Special Education News

News stories | October 17, 2013

Robert D’Alessio, a special education teacher at the Abraham Lincoln School in Brooklyn, showed how teachers can advocate for themselves to help create the conditions where the greatest amount of student learning can occur.

New teacher diaries | September 26, 2013

I had planned every minute of my first day back at school in September, but I hadn't factored in collaboration.

National education and labor news | September 5, 2013

New filings in a major special education lawsuit allege that New Orleans schools have ongoing problems in meeting the educational needs of students with disabilities. The filings this summer come nearly three years after the suit was initially filed by students’ families and almost eight years into a nationally unprecedented decentralization of the city’s school system.

News stories | September 5, 2013

Members should not work on the Special Education Student Information System (SESIS) outside their workday without written permission from their supervisors. Members should ask their supervisors in writing when they are expected to complete SESIS-related work.

Chapter news | September 3, 2013
Chapter news | September 3, 2013
Chapter news | September 3, 2013
News | August 14, 2013

On July 22, 2013, Comptroller John Liu released an Audit Report on the Department of Education's Special Education Student Information System (SESIS). The data collected during the audit and audit findings strongly validate the systemic nature of the problems and concerns with this dysfunctional program.

News | August 14, 2013

In June 2013, the Board of Regents adopted a new credential for students with disabilities. The Regents anticipate that most students with disabilities will be able to graduate with this credential as a supplement to their regular (Regents or local) diploma. The UFT has serious concerns about this credential.

News | August 8, 2013

Chanting “Fight, fight, fight, education is a right!,” community residents and teachers and parents from District 75 school P 811M, housed in Harlem’s PS 149, held a press conference on July 10 to denounce the expansion of Eva Moskowitz’s Harlem Success Academy inside their shared school building.

Around the UFT | June 27, 2013

The Skyline Princess left the Chelsea Pier on May 31 with 138 UFT members aboard to celebrate the Friends of District 75 eighth annual Awards Ceremony honoring those who have made an outstanding contribution to the district.

Around the UFT | June 13, 2013

They raced, jumped, let arrows fly and, perhaps the best victory of all, the 18 Martin Van Buren HS students joining the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged experienced independence.

News stories | May 30, 2013

Long before Henry Winkler stole the show on the hit sitcom “Happy Days,” he spent miserable years as the epitome of a student with undiagnosed dyslexia. That New York City child who was told that he was "stupid and lazy" was honored with the UFT’s prestigious John Dewey Award.

Comments | May 30, 2013

SESIS reimbursement is a victory for the UFT, but the DOE's entire SESIS endeavor leaves a bitter taste.

Chapter news | May 20, 2013

The New York City Department of Education recently filed a claim seeking reimbursement of $2.5 million for OT and PT services rendered to Medicaid-eligible students. This comes after the DOE had filed no claims as of the end of December 2012. The $2.5 million claim will not be paid until state Medicaid authorities are satisfied that the DOE has complied with all of the program requirements.

Comments | May 16, 2013

I would like to thank Vice President Carmen Alvarez, Michael Mulgrew and my chapter chairperson, Vanessa Pressley, for giving us the tools — like Carmen Alvarez’s article in the New York Teacher, “The Time Is Now” [May 2] — and the guidance to fight back and win the SESIS debacle.

Around the UFT | May 16, 2013

An airport replete with planes, a harbor with boats and a baseball stadium, too. These were just a few of the models constructed by PS 188 students at their Coney Island school’s LEGO Education Showcase Event on April 20.

Around the UFT | May 16, 2013

What was truly on display at an April 27 conference about technical advances geared for special education students was pride of accomplishment and the resiliency, adaptability and spirit of young learners.

News stories | May 2, 2013

Thirty thousand UFT members forced to spend hundreds of hours beyond the school day logging student data onto the Department of Education’s Special Education Student Information System got a total of more than $38 million in back pay in April.

Vperspective | May 2, 2013

The way that the special education reform has been implemented at the school level has hijacked good decision-making for students with disabilities. As high season for annual reviews approaches, now is the time to make sure that the students you serve have strong IEPs with solid program and service recommendations.

What I do | May 2, 2013

A special education achievement coach and a member of the Teachers Assigned Chapter, Debra Tasioudis is one of about 400 UFT members who are former classroom teachers based at DOE offices, where they work in a support capacity for schools.

News stories | April 11, 2013

Thanks to the UFT’s victory in arbitration, more than 31,000 members should be receiving back pay in April for the Special Education Student Information System work that they did after work hours between September 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012.

News stories | April 11, 2013

The UFT delegates voted overwhelmingly on March 20 to support the 60-member UFT Task Force on School Governance’s recommendations to scale back mayoral control of the school system. “We are telling the city what parents already know: what we have doesn’t work,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.

Q & A on the issues | March 21, 2013

These questions and answers were created to address issues arising from this next chapter of the SESIS fight.

News stories | March 21, 2013

Henry Winkler, who is best known for his role as “Fonzie” in the hit TV show “Happy Days,” will receive the UFT’s most prestigious honor, the John Dewey Award, at the union's annual Spring Education Conference this year for his advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities.

News stories | March 21, 2013

The UFT has won another round in its ongoing fight with the Department of Education to provide members with the time they need to complete their work on SESIS. An arbitrator on March 13 issued a clarification of his original ruling, finding that the DOE had ignored his award when it carved out specific time in the work day to do SESIS work for some titles but not others without first negotiating with the UFT.

Around the UFT | March 21, 2013

UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the Districts 3 and 4 members who turned out for a Meet the President gathering at an East Harlem restaurant on March 13, “We want the best education system in the country.”

New teacher diaries | February 14, 2013

Everyone’s talking about the breakdown in the teacher evaluation talks between the mayor and the union as if it were the only chance to fix public education in New York City. Do we need an evaluation system? Absolutely. Is it a cure-all for our educational ills? Absolutely not.

What I do | February 14, 2013

Since 1982, Edelstein has been a preschool teacher for special needs children at the private, nonprofit Block Institute in Brooklyn.

Testimony | February 8, 2013

UFT Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez testified before the New York City Council Committees on Education and Finance.

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