CHARTERS AND CHOICE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA: A MULTI-LEVEL POLICY ANALYSIS
|Cucchiara, Maia Bloomfield
|Mitchell, David T., 1962-
|Ahrens, Kristin A.
|A rapid expansion of charter schools is occurring across the United States in spite of the fact that significant issues have come to light in relation to charter schools educating students with disabilities. The School District of Philadelphia is currently relying on charters to educate more than a quarter of all public school students and the demographic make-up of these charters does not mirror the sending district schools in relation to students with disabilities. These students may not have access to the same educational opportunities as their non-disabled peers. Policy governing charters is foundational to the implementation of charter school reform and, therefore, a potential key factor driving disproportionate access. This project examines applicable state law, interpretation of federal and state law into local policy, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of these policies regarding students with severe disabilities accessing free and appropriate public education in Philadelphia charter schools. The theoretical framework I apply is critical ableism. The analytical framework I utilize is based on the Bardach's methodology. My findings from this analysis of charter policy are that there is theoretical support in policy for the socially desirable outcomes of equal access and non-discrimination, though none for a comprehensive definition of diversity. In practical, implementation-related policies significant problems arise. When applied to students with disabilities, there are inherent flaws in the market-based model that is supposed to drive innovation and competition. Policies do not aggressively promote charters vying for the opportunity to educated disabled students. Charter schools are disincentivized to educate students with severe disabilities by fiscal and accountability measures in current policy. Effective remedies to these problematic areas will require fundamental changes in approach to educating disabled students, not simply privatizing current special education practice.
|Temple University. Libraries
|Theses and Dissertations
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|Students With Disabilities
|CHARTERS AND CHOICE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA: A MULTI-LEVEL POLICY ANALYSIS
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