Rather than spending his time on racial flame-throwing, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza could be working to fix some of the serious issues that plague his Department of Education — such as its massive failures in serving special-ed kids.
Last week, The City’s Yoav Gonen detailed systematic DOE dysfunction on this front, 30 years after the city made a legally binding commitment to give special-needs children the help they need.
The city now pays out hundreds of millions a year to settle thousands of cases brought over its failure to deliver services. And complaints have skyrocketed since Mayor de Blasio’s first year.
They were up 51 percent over three years by the end of the 2017-18 school year. And this year’s total, Gonen reports, topped the prior year’s in February.
Any child can be independently evaluated for special-ed needs. Each who qualifies gets an Individual Education Plan outlining what services the child should receive, such as speech therapy, a physical accommodation, limited class size, etc.
Yet the system routinely assigns kids to schools where the services listed in their IEPs aren’t even available, while schools put children in classrooms that don’t fit the specifications.
And — get this — parents filing complaints must go to Downtown Brooklyn for a hearing, which is far from a guarantee that the bureaucracy will find a solution. Some kids go years without getting the help they’re legally entitled to.
Meanwhile, Carranza devotes much of his time to attacking schools that actually work — the city’s specialized high schools, generally seen as the system’s crown jewels. His problem: A race-blind exam doesn’t produce the student racial mix that he thinks it should.
Oh, and he’s spending millions on “implicit bias” training for city teachers — who are overwhelmingly liberal but apparently need indoctrination about the “racial-advantage hierarchy.”
The chancellor loves to talk about how his “lived experiences” fuel his passion in the “fight for equity.” How about setting aside your racial and ethnic obsessions, sir, and getting to work on delivering for the city’s most vulnerable children?
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