Desperate to get their children good reading instruction, New York City parents have created a School for dyslexic students, report Alex Zimmerman and Yoav Gonen in a collaboration between Chalkbeat and THE CITY.
Bridge Preparatory Charter School on Staten Island is the only public school in the state that specializes in teaching students with language-based learning disabilities, they write. “Teachers at Bridge Prep will get ongoing training in a popular phonics-based, multi-sensory approach to reading instruction known as Orton-Gillingham. Students will be assigned no homework, a known stressor for children who struggle with reading.”
Critics charge city schools have “no systematic approach” to teaching reading to students with disabilities and ignore “methods proven to work,” write Zimmerman and Gonen.
A growing number of students with disabilities are leaving public schools and winning hundreds of millions of dollars in Private School tuition reimbursements from the city.
. . . This system tends to benefit well-off parents who have the time and money to battle through the deluged impartial hearing system. The process, often full of stresses and financial strains, can end with the child traveling far from their neighborhood school.
“I don’t know how this is not the biggest social justice issue facing the Department of Education right now,” said Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Brooklyn), who is dyslexic and attended private school at the DOE’s expense. “The only kids who are dyslexic who are getting a good education are disproportionately upper class and white.”
Twenty percent of students may have dyslexia, reports CBS News. Dr. Laura Cassidy, whose daughter needed a private tutor to learn to read, founded Louisiana Key Academy, a Baton Rouge charter school specializing in dyslexia, in 2013. “If you’re dyslexic, and your family doesn’t have money, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get what you need,” she told CBS.
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