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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.

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.

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...

It Takes a City: How the Portfolio Strategy Can Bring Schools, Districts, and Communities Together to Transform Special Education

We convened leaders from cities around the country to explore ways that school districts can use the portfolio strategy to help cities improve education for students with disabilites—and ultimately for all students.

To Meet the Needs of Complex Learners, School Systems Must Think More Boldly

Twenty-five years ago CRPE was founded on the idea of the school as the locus of change. Today we are reexamining our old assumptions in light of new technical possibilities, changes in the economy, and...

To Serve Every Student Well, Design for the Tails, Not the Mean

This essay explores how an education system built to meet the needs of “square pegs” could benefit all students.

In latest move, Gates Foundation looks to help — and learn from — charters serving students with disabilities

CRPE is mentioned in this Chalkbeat article as a recipient of a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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