Unfortunately, what many fail to realize is that DC special education centers like Shadd are just the tip of the iceberg with what's wrong in special education in the District of Columbia Public Schools . This year many of Dr. Harris' newly created special education programs even like the one where I work in S.E. were poorly designed from the outset. Not only did many of these programs lack a written model of service delivery, they also lacked the necessary certified special education teachers and related school personnel and the program resources, professional development that came too little too late and out of control students who present discipline and safety issues that contribute to high turnover rates of inadequately trained teachers and para-professional assistants. Many of these newer programs rarely receive the 'promised assistance' from central Office special education managers. Local school principals that house some of these special programs often have to supplement their limited school resources .
Council woman challenges Rhee on special-ed ‘disaster
"An Examiner investigation published Monday revealed a host of problems in the planning and opening of Marion P. Shadd Elementary School in Southeast D.C. A D.C. councilwoman Monday pressed Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee to explain what went wrong in her attempt to create a special school for the city’s most troubled kids.
Mary Cheh, D-Ward 3, said Rhee should give a public explanation for a series of costly failures at the Transition Academy at Shadd Elementary, a refuge school designed to provide intensive therapy for some 175 “emotionally disturbed” teens and young adults. “As they’re experimenting, our kids aren’t getting the services and care they need,” Cheh said. “You may have had a colossal waste of money in a part of the school system that has been wasting money for years.”