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Paige’s Story

Paige, a bright third grade student on the autism spectrum, sat at home for nearly two months waiting for a school placement that would meet her needs. 

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10.01.2012 | Today AFC and The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released a paper entitled Policy Recommendations: Effective Accountability Mechanisms for New York State's English Language Learners. The paper sets forth key principles for a sound ELL accountability framework in New York State.  View the report [PDF

09.27.2012 | Today AFC testified before the New York City Council's Committee on Education and Committee on Immigration regarding oversight of immigrant students in the NYC public schools and the Department of Education’s Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for ELL students. In the testimony, AFC recommends that the Council turn its attention to three areas, including:

  • Increasing transparency of the DOE’s progress toward meeting the benchmarks set out in the CAP, 
  • Monitoring the DOE’s creation and ongoing support of new bilingual programs, and 
  • Providing appropriate instruction and supportive programming to particularly vulnerable sub-populations of ELLs that the CAP fails to explicitly address.    

View testimony [PDF]

09.25.2012 | AFC has a new fact sheet for parents of preschool students with disabilities, explaining the process for assigning a related services provider to a preschool student and what to do if related services are not in place. View the fact sheet [PDF]

09.20.2012 | AFC has several new publications to help parents and the professionals who work with them understand students' rights and options in the New York City public schools. Our Guide to Education Records [PDF] informs parents of their rights regarding their children's education records and helps them understand how to use them. Our Guide to School Suspensions [PDF] explains when a student can be suspended, what happens at a superintendent's suspension hearing, and the student's rights throughout the process. And finally, our Guide to Assistive Technology [PDF] explains what assistive technology is and how to obtain it for a student with a disability. For even more guides and resources in your area of interest, search the AFC resource library.

8.27.2012 | Advocates for Children has a newly updated fact sheet to help families of students with disabilities through the start of the school year. It covers a number of concerns that typically come up at this time of year, including:

  • What to do if a child does not yet have a school assignment or the school assigned says they cannot serve the child’s needs;
  • What to bring to a new school to enroll a child;
  • How to find an accessible school; and
  • What to do when specialized transportation is required, but not yet arranged.

Click here for the English fact sheet and here for the Spanish fact sheet.

08.06.2012 | Over the last decade, child welfare agencies and advocates have begun to recognize that the students they serve need access to greater educational opportunities, and that education is critically important to child wellbeing, permanency planning and a successful transition to adulthood. Today AFC released a new report, "Meeting the Educational Needs of Students in the Child Welfare System: Lessons Learned from the Field," which offers insights and analysis from five years implementing Project Achieve, a program that places AFC staff on site at partner foster care and preventive services agencies in New York City. The report explains how Project Achieve works and examines its long-term impact on the children and families served by these agencies, the people who work there and the city’s child welfare system itself. View report [PDF

7.26.2012 | AFC is co-hosting a community forum on bullying on August 1. Learn more and RSVP at http://action.advocate.nyc.gov/bullying.

bullying forum invite

07.10.2012 | AFC has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator, in recognition of sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency. This is the fifth time that AFC has earned this top distinction in the last six years. View AFC's full rating.

06.20.2012 | AFC and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) filed a complaint today with the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education against the DOE for its systemic failure to provide translation and interpretation services to tens of thousands of limited English proficient (LEP) parents, in violation of  local, state, and federal civil rights laws. Read the complaint [PDF] and the press release [PDF]. All exhibits, including parent affidavits, are available on file with AFC. 

press conference on steps of Tweed

AFC attorney Rigel Massaro speaking  parent holding a sign that says "I want to participate"

06.18.2012 | On June 18, 2012, AFC released a policy paper entitled "Essential Voices: Including Student and Parent Input in Teacher Evaluation." This paper makes the case for student and parent input in teacher evaluation in New York City and describes efforts other states and districts are undertaking to incorporate student and/or parent feedback into their own teacher evaluation systems. Read the paper [PDF]