Saturday, June 13, 2009

Charters Avoiding Special Needs

Interesting development on the "charter-school" front, as the Denver Post reports:

Colorado charter schools on average enroll fewer students with disabilities than noncharters — lending weight to long-held criticism of the publicly funded schools that are supposed to serve everyone.

While I have advocated Colorado's focus on "open enrollment" and charter schools as the best possible approach to reform, the long-held criticism that charters succeed simply by cherry-picking the best students away from neighborhood schools is definitely still a viable criticism. Even in Colorado, where the law states allegedly states there can be no conditions put on acceptance, it's obviously true.

Is this the problem that critics make it out to be?  Does it diminish the arguments of "choice" advocates for competition improving schools?  Does the "choice" movement simply ensure that some children will be "left behind"?

1 comment:

Mrs. C said...

Could also be that parents are not enrolling special needs children into an environment they KNOW the child won't succeed. I wouldn't do it to my non-verbal child for sure!!

So I'm not sure it's a valid criticism unless they turn the disabled away at the door. At least for Woodjie, he needs a special classroom because he doesn't speak. He uses PECS. Even the local public school may not be able to deal with him once he is elementary-school age. (Not that I specially want them to... these are the same people who locked my other autistic son, Elf, into a closet for being "manipulative.")

Anyway, just a thought, though you may have a point. I don't know that even if the point is valid, that we need to do the crabs in a bucket thing with all our children. :]