With a new decade approaching, Network advocates are planning to hit the ground running in 2020. We asked leaders across the Network to share further details on the work they’re most excited to tackle in 2020 and beyond, from state report card improvements to advancing science-based reading instruction. Find the full series here.
What are you most excited to work on in 2020 (and beyond)?
By Lauren Morando Rhim, Executive Director, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
The Center had a very busy 2019. While we were active on many fronts, three of our 2019 accomplishments—our policy team’s growth, our data team’s release of our third analysis of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), Key Trends in Special Education in Charter Schools 2015-2016, and our collaboration with the Center for Reinventing Education (CRPE) on Seizing the Opportunity, Educating Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools—have set the stage for a busy and exciting 2020.
Our CRDC report offers trend analyses of both district and charter schools at the national and state levels in the areas of enrollment, placement, and discipline while introducing a new focus on enrollment by gender and race, the impact of a charter’s legal status on enrollment and educational environment, and the growth of specialized charter schools. The interactive data visualization tool included with our report allows a closer analysis of state level data and trends. In 2020, we plan to release additional thematic briefs addressing several areas of focus from the report, enabling us to engage in deeper analysis of the data and what it means for students with disabilities.
In Seizing the Opportunity, we were honored to partner with the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) to examine how some charter schools are improving outcomes for students with disabilities, including an analysis of what factors influence their ability to do so. In the report, we identify lessons for schools working to improve the education of students with disabilities
We are excited to leverage the information in both of these reports and the upcoming CRDC thematic briefs to drive policy conversations at the federal and state levels in 2020, as we work to improve access and outcomes for students with disabilities. Our policy team is planning continued conversations in our focus states—with policymakers and with stakeholders in the charter, disability rights and civil rights communities—using this robust data as a starting point.
We will also host three national policy convenings in 2020, where we hope to dig deeper into some of the key issues facing students with disabilities nationally, including special education funding, disproportionate discipline rates and equitable access to quality schools. Our goal is to use all of these opportunities to eventually inform a new Model Policy Guide for the education of students with disabilities in charter schools.
With much to look forward to in 2020, these policy conversations are high on our list.