What to look for in a school

News and views on special ed

  • College Counselor: Why does college cost so much?

    Written by Dr. Jane S. Gabin
    Q: Over the summer, we took our daughter to visit a number of colleges. We saw a lot of impressive things: beautiful buildings, nice dorms, modern labs, and so forth. But the cost! We have heard our friends telling us how much college is costing them, but we never actually realized it until now. The cost of going to college is more than many people even make in a year! Why is it so expensive?…
  • School registration centers for new students open Sept. 1–18

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    Students who are new to New York City public schools, or who are re-entering city schools after a time away, can enroll in school at temporary registration centers set up across the city beginning Sept. 1. The centers are open Monday–Friday, 8 am–3 pm through Sept. 18, with the exception of Sept. 7, Labor Day, and Sept. 14-15 for Rosh Hashanah. Family Welcome Centers will be closed until Sept. 21. All high school students as…
  • Harlem parents blast District 5 superintendent

    Written by Clara Hemphill
    For years, central Harlem's public schools have been among the worst in the city—and parents have felt powerless to do anything about it. Now, activist parents in District 5 are organizing to demand change. Community Education Council meetings in District 5—once sleepy, sparsely attended events—have become a forum for parents' anger over the state of their schools. "Parents realize that they have a voice," said Rashidah White, a District 5 parent and former president of CEC…
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  • 2015 test scores released; parents can find them online

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    New York City students performed slightly better on state standardized tests in 2015 than they did in 2014, but about two-thirds of test-takers in grades 3–8 still failed to meet state standards on either the ELA (English language arts) or math tests, according to figures released by the state education department today. The so-called "opt-out" movement gained momentum this year with nearly 2 percent of eligible New York City students refusing to take the tests, the…
  • Last-minute pre-k search? See best bets in Brooklyn

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    As September looms and school waitlists clear (or don't), many Brooklyn families with rising pre-kindergartners approach a time of reckoning. Maybe you’ve been holding out for a popular neighborhood program but the waitlist hasn’t budged, maybe you just moved to a new area, or maybe something about the program your child was assigned to doesn’t feel quite right. Have hope, Brooklynites: Established programs have expanded in the borough, while many religious schools, child care centers…
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  • Still looking for pre-k? Here are our picks

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    There are still pre-kindergarten seats available for the fall—not just in public schools but also in religious schools, child care centers and community organizations. Some of the most popular programs are seriously oversubscribed, and there is a shortage of seats in some neighborhoods (such as the Upper West Side and Bayside, Queens.) Still, it doesn't hurt to put your name on a waitlist at a popular program while you check out others. Families who applied…
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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