Wednesday, November 01, 2006

October Meeting: Brooklyn School, Prompt Institute Opens

Sydnee Jorgl, Board President of the Brooklyn Autism Center, visited and shared with us her journey and search for an appropriate school placement, and work to develop the Brooklyn Autism Center, with plans to open one classroom in Fall 2007. It will be an individualized ABA program, modeled on the NYCA Charter School (which is modeled on the Alpine School).

And, we found the true identity of what had been mentioned to me as the "Brooklyn McCarton school", which is Reach for the Stars Learning Center out in Borough Park, which is modeled on the McCarton School on East 83rd Street in Manhattan. Brooklyn Yellow Pages has three places by that name, but I think this is the one on Kings Highway.

Debbie reports that the PROMPT Institute, the developer of a set of Speech Therapy methods that are often very productive for our non-verbal kids, has opened its NYC Clinic. She gives it a strong recommendation and reports they still have availability as of October.

I reported on the NYC Council Education Committee's hearing on the Public Advocate's proposed regulation for reporting on special education activities. The Public Advocate's office developed Intro. 344, a proposed charter amendment, requiring reporting by the Department of Education to the Council's Education Committee on an array of measures relating to mandated special education evaluation and re-evaluation activities.

This hearing was revealing mainly of how hostile the agency witnesses seemed to be to the whole idea of making additional disclosures, and featured some sharp exchanges between councilmembers and the Department's Legal Counsel Michael Best about whether federal laws pre-empted the Council from requesting certain data. While there are certainly flaws and shortcomings to the proposed regulation, the tenor of the discussion suggested that relations between this city agency and the council committee charged with oversight are less than harmonious, and this seems to be consistent with relations between the mayoral administration and the council across a wide range of issues.

So the regulation and discussion around it may be more political theater than anything else, but it does provide an opportunity to tell the Public Advocate, Council Members, and anybody else what questions we would like to see asked. I'll have a letter on that in a future post.

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