Entries by Ben Zapp

How School Culture and Support Systems Can Improve Disciplinary Outcomes for Students with Disabilities: Mott Haven Academy Charter School Case Study

By Lauren Morando Rhim, Stephanie Lancet | March, 2018 CRPE contracted with the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS) to conduct case studies on school models and practices that effectively serve students with special needs. This brief highlights how a New York City charter school is using a positive, inclusive environment and […]

To help students with disabilities transition to adulthood, New York City is opening new resource hubs in every borough

By Alex Zimmerman | December 7, 2017 For typical students, planning for life after high school is daunting — a blur of guidance counselors, college applications, or maybe a search for jobs or vocational programs. But for families with special-needs students, the process is even more complex. To help ease the burden, schools are legally […]

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged by civil rights, education groups to reject N.Y. education plan

By Ben Chapman | November 29, 2017 Seventeen of the nation’s most powerful civil rights and education groups called on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reject New York State’s public education plan because it shortchanges immigrants and students with disabilities. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 16 other groups, including the […]

Special education’s hidden racial gap

By Emmanuel Felton | November 25, 2017 WASHINGTON — At the age of 3, Tyrone Colson was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic abnormality that is often accompanied by developmental disabilities. Because of this diagnosis, an individualized education plan (IEP) — documents detailing Colson’s special needs, and a plan for how his school would help […]

To help students with physical disabilities navigate a maze of barriers, NYC releases new reports on high school accessibility

When Michelle Noris helped her son apply to public high schools, she knew the city’s directory would not be much use. Since her son, Abraham, uses a wheelchair and the city’s official list of over 400 high schools contains little information about physical infrastructure, Noris knew she’d have to make phone calls and set up visits to […]

New York City says testing waiver sought by state could lower standards for students with disabilities

New York State wants to allow some students with disabilities to take below-grade-level exams — a plan that special-education advocates opposed and New York City officials questioned, arguing that would lower the standards for those students. The state asked the federal education department in September for permission to give students with significant cognitive disabilities tests […]

A charter school models how the city can educate autistic children

The New York City Autism Charter School is, by its very existence, challenging the way both the city’s charter and district schools educate students with profound special needs. The school — which opened its second location in the South Bronx this fall for 12 children with moderate to severe autism — belies a common critique, […]

Bermudez: At NY Autism Charter School, Classroom Learning Is Just the Start

The NYC Autism Charter School might be the only public school in the city to set up shop in children’s homes. Teachers visit families to help students potty-train, eat more than one food, or take vacations — seemingly simple tasks that can be incredibly challenging for children with autism. For Carol Santiago, putting her then-5-year-old son Ralphie to […]

Special Ed Kids Deserve a First-Class Education. Top Charter Networks Must Give It to Them

Charter management organizations have revolutionized education in New York City. Will they do the same for special education? In New York City, charter management organizations like KIPP, Uncommon Schools, Achievement First, Democracy Prep, and Success Academy have raised the bar for public schools in low-income communities. Each of these organizations was founded to address the […]