Special Education News

Chapter news | March 28, 2017

Schools are no longer required to request prior approval from the State Education Department to administer state assessments over multiple days. And beginning with the 2017 test administration, students with disabilities who have the “tests read” accommodation on their individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 accommodation plans (504 plans) must be provided with this accommodation for all sections of the test.

News stories | March 2, 2017

Students and staff at PS 32 in Great Kills, Staten Island, performed a new version of Snow White written and directed by one of the school's paraprofessionals.

Editorials | February 2, 2017

The six million students with disabilities in public schools around the country will suffer the most if Betsy DeVos expands for-profit charters and private-school vouchers nationwide.

National education and labor news | January 5, 2017

Students with disabilities will have an easier time requesting accommodations during tests, starting on Jan. 1.

Feature stories | January 5, 2017

In most classrooms, you’ll find one or two teachers. In Alexandra Hernandez’s classroom, there are 16.


News stories | January 5, 2017

Students with reading disabilities will now have a chance to demonstrate what they know on New York State English Language Arts assessments, thanks to a new state policy that will allow the entire test — not just directions — to be read aloud to them.


News stories | December 1, 2016

The UFT and the DOE on Nov. 18 signed an agreement that addresses the challenging working conditions that speech teachers have faced when documenting their work with children with speech and language delays in the SESIS system.

News stories | December 1, 2016

The DOE on Nov. 18 agreed to provide $33 million in back pay to thousands of UFT members who have spent many hours outside their regular workday since Jan. 1, 2013 logging student data onto the DOE's SESIS system.

News | November 22, 2016

In accordance with federal law, the programs and services in a student’s IEP — which may include special education programs (e.g. Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classes) — are legally mandated.

Q & A on the issues | November 14, 2016

See questions and answers on the Nov. 18, 2016 memorandum of agreement between the DOE and the UFT on SESIS issues and Medicaid reimbursement for speech and language services.

Inside my classroom | November 3, 2016

The K–2 students in my self-contained 6:1:1 class love our morning meetings.

Vperspective | November 3, 2016

The centrally funded IEP teacher role has been reenvisioned to focus on identifying and addressing learning issues before students are referred for evaluation.

News stories | November 3, 2016

At the UFT’s prodding, the city and the Department of Education have finally moved to upgrade the troubled SESIS system to stem both the ongoing loss of over $300 million a year in Medicaid reimbursement for student services and to address the thousands of UFT member complaints that have poured in since the system was launched five years ago.


Teacher to teacher | September 8, 2016

Here’s what I learned in my first year of co-teaching about building and sustaining a productive and positive relationship.

Feature stories | July 7, 2016

Everything in Yvon Milien’s architecture class at the Brooklyn School for Career Development in Brooklyn is designed and constructed by his students, from the landscapes to the buildings to the miniature artwork inside small-scale models.

Around the UFT | July 7, 2016

Twelve teachers and 58 special-needs students worked together to bring their standing-room-only production of the hit musical “The Lion King” to the stage of P4 in Fresh Meadows on June 2.

What I do | July 7, 2016

Valencia Edwards has spent her 16-year career at the Lorge School, a non-public special education school in Chelsea with students who range in age from 5 to 21.

Chapter news | May 4, 2016

Here are some of the questions members have asked at meetings. The answers should help you to better understand your rights and responsibilities.

Chapter news | May 4, 2016

Minutes of the May 4, 2016 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

News stories | March 3, 2016

UFT members who had questions about Integrated Co-Teaching classes now have a blueprint of rules and protocols that schools should follow in serving students with disabilities.

Q & A on the issues | January 25, 2016

The UFT, the DOE and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators crafted this FAQ to help with special education issues.

News | January 22, 2016

The summer calendar has now been posted for Chapter 683, a District 75 program that provides year-round instruction to severely disabled District 75 students.

Chapter news | January 20, 2016

Minutes of the January 20, 2016 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

Feature stories | January 7, 2016

Elizabeth Bonney is willing to try many things to figure out what will help the students in her self-contained special education class at PS 88 in Ridgewood learn — including a monthly visit from Sammy, a therapy dog.

Vperspective | January 7, 2016

The No. 1 special education issue in schools is pressure to fit students into the programs and services that are available in the school even if the programs and services did not meet the student’s needs.

News | December 11, 2015

There is a new computer-based assessment from Dynamic Learning Maps that will be used for Alternate Assessment students in ELA and math in 2016.

Inside my classroom | December 3, 2015

Our students use these self-assessment cards to let us know if they are understanding content or directions or if they need help.

Chapter news | October 14, 2015

Minutes of the Oct. 14, 2015 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

Chapter news | October 1, 2015

Minutes of the Oct. 1, 2015 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

Feature stories | September 10, 2015

The workshop at PS 721, a District 75 school in Gravesend, Brooklyn is humming with activity: Students are focused on hammering, painting and gluing at different work stations. They’re building furniture for their new school library: a couch, stools, footrests, even iPad holders and bookstands. Their materials: sturdy cardboard, brown paper bags, grocery store boxes and plastic. 


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