What to look for in a school

News and views on special ed

  • What's new with dual language?

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    Are you interested in your child learning a new language or solidifying his French or Spanish, or maybe Japanese? The city just added 40 new or expanded programs to its roster of more than 100 dual language programs and changed how incoming kindergartners apply. Here's what you need to know. Because the majority of the city's dual language programs begin in kindergarten, if you've got a child born in 2010, you need to apply now. Applications for…
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  • Will new DOE structure mean fewer runarounds for parents?

    Written by Clara Hemphill
    Don't expect miracles anytime soon, but the new organization of schools announced by schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Thursday may spell the beginning of the end to one of parents' most frustrating dilemmas: what to do when you can't get a problem resolved at your school.Under Mayor Mike Bloomberg's organization of the school system, if your principal couldn't—or wouldn't—fix a problem, you were pretty much out of luck. Principals were "empowered," which means they didn't have…
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  • Don't blame the Common Core

    Written by Aimee Sabo
    If the Common Core were a person, I think we could be friends. I’d call her CeeCee and take her out for a drink. She needs it. I imagine CeeCee sobbing on my shoulder, saying something like, “I’m just trying to give all our kids a fair shot. Really I am!” Poor CeeCee. She means well and I think she got a lot more right than anyone is willing to admit, but we’re all just…
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  • New FAFSA guide for students (& adults who help them!)

    Written by Insideschools staff
    Filling out the FAFSA form is the first step for most students seeking financial support to go to college. But the form can be complicated and intimidating, particularly for students who are new to the country or the first in their family to go to college. To help, the Center for New York City Affairs, home of Insideschools.org, has released a third edition of its popular book: FAFSA: The How-To Guide for High School Students…
  • Common Core leads to uncommon jargon in kindergarten

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    At the teacher's prompting, a kindergartner at PS 251 in Queens tries to define "text evidence" for the rest of the class. "Test ed-i-dence," says the 5-year-old, tripping over the unfamiliar words, "is something when you say the word and show the picture." "Text evidence"? What's with this incomprehensible jargon in kindergarten? This fall, I visited over a dozen elementary schools and saw firsthand how hard teachers are working to meet the new Common Core…
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  • HS Hustle: Finally, cell phone ban lifted; no more calls to "come and get it"

    Written by Liz Willen
    Now that bringing cell phones to school will soon be OK, the calls I dread are finally about to stop. "Hello, we have your son's cell phone,'' a voice from his high school says. "We had to confiscate it because he was using it. You can pick it up between 4 and 4:30 pm today." Routinely, the next call comes minutes later from my son, using a friend's cell phone. He'll be begging me to drop…
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About Special Education

  • What is special education?

    If your child is having trouble in school, he may need help from a teacher with special training. This extra help is called special education. It’s free, and your child has a right to it under federal law. The public school system has a range… Read more and watch video
  • Noteworthy special education: elementary schools

    These programs were recommended by special education advocates, parents’ groups, university researchers and Insideschools staffers. We looked for schools with high academic standards (reflected by better-than-average test scores); that treat all children kindly; and that serve a substantial number of special needs students. This list… Read more
  • Noteworthy special education: middle schools

    These programs were recommended by special education advocates, parents’ groups, university researchers and Insideschools staffers. We looked for schools that have high academic standards (often reflected by better-than-average test scores); that treat all children kindly; and that serve a substantial number of special needs students.… Read more
  • Noteworthy special education: high schools

    We picked a few schools that have long history of success with special needs students. We also highlight new schools that have a promising approach, even if they are too new to have solid results. Not every school works for every child, and finding a… Read more