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February 13, 2012

Schools Demanded to Follow Inclusion

Dennis Walcot, chancellor of New York City’s public schools, stated that schools must raise the number of students with physical/mental challenges.  He also said if the schools didn’t follow this procedure, the districts would take over. Walcott feels that this would increase success rates academically for all students.

“Ensuring that incoming ninth graders with disabilities have the same access to screened high schools is just one way that we’re raising academic standards for all of our students,” Walcott said.

Enrollment of students with physical/mental challenges at New York City’s eleven premiere high schools has been three or less recently.  This caused Walcott to write an unsatisfactory email demanding schools to increase inclusion.  A student with a physical challenge said by not increasing school inclusion “it felt like schools had lost confidence in us.”

Activists think that students in New York City with physical/mental challenges were told to not go to those schools.  They feel they could have also been turned away.  Activists agree with the move by Walcott but want to be sure the right services are in place for this transition.

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