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Focus Area:
Special Education

CRPE has been working to answer the critically important question: are students with special needs being educated effectively in charter schools?

Our analyses of special education enrollment and identification bring evidence to the issue of enrollment gaps between public charter and traditional schools. We have also studied promising new special education funding and service delivery models in New Orleans, which may provide scalable solutions to other cities. Our research provides an evidence base for the policy, practitioner, and research communities to inform more thoughtful policy responses in states and cities with enrollment gaps.

How has the pandemic affected students with disabilities? An update on the evidence: Fall 2022

This report is the second installment of an updated set of papers that assess the best available evidence on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected America’s students. The Center on Reinventing Public Education has compiled...

Special Education at a Crossroads: Ensuring Equity and Inclusion for Students with Disabilities

This brief outlines the ongoing challenges and offers recommendations to reshape how America’s schools serve students with disabilities.

Notes from the Field: How students with disabilities experienced the challenges of remote learning

As systems figure out how to recover, schools need to think beyond their usual approaches, such as simply increasing service minutes to help students catch up.

Unprecedented and Unmasked: An analysis of how district policy documents frame special education during the COVID–19 crisis

We analyzed reopening documents from the 25 largest U.S. public school districts to understand district-level messaging in the 2020–21 school year.

All Together Now: Getting Students with Disabilities What They Need During the Pandemic

During the 2020–21 school year, we learned through a series of interviews that most teachers missed out on the power of collaborative interactions between general and special educators.

Any school can start building the key ingredients for effective special education

For many parents of students with disabilities, last spring’s sudden interruption of schooling was a disaster. Cut off from teachers and forced to go without essential special education services, parents saw years of social and...

New CRPE report: Making school choice work for students with disabilities

Seattle, Wash. – New research from the Center on Reinventing Public Education shows how parents in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., experience school choice for children with disabilities. Researchers from CRPE, the Brookings Institution, and...

Finding a Great Fit: Improving the School Choice Process for Students with Disabilities

Two briefs provide a summary of the special education landscape in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and offer recommendations for further steps that might be taken to strengthen the cities’ support structures for parents of...

Some Charter Schools Use Their Flexibility to Serve Students With Disabilities. Our New Report Shows How More Schools Can Do the Same.

For parents of children with disabilities, finding a school where the adults not only care about what your child needs but are capable of providing it can be life-changing. Over the past 12 months, researchers...

Seizing the Opportunity: Educating Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools

This report is the first step in developing an evidence base about how charter schools meet the needs of unique learners, how they can improve in this work, and what aspects of chartering as a...

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