Compliance with IDEA is not an option for Public Charter Schools

k12pic2As a parent advocate for children with disabilities, I’ve learned to judge schools by how they treat their most vulnerable students. And fortunately, the North Carolina-based RTI International, a social science research nonprofit organization that partners with US News and World Report to develop metrics for high-performing schools, agree with me. In developing comprehensive rankings methodology, they determine great high schools as those that serve all its students well, not just those that are college bound, and are able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show successful education across a range of performance indicators, including accounting for how schools integrate marginalized students generally along racial and economic lines. While there are limitations to the annual US News and World Report ranking system as it pertains to how schools measure performance in disabilities services across the spectrum of public and public charter education from early education to high schools, case law and federal policies offer critical protections that empower students and their families as well as advocates.

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Emotional Intelligence: A Foundation in Recovery from Oppressive Behaviors and Improving the System of Care

Emotional+Intelligence+Stock+PhotoI continue to unpack what has happened during and since the events in Charlottesville, VA, since I have recently also experienced many personal and family-based crises that require public attention directly linked to the failed system of care. Defined as a spectrum of effective, community-based services and support, this system of care is not just for children, but also adults and the elderly with a variety of disabilities. The absence of a working system with government and provider organizations makes thinking of oppressive ideas and political posturing difficult. Having a front row seat at the racial and economic divide of affordability and accessibility of care options exposes me to not only who has access to care options, but how one is treated when interacting with government agency representatives and providers when seeking help.  There is something terribly wrong with how things work, or don’t work, for families seeking a helping hand when in crisis and I argue our biggest social problems are not neo-Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan.

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