Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicago Schools Flunk When It Comes to Special Ed

CHICAGO -- For two years, Sandra Bollacker told school officials something was wrong with her son. Unlike his peers, he struggled to write and could barely hold a pencil.
It was only after an outside physician diagnosed Eric Bollacker with autism that Chicago Public Schools acknowledged his disorder in a special education plan. But the boy's mother, like many Chicago parents with special needs children, believes the plan is woefully insufficient. Eric, 10, is now in fourth grade and still struggles to read.
A recent state report shows that Bollacker's experience is far from unique: 40 percent of the 96 schools still scrutinized by the state were not properly implementing these crucial special education plans.
That's just one of 11 findings in the Illinois State Board of Education report, which excoriates the district for its continued failure to comply with federal disability laws.


  1. I have dealt with this frustration and am dealing with it now...my daughter is diagnosed with a mild cognitive delay, yet at 13 cannot tell time or count money. When speaking to the case worker at her school regarding the best high school to fit her needs, I was told that she does not qualify for Von Stueben(which specializes in children with moderate delays), I was told that she has a mild delay and is not eligible for enrollment into that high school. I am trying to find the best high school in the high school in the
    Chicagoland area(suburbs included) that have programs for children with develpmental delays. Any information or suggestions that can be shared would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

  2. Maria,

    Try visiting http://www.nichcy.org/Pages/StateSpecificInfo.aspx?State=IL and call all the agencies under parent organizations to get advice on educational advocacy. I hope this helps.