Gene V. Glass: An Ugly Look Inside a Charter School in Arizona

Gene V. Glass, one of the nation’s most distinguished education researchers, posted a blog about the experience of parents applying to a charter school in Arizona. Arizona is unusual in that it has no laws against nepotism or conflicts of interest. The Challenger Charter School is unusual in that it is owned by the former president of the State Board of Education and run by his wife and daughter. The family pays itself $400,000 a year for its services.

The post tells the story of parents who registered their child early for kindergarten in this school. They received a letter of acceptance. They had to fill out another form in March. On the second form, they noted that their daughter had had speech therapy, which they neglected to say in the first application. They were called into the school’s office where daughter and mother told them their child was unaccepted and would have to apply again through the open lottery. The administrators basically accused them of lying. Harsh words were exchanged. It was clear the school did not want their daughter.

Some of this interaction is captured in a video the family made during their interview.

The school’s message seems to be, children with any kind of disability, no matter how mild, are not wanted here. The IDEA laws don’t apply to charter schools in Arizona.

from novemoore


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