The bottom line is that the DOE treats self-contained Special Education students a disservice when they dumped them in ICT classes. For these "high needs" students the DOE's child last policy hurts their academic achievement.