Monday, May 28, 2007

Controversy Over Bloomberg Survey For Public School Parents Continues

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum has sent a letter to Chancellor Joel Klein, asking him to reverse the decision to exclude special education parents from the parent survey. The widely-publicized survey was sent to all parents except those with children in District 75, the city-wide district comprised of schools dedicated to children with special needs. Here is an excerpt from Gotbaum's letter:
I urge you to rethink the decision to exclude parents of students with disabilities from the parent survey.

Furthermore, the justification for this exclusion, that District 75 students are "too unusual," attributed to school officials in recent published reports, is invalid and offensive. Parents of students in District 75 would be more than happy to participate in this survey and again in a survey specific to them next year.

Not only is the DOE excluding the parents of District 75 students from the survey, the DOE is also muffling the voices of all students with disabilities and their families.

The letter also points out the many other problems with special education under this administration: lengthy delays in referrals and providing necessary services resulting from the elimination of relevant staff in the district offices, hiring attorneys to contest parents in expensive and lengthy hearings , overstuffing classes so they exceed the size mandated by state law, and excluding special needs students from the new small schools for the first two years of their existence.

here to see the full text of the letter and here for our earlier post about the controversy over the parent survey.

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