In 2010, NYC launched a city-wide effort at 260 schools to integrate more students with special needs in mainstream classrooms (aka: INCLUSION). It has been in effect for about a year now.
And it’s looking promising!
According to this article, the Department of Education has shared the following:
v Students with special needs in schools that participated in the first phase of the initiative saw their test scores improve more than students with disabilities at similar schools that were not in the program
v Their attendance rates rose more than the students with disabilities at similar schools
v Suspension rates fell more than the students with disabilities at similar schools
Corinne Rello-Anselmi, the Department of Education deputy chancellor in charge of special education is quoted as saying that this type of learning requires “a new way of thinking about how to assign students to classroom settings “. No truer words have been spoken.
There is still more to be done and more information is needed to evaluate the endeavor thoroughly but this article was music to my ears!