Iris Rivera fears for the future of her son Nicholas’ education. The fourth-grade student, struggling with a learning disability, will matriculate with rest of the city’s student body through the upcoming Special Education Reform, set to roll out this fall.
According to a representative from the Department of Education DOE, beginning in September, kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades will begin integrating special education students with general education pupils. The program is expected to be phased in over the next several years, combining children with varying degrees of disabilities with general education.
“He isn’t fully ready to be in a regular education class,” said Rivera. “It’s going to confuse him and he’s going to feel like he’s behind.”
Nicholas excels in mathematics and science, shining during in-class experiments. Rivera says he struggles with reading comprehension, skipping over words and struggling to form complete sentences. Several times a week, Nicholas attends specialized classes, assisting him with writing and reading. Rivera feels her son’s current school set up has improved him greatly.
“They’re pushing him to get better and do more,” said Rivera of her son’s current curriculum. “If they integrate, it will set him back all the way and he’ll be totally lost.”
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