Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Charter schools and kids with disabilities

As a public school parent (and former public school student and teacher) I remain extremely dubious about the net overall benefit of the charter school movement, especially for kids with disabilities; but it's only fair to note the exceptions where they exist. The CHIME Charter Elementary school in Woodland Hills CA, which is dedicated to inclusion of kids with various disabilities along with typical peers, won statewide "Charter School of the Year" honors earlier this year. An entry at pointed me in the direction of charter schools that serve deaf and h-o-h students; there are quite a number of these, it turns out. Metro Deaf School in Minnesota has been operating since 1993, a long history for any charter school. There are others. I should learn more about them, I guess. Still not convinced on the large-scale, but smaller-scale successes are still successes, worthy of note.


Anonymous said...

Visited CHIME Charter middle school last week May 2005.
Took a 3 hr round trip drive to commute 92 miles in Southern California to see a school that "would" accept my 10 year old cerebral palsied son(if there were not a wait list) this part of California the CHIME charter is the only school that does not de facto segregate low incidence disabled based upon their disability.
California does not follow the law for disabled because there is no enforcement/no real need to comply.....Consent Decrees and settlements like the Gaskin Case in PA seem to be the only way districts willingly(tho not easily) and consistently serve disabled children.
Special needs kids in California is too much about due process and fair hearing and too little about where do children with special needs exist in each and every one of our communities?
We expect better.
We will accept no less.
A dad. Who cares.

Mike Dorn said...

Thanks so much for your comment, Dad. These are the stories that editors of this blog want to hear. Let this be your sounding board! As I learn more about these issues, I'll share my insights here. Mike