Thursday, March 17, 2016

Study: Charter Schools Suspend Children With Disabilities At An Alarming Rate #discipline

A study released yesterday by the Civil Rights Project reveals that charter schools are suspending blacks students and children with disabilities at a disproportionate rate. As many of our readers are aware, IDEA (including its discipline provisions) fully applies to all public charter schools.

The study finds that lower suspending charter schools are more numerous than high suspending charter schools. Some of the conclusions of the report, however, are quite alarming. For example of interest to our readers, the study finds that of more than 5,250 charter schools,

  • 1,093 charter schools suspended students with disabilities at a rate that was 10 or more percentage points higher than for students without disabilities.
  • Perhaps the most alarming finding is that 235 charter schools suspended more than 50% of their enrolled students with disabilities.


If you have an interest in charter schools and children with disabilities, you should review this study. You can read the 34 page study here. A summary is available here.

12 comments:

  1. I personally know of a student who was suspended from a private school for a few days as a measure to satisfy another parent who complained to the school's board during the headmaster's absence. Due to the student's civil rights and privacy, let me just say it was a political move by the board that demonstrated poor judgement by punishing a child unfairly. The outcome was not good for the child or the school. It was a lose-lose. Egregious.

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  2. I believe that students of a certain ability level should not be discriminated from nor not be allowed an education. I was surprised to hear that charter schools were doing this because I work for many different charter schools and their philosophies sure do not exclude a child from an education based on their learning levels. Their philosophy is to include students of all abilities from their community to have the opportunity of learning in that school. Building a comfortable and safe learning experience for a student will help that student grow and develop in a very positive way. I hope we as educators can come together to see the importance of an equal and fair education for all.

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  3. Dave,

    Thanks for your comment.

    JG

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  4. I find these statistics disturbing. Often students with disabilities have difficulty with impulse control. It seems there should be some alternative discipline to suspension. I am surprised these students are not protected in some way by Special Education legislation. I'm wondering what the publication of this study might lead to, hopefully public awareness and a push for change.

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  5. JK,

    thank s for your comment,

    JG

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  6. Having read through the article I was also shocked at the statistics. My school has had a high suspension rate and was trying a new approach. By holding in-school suspension they are hoping to lessen the blow of missing class time for these students. The article makes me want to check on the number of students with IEPs that are being suspended.

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  7. Mr Q,

    Thanks for your comment,

    JG

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  8. After reading this report, I am very concerned about the direction of some of these charter schools. These statistics are alarming that it appears to single out students of color and special education. It also appears that the number of suspensions increases dramatically with students of color as they reach the secondary level. I think more training and strategies needs to be put into place for educators of some of the charter schools mentioned. There are effective evidence based ways to deal with behavioral issues. We need to increase graduation rates, decrease the achievement gap, and help all students to succeed by doing and using evidence based strategies.

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  9. Charter schools are far more exempt from oversight. Having worked for a year in a charter school I found myself asking staff and administrators how they were able to arrange their time and studies, and spend money in ways so differently than other public schools I had taught in. Their response was that they were not accountable in the same way with their budgets and curriculum and even daily and yearly school schedules. As a substitute in a charter school I worked with they required parents to participate a given number of hours at the school each week for their children to attend. I was not sure that was even legal? So suspending students in a charter school most likely is far more localized to that school and less to an overarching procedurals offered through the district. I

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