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These hybrid schools are blowing up the public education model

Author Archive for Elaine Meyer


Columbia News 21 used many online resources to inform our reporting for The Charter Explosion project. Some of those links are listed below and should be useful for anyone who is looking into charter schools. Please feel free to suggest additional resources in the comments section.


Andrew Rotherham at Education Sector has research on charter [...]

Uncertainties Around Charters’ Special Ed Role

Uncertainties Around Charters’ Special Ed Role

One family’s legal struggle to get a charter school to recognize their son’s special needs.

Understanding Your Child’s Special Education Rights

By Elaine Meyer
Parents who send their children to public schools are often unaware that federal law entitles those children to an education that addresses their learning disabilities or mental disorders in as nonrestrictive an environment as possible. Here is a glossary to help navigate special education in public and charter schools.
IDEA: Special education rights are [...]

An Exception to the School

Written by Elaine Meyer
Produced by Elaine Meyer and Paul Stephens

In the late 1990s, James Forman, Jr., then a public defender, saw many teenagers emerge from doing time in juvenile detention only to be turned away from the public schools they were trying to attend. The schools found myriad reasons to reject them as undesirable students. [...]

A how-to on electing pro-charter school politicians

Because charter schools receive public money, they are often regulated by their school districts so that only a certain number of them can open in a district per year. This is called a charter cap, and caps are largely opposed by the charter enthusiasts.
I am listening to Sean Bradley of the U.S. Department of Education [...]

Charter school goody bag

Charter school goody bag

Here’s what’s in the National Charter School Conference swag bags: a book called Beating the Odds: Inside Five Urban Charter Schools, a bumper sticker that says, “My Child Learns at a Charter School!;” a flash drive from one of the vendors; a DVD called The Providence Effect; the Picky Parent Guide’s Choose your child’s school with confidence; [...]

The Jay Mathews Band

The Jay Mathews Band

One big question at this conference is about replication–not whether, but how to replicate successful charter models like KIPP in other struggling public school districts.
A panel of heavy hitters in the charter school world led by Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist, set out to tackle that issue head on.
Mathews, not surprisingly, was undaunted by the notion [...]

First group of Chicago charter schools unionized

A couple of press people from the 1.4 million member American Federation of Teachers came into the conference’s newsroom to let us know that a group of Chicago charter schools have voted, after a protracted battle with their administrators, to unionize. Union representatives are not among the more well-represented groups here at the National Charter [...]

Charter school participant on the street

I talked to a charter school president between panels. Here’s our conversation:

Comparing charter and public school students

The panel on the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO’s National Charter School Study (Here’s a news story about the study) here at the conference is packed. People are actually spilling out of the room.
If it seems befuddling to you that a lecture on an education study would draw such a crowd, consider [...]

The Lesser Known Section of the Charter Movement

The Lesser Known Section of the Charter Movement

The debate over special education students in charter schools.

A Charter School with a Special Mission

A Charter School with a Special Mission

St. Coletta Public Charter School in D.C.’s quiet East Capitol Hill neighborhood next to the Stadium-Armory Metro is a stand-out school with a humble mission: to integrate its learning disabled students into the general population.
But what seems like a modest goal requires generous resources and public will. St. Coletta has become known in the District [...]

How Do D.C.’s Charter Schools Serve Special Needs Students?

Washington, D.C.’s public schools serve one of the highest percentages of special needs populations in the country. The nation’s capital has long had neglected special education facilities and trouble funding the more expensive services that this population requires. As a result, a few charter schools have opened up in the District to serve the needs [...]

‘The Nation’s Education Reporter’ Visits the Covering Ed Class

Paul Tough is fast becoming one of the most prominent voices on the future of American education, and he does not even consider himself an education journalist.

An Unorthodox Choice

Maureen Gonzalez-Campbell is an unorthodox choice to be principal of the Hebrew Language Academy, a new public charter school set to open next fall in Brooklyn.