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July 16, 2018
Tell us your stories about children with special needs in Detroit
Chalkbeat Detroit is teaming up with the Detroit Parent Network to hear your special needs stories
July 10, 2018
Tennessee loses a behind-the-scenes education operative
After 25 years in Tennessee education, Kathleen Airhart steps down as the state’s deputy education commissioner and chief operating officer.
July 10, 2018
Success Academy parents accuse New York City of denying, delaying special education services in new lawsuit
The New York City education department is accused of routinely delaying and denying special education services to Success Academy students in the Bronx,…
regulation roll back
July 3, 2018
DeVos presses pause on special education rule, highlighting ongoing discrimination debate
The Department of Education halted a rule designed to stop students of color from being over-identified as having a disability wading into a complicated research dispute
How I Teach
July 3, 2018
How this Chicago special ed teacher is combating “compassion fatigue” and restoring the fun
How do teachers captivate their students? Welcome to Chalkbeat Chicago’s first installment of How I Teach, a feature in which we ask great…
June 20, 2018
A parent hotline is among fixes promised for special education in Detroit schools
It is a stunning number: roughly one-sixth of students in Detroit’s main school district have learning disabilities or…
June 20, 2018
Douglas County district pays $1.3 million to settle landmark special education case
Colorado's Douglas County School District has paid $1.32 million to settle a long-running special education case that led to a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
June 12, 2018
‘What if this was my son?’ How Newark’s Teacher of the Year pushes autistic students to succeed
After Lourdes Reyes' son was born with autism, she went back to school to become a special-education teacher.
How I Teach
June 12, 2018
How the acting aspirations of a student with Down syndrome changed this theater teacher’s approach
This Colorado theater teacher talks about why she aims to reach a diverse set of students, how she builds rapport with students and what it means to be a “cookie person.”
May 24, 2018
Special education in tumult as Adams 14 faces resignations, parent complaints
Parents of students with special needs in Adams 14 say their children aren't receiving appropriate services.
May 9, 2018
Colorado schools gave out nearly 1,800 suspensions to young students with disabilities last year
A Chalkbeat analysis shows that in Colorado last year, special education students in kindergarten through second grade received a disproportionate number of suspensions.
May 4, 2018
Week in review: Would ‘special education’ by any other name be the same?
Most educators working in urban schools know that many of their students face challenges at home. But a $3 million grant from…
May 3, 2018
Detroit district board votes to change name of ‘special education,’ but not everyone agrees it’s ‘exceptional’
The Detroit board of education wants to change the name to give special needs students more "dignity."
Rounding a corner
May 2, 2018
After two rocky weeks, Tennessee testing settles down for the homestretch
Students tackling online state exams relish a stretch of normalcy this week after days of technical problems with TNReady.
Special education reorganization
April 26, 2018
Only 33 black students with disabilities in Denver met expectations on state tests
Officials revealed those shockingly low numbers as further justification for a previously proposed reorganization of the special education department.
April 16, 2018
Let’s solve the right problems for Detroit’s students with disabilities — not recycle old ones
I’ve spent 25 years both studying and actively trying to improve schools for students with disabilities. Segregated settings aren't the answer.
blessing and a curse
April 11, 2018
Tales from inside Colorado’s teacher shortage: housing for horses and recruiters without interviews
With some Colorado school districts desperate to fill jobs in science, math and special education, sought-after candidates got the hard sell at a recent job fair.
April 3, 2018
Here’s how Richard Carranza handled Houston’s special education crisis and what it could mean for New York City
Houston officials had “enthusiastically embraced” the state’s arbitrary limit on the proportion of students who could could receive special education services.
March 29, 2018
Experts question Detroit district chief’s wish to create new schools for kids with special needs
On the carpet inside a language arts class, three boys quietly play a word game with their teacher. In the same room, on…
March 20, 2018
Denver parents worry budget changes will hurt students with special needs, despite district assurances
“The improvements that they’re proposing to make, they’re all great. But don’t do it on the backs of kids with special needs.”
By the numbers
March 1, 2018
Indiana still has the nation’s largest voucher program. But growth is slowing down.
More than 35,000 Hoosier students receive vouchers to help pay for private school tuition.
(Very) early education
February 26, 2018
Michigan’s governor wants to catch young students before they fall behind
Federal money currently pays for that program, but for the first time, Gov. Rick Snyder wants to add $5 million more in state funds to make it available to more families.
February 13, 2018
How well does your school serve students with disabilities? A proposed law in New York City would make that clear.
Citywide, more than a quarter of students with disabilities only receive some of the services they’re entitled to — or none at all.
February 13, 2018
Judge: Douglas County schools must pay private school tuition for student at center of special education lawsuit
Endrew F.'s parents had sought reimbursement from the Douglas County School District for their son’s education at a private school for students with autism.
How I Teach
February 7, 2018
Lessons from the school store: How this special education teacher sets up students for an independent future
A special education teachers talks about how the school store helps students prepare for the future and why there’s no stigma when lessons are repeated in her classroom.
February 5, 2018
Tennessee’s special education population is changing under its new academic intervention program
State education leaders hail a personalized learning program launched in 2014 for improved equity statewide and a decrease in special education referrals.
January 12, 2018
More money for poor students and cuts to central office: A first look at the Denver school district’s budget plan
Most of the staff reductions would occur in the centrally funded special education department.
model of inclusion
December 14, 2017
New York City is placing students with disabilities in mainstream classes. But do they actually feel included?
Feelings of inclusion vary widely by disability type.
December 8, 2017
How to pay for special education is a growing concern across Michigan
Currently, schools are required to provide students with special services and therapies but are only funded for a fraction of their expenses.
December 6, 2017
To help students with disabilities transition to adulthood, New York City is opening new resource hubs in every borough
Each of the five centers are scheduled to be open by the end of next school year.
Detroit Story Booth
November 22, 2017
Why one woman thinks special education reform can’t happen in isolation
This student advocate believes "How was your day in school" is the most important question to ask.
November 21, 2017
New York City school workforce grows, driven by 40 percent rise in teaching assistants
Since 2007, the education department has added about 10,200 employees, the majority of them teaching assistants.
November 14, 2017
To help students with physical disabilities navigate a maze of barriers, NYC releases new reports on high school accessibility
The new reports are currently available for high schools in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
November 9, 2017
What I learned about the limits of school choice in New York City from a mother whose child uses a wheelchair
A researcher interviewed a mother who found that "school choice" can ring hollow for parents whose children are differently abled.
November 1, 2017
More students with disabilities got required services last year, but large gaps remain
Last school year, 73 percent of students with disabilities received their mandated services — up from 59 percent the previous year.
October 6, 2017
In Boulder, students with special needs are outperforming their state peers but are far behind their own classmates
For two years in a row, Colorado education officials have raised concerns about how students with special needs are falling far behind on state English…
How I Teach
October 2, 2017
Fresh from the Denver suburbs, this new teacher visited a poor student in a rural area and learned a valuable lesson
A Colorado special education teacher talks about a home visit she made to a student 29 years ago that still impacts her today.
September 25, 2017
With a new school year underway, hundreds of teaching positions remain unfilled in New York City
Hundreds of schools are missing teachers and support staff two weeks into the school year, with many of the openings in high-poverty districts and struggling…
August 27, 2017
Many worry that students of color are too often identified as disabled. Is the real problem the opposite?
New research challenges a piece of common wisdom about special education: that black students are too often told they have a disability.
August 4, 2017
As Indiana schools try to make every graduate count, educators fear struggling students will lose out
Schools will certainly try to steer more students to the Core 40; if they don’t, their graduation rates will plummet.
July 27, 2017
Lawsuit targets New York City program that strands poor students without required special ed services
"The DOE has to ensure that students actually get services."
July 12, 2017
Report: Special education voucher program leaves some of New York City’s poorest families without services
"The process itself is in violation of the law."
July 7, 2017
The feds have a new definition for graduation rate, and Indiana’s general diploma doesn’t count
As early as fall of 2018, the general diploma could cease to count in the graduation rate the state is required to report to the federal government.
A new responsibility
June 23, 2017
In first for Aurora, charter school to run center for special education students
Rocky Mountain Prep, the charter taking over Fletcher Community School, will operate the school's program for students with autism when the transition is complete.
An education U-turn
June 20, 2017
Mayor Bill de Blasio has made many education promises. Here’s what he’s delivered so far — and what he hasn’t
With the mayoral election approaching, we've taken stock of de Blasio's progress on education.
an 'equity agenda'
May 30, 2017
Inside one Denver charter school operator’s push to serve all students
STRIVE Preparatory Schools has made fundamental changes in how it serves students.
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May 9, 2017
New York City’s special ed tracking system malfunctioned more than 800,000 times per day, but changes are underway
Officials promised to "implement these changes as quickly as possible.”
April 4, 2017
Amended bill could add 13,000 students to Tennessee’s first foray into vouchers
A bill that originally had nothing to do with school vouchers now could reallocate tens of thousands of public dollars to private services for special-needs students.
Numbers are in
March 6, 2017
Three months into Tennessee’s first voucher foray, 35 students are enrolled
About 20,000 students were eligible for the program, which gives students with certain disabilities public money for private services.
How I Teach
February 21, 2017
Prayers, precision and push-ups: A special ed teacher puts his unusual background to work in the classroom
Caleb Asomugha’s professional life has taken many turns. He spent time exploring his faith in seminary, is a member of the Army Reserve and ran…
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