Sunday, September 14, 2008

Special Ed Chief Takes Leave of Absence

I have personally spoken with Dr. Harris on several occasions, saw her run her office and oversee functions such as a mandatory back-to-school SPED training, heard much about her from colleagues, and read a lot about her even before she came on board as our chief. They all weren't impressive.
Departure Comes Amid Judge's and Teachers' Criticisms of Services for Special Needs Students

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 14, 2008; Page C04
The D.C. school system's deputy chancellor for special education, Phyllis Harris, has taken a leave of absence for unspecified reasons.

Dena Iverson, a spokeswoman for Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, said personnel regulations prohibited her from discussing the nature of Harris's leave, which began Tuesday. She did deny a report, posted Wednesday on the blog The Washington Teacher, that Harris had been fired.

Her leave comes less than two weeks after a federal judge admonished the District for its lack of progress in serving children with learning disabilities and physical or behavioral challenges. The Washington Post

Do I believe this? No. Right now, I am not just concerned. I am very seriously worried about the mess that she left in our SPED Centers and SPED Programs, outrageous! This is already an S.O.S. (Save Our Schools) plea. The teachers we have talked to (and some have written in their blogs) have described to us horrible environments and dangerous situations that the students and school staff are in, which also pose a serious threat to the community. The SPED Centers and SPED Programs in the city are in dire need of HELP! I have never called for an emergency, and I am right now. Let's walk the talk, please do something, we should never leave the special needs students behind. PLEASE TAKE ACTION BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

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