Joel Klein is wasting no time: A day after being rehired as chancellor, he is announcing the creation of a new position to supervise education for some of the city’s neediest students.
The new administrator will focus on two groups of students whose performance has barely budged in recent years: students with special needs and those who are just learning English. The city’s most recent top special education official, Linda Wernikoff, retired at the end of June, and her replacement has been the source of considerable anxiety among advocates.
Also today, the education department is releasing the findings of a months-long evaluation of the city’s special education offerings. The big reveal is coming just in time: The person who headed the study, Garth Harries, is set to start a new job in New Haven on Monday.
When I last checked in on the process, just before the school governance madness entered its final surprising weeks, officials were signaling that the department would not dismantle District 75, the school district that serves the city’s most disabled students, as many advocates feared. Instead, the officials suggested, the department would work to encourage teachers from that district to share their expertise with teachers at other schools.