Many think that charter schools are the answer to our failing public schools, but are charter schools right for students with learning disabilities? Charter schools are mandated to provide services for students with learning disabilities. They also provide small classes. They often offer a rigorous curriculum with bright young teachers eager to teach. Attractive right, well it’s important when choosing a school for a child with learning disabilities that you look at some important trends.
The first trend to access when thinking about a charter school for your learning disabled child is how many students that start in the 7th grade actually graduate at the end of the 12th? Ratings for schools in MA are based on MCAS scores. Did you know that if you start with 60-7th graders, and only 20 of those students graduate at the end of twelfth grade the charter schools ratings will go up. Struggling students are forced out which results in improved MCAS scores even though the school has lost 67% of their graduating class. Those 20 students have benefited from being at the charter school, but what about the 40 other students?