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Micaela’s Story

Micaela is a dual-language learner who is on the autism spectrum and needed an appropriate school placement for kindergarten.

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AFC in the News

5.21.2012 | The New York Times | As Kim Sweet, executive director of the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York, said: “We see cases of schools violating I.E.P.’s all the time. Our phones ring off the hook.” Read article

5.18.2012 | Gotham Schools | “Their stated goal is not about inclusion, but it is about educating more and more students with disabilities in community schools,” Maggie Moroff, coordinator of the ARISE Coalition of special education advocacy groups, said about the Department of Education. “The way it’s playing out, it looks like there will be less self-contained [classes] and more inclusion for greater access to the academic curriculum.”

Moroff said inclusion can’t succeed unless schools have extra resources, administrative support, and “continuing, ongoing, at-the-elbow professional development.” But she said it is worthy work. “Life is inclusive,” she said. “Or should be.” Read article

5.09.2012 | New York Daily News | “When children are taking a test and come upon a badly worded question, it can ... affect their performance on the rest of the test,” said Advocates for Children executive director Kim Sweet. Read article

5.09.2012 | ABC Eyewitness News | Eric DeGiaimo, NYC student and recipient of the Education Champion Award at AFC's 2012 Spring Benefit, told his story to ABC Eyewitness News.

5.02.2012 | Insideschools.org | "The community schools don't have an extra year," said Maggie Moroff of Advocates for Children. "Some of them had incredibly low percentages, and they are doing it this year." In fact, when parents at academically-demanding IS 187/Christa McAuliffe in Brooklyn demanded an exemption after learning in January that they would have to admit a significant number of students with special needs, the city refused. "It just doesn't sit right," Moroff said. "The DOE has the same obligations to provide these schools with the support to meet all students' needs."... Read article

4.20.2012 | New York Times/SchoolBook | Kim Sweet, the director of Advocates for Children, said that while the proposed options could make a dent in the graduation rate for disabled students, they were too restrictive. “Why do you only get a safety net if you’re a student with a disability?” she said. “There are also general education students who can’t pass certain tests. The difference is one has a label and one doesn’t.” Ms. Sweet’s organization has estimated that if students had been unable to earn a local diploma in 2010, as many as 14,000 would not have graduated within four years, a figure that could do damage to the state’s rising graduation rate... Read article

4.18.2012 | GothamSchools | Advocates say the tests simply aren’t designed in a way that makes sense for many students with special needs and that no amount of extra time can change that. “I’m not even talking about modifying the test,” said Maggie Moroff of Advocates for Children. “I’m talking about designing the test from the first instance so that it really reflects the strengths of more and more kids.”... Read article

4.16.2012 | GothamSchools | “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done between now and September to make that [special education reform] successful, so anyone coming in will have to jump right in,” said Maggie Moroff, coordinator of the ARISE Coalition of special education advocacy groups. Moroff said she was surprised by the news of Rodriguez’s retirement and had not met Rello-Anselmi during her monthly meetings with Rodriguez and other department officials... Read article

4.13.2012 | WNYC | "It doesn't seem like efforts to increase representation from low-income communities are working," said Kim Sweet, Executive Director of the group Advocates for Children of New York. "Part of the problem is still outreach," she said. "But when students can prep for the test, low-income families have an even greater disadvantage."... Read article

3.28.2012 | Insideschools.org | “There is a broad spectrum with children with disabilities and many more of them should have access to quality programs,” said Maggie Moroff of Advocates for Children. “With the appropriate support and services, there’s no reason those children shouldn’t be able to achieve at the same level as their more typically developing peers.” She expressed concern, however, that the DOE may not have made adequate plans to give disabled children the support they need in classes for the gifted... Read article