In September 2011, four new Boston-based charter schools opened and enrolled 410 students. These same four charters will eventually educate more than 2,000 students. These schools opened with a promise: to educate more ELL and Special Needs students. Here is their charge according to the Commissioner’s memo:
So how did these schools do? Did they meet expectations? In ELL, to be fair, they did a decent job. So how about SPED? What was their
enrollment like? Did they keep their commitment?
- The Bridge Boston Charter enrolled 71 students; the percentage of Special Needs students was 5.6%.
- The Edward Brooke 2 enrolled 167 students and had a rate of 9.6%.
- The Grove Hall Preparatory had 72 students and 13.9%.
- The new Match Community Day Charter had 100 students at 10.0%.
The BPS has a Special Education population of 18.7%.
Clearly each of the schools fell far short of what ought to be expected. And what did Commissioner Chester say?
Really? If this is improvement, we’d hate to see what failure is. New regulations or not, charters continue to discriminate against children with special needs. And it doesn’t take a statistician to recognize it.