Leonie Haimson reports that Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy Charter School chain eliminated a classfor students with disabilities.


“In June, I was contacted by two parents whose fifth-grade special needs children were in a self-contained 12-1-1 class at Success Academy Bed Stuy middle school. They told me how the principal, Rishabh Agarwal, had brought them individually into his office and told them that the school was getting rid of their 12-1-1 self-contained program, because the school didn’t know how to educate kids with special needs and it was too difficult to find a certified special education teacher.

“He said their only two choices were to agree to have their kids held back in a regular 5th grade class or transfer them to a different school outside the Success charter network of 46 schools.

“I contacted two attorneys with experience in special education, who told me that if their IEPs mandated a 12-1-1 class the school could not legally get rid of the program, but neither parent wanted to sue. Neither did they want their children to be held back, since they’d been held back already at least once already by Success and felt that their children’s records did not merit being retained once again. I asked the two parents to email the principal to confirm their story, and to copy Eva Moskowitz.

“A few weeks later, I checked back with the parents, and they told me their emails had not been responded to by anyone at the network. They put me in touch with a third parent who confirmed their story — that the entire class of fifth graders had essentially been driven out of the school, and the parents had received no help from Success in finding a new school.”

Read on.