Monday, May 24, 2010

Charters and Special needs students
A report from Cecilia

Hi families,

I found this interesting review performed on charter schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). [or as a direct .pdf here] The judicial review looked at whether charters in the LAUSD complied with special education law and a Modified Consent Decree, in place since 1993.

You shouldn't be surprised to hear that:
1) children with disabilities are underrepresented in the charter schools;

2) the schools were developed and implemented without any reference to recruitment of children with disabilities;

3) the charters lagged in nearly every measure with regards to complaint response, assessments, annual IEP requirements, due process, transportation, etc etc;

4) charter school employees could not readily be held accountable since they are not LAUSD employees;

5) charters did not utilize the District IEP software for tracking services;

6)...need I say more.

There are certain groups some degrees removed from public education (Seattle Times Blethen family, Eli Broad Foundation, Alliance for Education corporate types) that are trying to foist charter schools, curriculum alignment, and high-stakes testing on us under the guise of reforming "urban public schools in crisis." Their attempts to apply the best education reforms MBAs have to offer sound to me like they want to establish widget factories instead of schools. Trouble is their experiments will use our taxpayer money to discriminate against our disabled children. My daughter is the proverbial square peg to their round hole.


There may or may not be a crisis. I believe there is a crisis. I also believe that the changes proposed by the "Billionaire Boys" via Obama/Duncan's Race to the Bank agenda is NOT a solution or even close. A look at Seattle receiving $2 million for Cleveland NTN STEM High School, West Seattle Elementary, and Hawthorne Elementary shows ridiculous planning that OSPI finds grant worthy. Note the BERC group evaluates schools as grant worthy if they are lined up with RttT thinking .... not important as to whether what is proposed is likely to bring about improvement.

In the initial stages of RttT it was proposed that models proven to work should only be sanctioned..... this was judged too restrictive and that more flexibility might be needed so that States and School Districts could better meet the needs of their students. (Fat chance of that happening with OSPI and the SPS)

Try the Big Cover Up in Chicago for the kind of Flexibility happening in Seattle with Cleveland NTN STEM.



Anonymous said...

In this country, school districts buying vacant land is called speculation. Who loses? Taxpayers.

The charter school movement is all about buildings and land and nothing to do with education.

dan dempsey said...

So much of education as a system has ZERO to do with education.

Anonymous said...

Compare Washington's regulations for capital expenditures by public entities with other states and you will see Washington's property owners are at the mercy of whichever school board they elect - in all likelihood - pick your poison (I prefer none of the above). That's the reason, reform is the buzz word in your school system.

Anonymous said...

For instance, contractors (e.g. consultants) should not serve on the committees that approve contracts for themselves (I believe that's self-serving and a conflict of interest, not to mention unethical). Washington allows it, because there's no law that says they can't do it.