What to look for in a school

News and views on special ed

  • Child born in 2010? Here's how to apply to kindergarten

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    If you have a child born in 2010, now is the time to be thinking about kindergarten: Applications are due between Jan. 7 and Feb. 13. You may apply online, on the telephone or in person at a Department of Education Family Welcome Center (formerly known as an enrollment office). You'll find out in April where your child has been assigned. Unlike pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds, full-day kindergarten is guaranteed—and required—for all children who turn 5…
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  • Specialized schools take center stage at hearing on diversity

    Written by Gail Robinson
    The New York City Council took up the issue of racial segregation in the city's public schools today, but concern about the lack of diversity at eight schools—the academically elite specialized high schools that admit students solely on the basis of one exam—all but drowned out discussion about 1,700 other schools. Most of the debate at the education committee hearing centered around a nonbinding resolution, offered by City Councilwoman Inez Barron, calling for the state government…
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  • Parents, advocates call for guidelines for city's new community schools

    Written by Chalkbeat
    (Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Patrick Wall on December 10, 2014)   The same advocates who helped convince the de Blasio administration to saturate dozens of needy schools with support services now want to make sure the city pulls off its plan. Even as they applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio for promising to convert 128 schools into service-rich “community schools,” they urged the city on Wednesday to adopt formal guidelines to make sure the schools…
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  • Students say segregated schools 'root of problem'

    Written by DNAinfo
    (This article is excerpted from DNAinfo.com.) When Samantha Ramos walks the hallways of her South Bronx high school, nearly all the faces she sees are Latino or black. Samantha, 15, is a student at the Bronx Academy of Letters on Morris Avenue, where last year just 2 percent of the 584 students were white or Asian. She has recently been thinking a lot about diversity in the wake of the Ferguson, Mo., shooting of an…
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  • Keep exam, say specialized high school alums

    Written by Gail Robinson
    Offer more test prep. Give all 7th-graders a practice exam and allow 8th- and 9th-grade test-takers more time to complete the competitive specialized high school exam known as the SHSAT. Those are among the proposals that a coalition of graduates of the city's eight specialized high schools that use the SHSAT sent this week to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. With the City Council slated to take up the issue of the future of the exam…
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  • Applying to middle school? Our advice & our picks

    Written by Laura Zingmond
    Busy is the family that has a 5th- and 8th-grader: middle school and high school applications are both due on the same day, Dec. 2! If you are a parent of a 5th-grader, this may be your first experence with school choice.  Options and selection methods vary greatly from district to district. Some districts have mostly zoned schools, others have none and some have a combination. It can be hard for families to figure out.…
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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