|Eva Moskowitz founded the Success Academy charter |
prides itself on not pushing out students with special needs.
In the tapes, however, another Success administrator is heard acknowledging that Yael’s tantrums are related to his speech disability.
“He is getting really frustrated when people can’t understand what he’s communicating, and you can’t blame him for that,” the administrator tells Zapata.
In a second meeting, the mother asks why Success admitted her son through a lottery but is not providing him all the services he needs.
“If they have those special education needs, you’re absolutely right that they need to be fulfilled,” an official replies, but then quickly adds that the network doesn’t offer smaller special ed classes in kindergarten.
“We will help them find the [appropriate] DOE placement,” the official says.
In other words, lottery or not, kindergarten kids like Yael who need smaller classes should find a public school that has one.
But Zapata has resisted the pressure to transfer her son.
When she accompanied him to the first day of school at Upper West Side Success last week, she was informed Yael will have to repeat kindergarten — the same grade that doesn’t have the special education class he needs.
“They’re trying to frustrate me enough to take him out,” Zapata said, “but I’m going to fight it.”